Summary: To accomplish God’s good purpose, we are to respect all people, love other believers, fear God, and honor those who rule over us - even when something doesn’t seem good to us. These kinds of actions may fan a spark of belief in those who observe our respo
Opening illustration: Sometimes when I want to start a fire, the wind puts it out. But when I try to keep a fire burning, wind keeps it going. So, in the first situation, I label wind “bad” because it thwarts my plans; in the other, I label it “good” because it helps me accomplish what I want to get done.
This paradox illustrates how we judge things by the way they affect us. We declare circumstances or people “bad” if they thwart our plans or cause us inconvenience. We judge circumstances or people “good” if we agree with them and they support our cause.
But God is the One who determines what is good or bad, and He does so not by how it affects our plans but by whether or not it accomplishes His. His plan is that we would be “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people.” And His purpose for us is to “proclaim the praises of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
To accomplish God’s good purpose, we are to respect all people, love other believers, fear God, and honor those who rule over us - even when something doesn’t seem good to us (v.17). These kinds of actions may fan a spark of belief in those who observe our responses to “bad” circumstances and most of all bring praise to God.
Let us turn to 1 Peter 2 and catch up with what apostle Peter is laying out before us about God’s purpose.
Introduction: What practical difference does it really make in your life that you are a Christian? That’s the issue that Peter is dealing with here in I Peter 2. What does it really mean for you to be a Christian? What difference does it make? How is your life any different because you profess the name of Jesus Christ than if you didn’t? It’s in answer to this question that Peter turns as he continues now to deliver this epistle to us. He’s already, as we’ve seen in chapter 1, given to us a list of some of the enormous privileges of being a Christian. He’s told us about the calling that we have as Christians in this world. He’s told us especially about the new identity which is ours in Jesus Christ.
How to fulfill God’s purpose?
1. Be Separated for Him (vs. 9-10)
Now remember in this letter written by Peter, he is addressing his thoughts to scattered Christians. They are under difficult circumstance and are counting the cost and paying the price to live out their Christian experience in a hostile world. There's a sense in which Peter uses a sort of spiritual kaleidoscope. You remember when you were a child and you had a little kaleidoscope and you turned the end of it and the little colored stones made all different beautiful images. Well Peter takes basically the simple truths of salvation and keeps rotating the end of the kaleidoscope and rearranging those magnificent truths into patterns that are just beautiful beyond description. And every time he rotates the kaleidoscope we see another arrangement of the marvelous beauty of what is ours because we are Christ's. The basic jewels of salvation held up to the light of God's grace and rotated reveal majestic patterns of spiritual privilege. What is ours because we are Christ's, there is nothing about duty or responsibility here. It's all about privilege.