Summary: Christians: We should live Godly lives: 1. Because we are headed to Heaven (vs. 11-12). 2. Because we can bring glory to God (vs. 12). 3. Because we are servants of the Savior (vs. 13-17).
Great Reasons for Godly Living
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Dec. 23, 2012
*When I bump into people I haven’t seen for a while, sometimes they ask: “How’s the world treating you?” -- But as we look at this Scripture tonight, a better question for us is: “How are we treating our world?”
*God wants us to live Christ-like lives in this world. And in these verses, Peter gives us some great reasons for Godly living.
1. The first reason to live a Godly life is because we are headed to Heaven.
*Peter reminds us of this great truth in vs. 11, where he says: “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”
*Christians: Peter is urging us here to remember that we are different, so he appeals to us as “sojourners” or “strangers” in the KJV and “pilgrims.”
-We are “pilgrims” because this world is not our home. We are just passing through! We are on our way to Heaven, and that’s our real home.
*Christians: We are all “pilgrims!” -- But Peter also calls us “strangers” because as believers, we are already citizens of Heaven. From God’s point of view this is both a literal and legal reality.
*Though I have never been more concerned about the direction of our nation, I am hugely grateful to be a citizen of the United States. But as believers we hold dual citizenship. Right now we are citizens of Heaven. And that’s where our first loyalty lies, because it never could have happened without the cross of Jesus Christ.
*The Apostle Paul tells us about this great truth in Ephesians 2:12-19. Here Paul was speaking about the power of the cross. He was speaking to Gentile believers like us and said:
12. . . At that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ.
14. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us,
15. having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,
16. and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
17. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.
18. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
19. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
*Christians: By the blood of Jesus Christ, right now we are citizens of Heaven.
*We are different. And so, we ought to live in a different way. In vs. 11, Peter says: “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”
*Certainly he was talking about sexual sins. But Peter was talking about much more than that, because they had a broader understanding of fleshly lusts than we have today. It would have included all of the things Peter talked about up in vs. 1: malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking.
*Peter’s understanding of fleshly lusts would have included all of these things and more. So we ought to live in a different way, a Godly way, a Christ-like way. And why? -- Because we are headed to Heaven. It never hurts to focus on the fact that we are on our way home to Heaven.
*The Apostle Paul surely kept his focus on Heaven. In 2 Cor 5:1-8, Paul said this to fellow Christians:
1. For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
3. if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
4. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
5. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.