Summary: God is good all the time, all the time God is good! Why aren't His people?
We continue our study of the First Letter of the Apostle Peter to Christians. Open your Bibles to 1 Peter 2….
We have learned so far from 1 Peter:
God has given much to Christians!
Christians can live successful lives even though they are foreigners on earth.
Christians are to mature in their salvation by learning from the Bible.
And so, let us continue to grow in our salvation by learning from 1 Peter 2:11-25, read along with me…..
I believe the key verse in this passage is v12…
How important is this? It is repeated in v15!
Christians are to do good! God is good!.... All the time!....
Now, Christians are good, all the time? – Not so much. If God is good all the time, All the time God is good, why aren’t His people? Simply, many Christians are ignorant, don’t care, or just plain disobedient! Let’s all take a moment to quietly pray and make a commitment to follow our good God. Make a commitment to be the person God desires you to be! Pray quietly right where you are……
Again we read in 1 Peter 2:15, For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
When Christians do good, they are not only pleasing God, they will improve their society! And of course, if one does good, it is also good for themselves. Christians are to do good. Let us commit to this and learn how to do it! How do we do good?
v11: abstain from sinful desires; What does this mean? If we look at other English Translations of this verse, it is a little clearer.
KJV: .. abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul
ESV: …abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
Our flesh impacts, our physical being, impacts our soul!
Another way of looking at this is to control selfish appetites! Let us all be aware of the appetites of our flesh. Let us say no to the hunger of the flesh and we will do good.
The next thing we need to do to be able to do good is in,
v13: submit to every human authority; now, we must always be careful of taking phrases out of Bibklical context, right?let us note that we are to submit for the Lord’s sake; in other words, Christians are to obey all rules unless it is a sin against God!
v16…… What does this mean? A Christian can say “I can sin all I want because Jesus died for them already anyway!” But if a Christian keeps on sinning, even though they can claim the cross of Christ for forgiveness, are they really living for God or for the Devil? Christians are of God not of the Devil and sin is of the devil not of God.
Christians are to fight sin not live it! Christians are to serve God not the Devil! The opposite of evil is ….good! Say no to the devil, flee from sin, and we will do good!
And in v17, we read 4 positive instructions for the Christian:
a. Show respect to everyone (the Greek here is to value people)
b. Love other Christians (agape love – thinking of the betterment of the other)
It is not about how we feel, it’s a commitment to truly help others! Agape love is a FRUIT of the Holy Spirit!
c. Fear God (does not mean to be scared but to revere God)
d. Honor the “emperor” (is God repeating Himself here from v13? – not at all! v13 is submitting to the rules, honoring here in v17 is to respect and value whoever God has placed above us!)
And so wherever God has placed us where there is authority over us, including our workplaces, we are to do good. Many of course will say, “How can I do good at my work? You don’t know my boss, or my coworkers, or the corruption that goes on?”
Look again at v18….
Again did you notice? God did not just say submit to your masters. God said “in reverent fear of God submit to your bosses.” Just like in submitting to all authorities, Christians are to obey their bosses unless it is a sin against God!
We are to do good, but all these things are hard aren’t they?
Can we really do good? And God says “I’m glad you’re asking that question!” For God tells us what our attitudes should be in order to do good; it is stated in v19-25. Let us read it again….
What can help us do good? Always remember what Jesus Christ did for us, then follow His example! This is really where everything starts! How bad are we in doing this? Do we really walk around always thinking of what Jesus Christ did for us (this of course is the same as always putting on the full armor of God!) This is why many of us get in trouble because we don’t always remember Christ in our lives! Christians are so bad in remembering the work of Christ that God has to command us to remember by doing Communion; but even when we do that, many Christians only see Communion as a ritual, not truly remembering the incredible sacrifice given.