Summary: Having humility
Living Humbly - 1 Peter 2b
July 13, 2008
Turn with me this morning to the end of your Bibles, to the book of 1 Peter, chapter 2. We want to continue on in our study of the book of 1 Peter. Remember that Peter is writing to give practical help to Christians dealing with daily problems. He starts by reminding us that we all face trials. They come in all shapes and sizes of trial. Peter says we can expect them to come; so don’t be surprised when they do come. They can be very hard to deal with, but with God’s help, we can make it through. Peter says in spite of the trials in our lives, we are to Live in Hope. Hope is not a futile wishing for a good future, rather hope is the confident expectation that God will work, based upon his character. I can have hope in the midst of trials, Peter tells me, because I am chosen of God - God loved me and elected ME! I am born of God - God not only loved me, but he made me his child. I am destined for good - I have an incorruptible inheritance waiting for me. I am shielded by God’s power - I am completely protected as I face these various trials. Therefore, I can have JOY in the midst of the trials, and I can GROW spiritually.
Because we have hope, we are called to Live in Holiness. To do that, Peter calls us to
control our minds, imitate our master, inquire of scripture, anticipate judgment, and confirm our faith. In living holy lives, we are to Live in Harmony with one another. Peter calls us to holiness - remember this word holiness is really the idea of being “different” than the world - and then he calls us to live in harmony in response to the holy life we live. We have a fond affection, a brotherly love for one another, but we go on to extend ourselves to sacrificial love, and seek to live in unity, because we are children in the same family, stones in the same building, priests in the same temple, and citizens of the same nation.
Then last week we looked at the idea that we are to Live as a Herald - to live advertising Jesus, wherever we are. And today, we see that to do a good job of advertising Jesus, we need to Live Humbly - to live a life of submission. We want to start today by looking at 1 Peter 2:11-17. Really we will cover much of chapter 2 and 3. Read text. Pray.
To be a good advertiser of Jesus Christ, we need to live humbly, to live a life of submission. To SUBMIT means: to yield your will to, obey, put first the other person. Literally the idea is to “voluntarily place yourself under another’s authority.” That’s what Peter is calling us to. Submission in a choice of the will. We are called to “submit ourselves”. We willingly humble ourselves and place ourselves under another.
So of course we ask the question, Who do I need to submit to? Let’s see what Peter has to say. First,
1. God - We need to submit to God. In verse 3, Peter says we submit ourselves “for the Lord’s sake” - as we think about earthly relationships where we humble ourselves and submit ourselves, they all take place because we have first chose to submit ourselves to the Lord. James 4:7 reminds us, Submit yourselves, then, to God. The basis of our submitting ourselves to anyone else is primarily because we submit ourselves to God. He comes first in our lives. And because we want to obey him, we voluntarily place ourselves under the authority of others. Because we serve God, we serve others. This was the example of Jesus - For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. The greatest way we can influence others is by being a servant to them.
But while we think about being in submission to God, it is easy for us to SAY we submit to God but we still want to control our own lives. Being in submission to God means that we choose to live by what God says - His word is a binding authority on our lives - the decisions we make are based upon the principles of His word. Today, can you truly say your life is in submission to God? Let’s evaluate it.
• Is there something that you are doing that you know is against the will of God?
• Is there something that God wants you to do that you refuse to do?