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Summary: What the Church needs today...

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I Peter 2:11-25

1 Peter 2:11-25

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority,

14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

15 For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.

16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

18 Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

19 For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.

20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

(NIV)

Have you ever thought of yourself as “strange” or “alien”? What kind of images does that bring up for you? Do you consider yourself a “stranger” or an “alien”? Peter has used “stranger” to describe the Christian several times in this letter (1:1, 1:17) Jesus said we were “in the world but not of the world”. Obviously Christians cannot live like the world! The Word of God tells us to

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (I John 2:15 KJV)

When we live as Jesus would have us to live, we cut across the grain of the lifestyles of the rest of the world. It is an impossible task to live for Jesus…without His power!

E. M. Bounds put it this way: “What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer.”

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power within us.

"What lies behind us

and what lies before us

are tiny matters compared to

what lies within us."

Walt Emerson

That is so true. It's what's inside you, what you believe, the size of your faith, and the hope in you that matters. Not the mistakes in the past or the mountains in front of you.

To live as a Christian, in a world that is Anti-Christian, will make you do strange things.

It is strange thing to willingly submit (vs. 13-14)

1 Peter 2:13-14

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority,

14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

(NIV)

John 13:3-9

3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;

4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"

7 Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

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