Summary: Living on Mission in a Foreign Land War and Witness and/For God's Glory
Living on Mission in a Foreign Land
War and Witness and/For God's Glory
We finished our first mini series in 1 Peter, “Foreigners in a Foreign Land.” Today we start our second mini series, “Living on Mission in a Foreign Land,” 2.11-4.11. Today we look at “War and Witness for God's Glory.”
Big Idea – As the church, the new Israel, we are to live in a way that points people to Jesus.
Our Identity as the New People of God
Peter calls us sojourners and exiles. A sojourner is one who travels to a foreign land as a visitor; exiles are people who have been displaced from their homeland. This is the way God described Israel. Once again Peter is transferring the titles originally reserved for Israel to the church, showing that the church fulfills Israel as the new people of God. So the church is the new people of God, made up of Jews and Gentiles who put their faith in Christ. We are sojourners and exiles in this world. This is not our home; this is not our country. We look forward to a new heaven and a new earth. We must constantly remind ourselves of this and cultivate this mindset.
Our War we Wage as the People of God
Peter commands us to abstain from fleshly passions. The flesh is that part of our fallen nature that rebels against and disobeys God in every area of life. Earlier Peter called them passions of our former ignorance. These passions wage war against our soul. These passions or desires lead to sinful actions. Notice he commands us to abstain from sinful passions before he tells us to keep our conduct good. So the battle for good conduct, holiness, begins and focuses on defeating these desires. The war against sin must attack those desires, which is the root of sin. There are two verses I bank my hope for change that encourage me in my fight against sin. It is knowing and understanding God and the affections that rise from this understanding that kill sinful desires. Change is a process that is frustratingly slow and painful but we are promised a gradual process of overcoming these passions.
How do we know if we are losing the battle to these passions? Well, first I would ask is how are your affections for Jesus? Do you see him as your treasure and do you protect that relationship or are you drifting, is the relationship stale and functional; maybe even boring? Second, how is your time in the word and prayer? The word is your primary weapon of mass destruction in killing wrong desires. The word is the primary tool for moral transformation; the second is community. The clearer you see God and Christ the greater your desire and appetite for him will be. If you are not pursuing Christ in the context of community, sin will have the upper hand in your life and you will lose the battle with sin. It will slowly blind you, numb you, and take away all your desire and appetite for Christ. You will lose interest in God, in church; his word, community, and telling others about Christ.
Our Mission as the People of God