Whenever someone goes out of their
way to "declare" that they are a "good Christian brother",
the fear arises that someone is about to be "screwed".
Peter, Simon Barjona!
What a great and knowledgeable teacher that big old lovable fisherman was.
In our last study he told us all about how Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of all the "living stones" that make up the temple of God.
But he also told us that Christ can be, and even is, a stumbling block and an offense to those who stumble at the Word of God.
But ye who are of that chosen generation, His royal priesthood, should show forth praises, i.e. give thanks to Him Who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light!
What an honor and a privilege it is.
Peter now completes that thought in verse 10.
1 Peter 2:10
Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
They are called the "lo-ammi" periods (see appendix 50 in the Companion Bible).
There were also times in many of our lives that the same could be said of us.
But thank God for His mercy, made possible by the blood sacrifice of His only begotten Son.
In verse 11 Peter begins a new subject and he will give us some very simple, easy to understand (though not necessarily easy to follow), "rock solid" instructions on how to conduct our lives.
 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
So that's the problem!
It's a fight!
Mr. Flesh fights Mr. Soul in the battle for superiority.
And this "knock down" "drag out" match goes on round after round after round.
Here's how it works:
(1) Get an urge!
(3) Hear the bell?
(4) Start punching!
And we can't get out of the boxing ring until we die or Christ returns first.
So guess what?
We'd better learn how to fight and deliver knock down punches to Mr. Flesh or he'll thump us time after time.
Here's a little secret: Exercise discipline and self control.
He won't necessarily like it but he has to listen to you if you take charge.
Those are the rules.
And did you catch what Peter said about us being strangers and pilgrims?
If you are one of God's elect, then you have traveled here, now absent from home and His presence, because you have a purpose and a destiny in fulfilling God's plan and helping to bring your brothers and sisters back to Him!
So if you have eyes to see and ears to hear and know the glory that awaits that Peter talked about in chapter 1, then just as Paul said in 2 Corinthians, you'd rather be back home with Christ (where you don't have fight the flesh hulk).
2 Cor. 5:6
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2 Cor. 5:8
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Are you one His disciples?
Here's Jesus' own words:
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
1 Pet. 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
If you claim to be a Christian then you'd better act [behave] like one.
And even so, you can be sure they are going to talk about you, you evil right winger!
But all the while they are "flapping their jaws" THEY ARE NOTICING!
And your conduct can help bring about the salvation of a soul.
It's that important.
And here's one that is getting tougher and tougher as abusive government continues to strip away the rights and freedoms of its citizens:
 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
Take heed and pay your taxes, "render unto Caesar", because if you get your royal highness tossed in the slammer you won't be free to do His will.
So be a good citizen for the Lord's sake.
 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
He's is control.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
1 Pet. 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
It is God's will that we be good upstanding citizens.
There are really two points to be made by this verse.
(1) If you don't obey the authorities, like don't pay your taxes and go to jail or just get your name printed in the paper, then you lose credibility in discussing the Word of God, and you'll wear the label of hypocrite, and
(2) When you have credibility and know the "sincere" Word of God and are skilful in it, then you can silence the ignorance of those who hold fast the traditions of men, for you are free do to your job.
 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
One is in noticing through personal experience in "business situations" that whenever someone goes out of their way to "declare" that they are a "good Christian brother", the fear arises that someone is about to be "screwed".
We call it "hiding behind his religion".
Our works and reputations declare us, not our mouths.
And secondly, be gentle as the servants of God.
One should never use the knowledge of the truth which has set us free to "slice" up, i.e. to belittle or make a fool of someone who doesn't have eyes to see or ears to hear.
That's not God's way.
This is God's way:
 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
"Let your light so shine before men", remember?
Here's the NIV translation:
1 Pet. 2:17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. (NIV)
Now what about the workplace?
1 Pet. 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
He jumps up and down and yells "I DIDN'T DO IT, YOU, YOU *@#$^%R$!"
Knock him out before he does that!
Handle it God's way trusting that there will be resolve and closure.
One thing is as sure and death and taxes:2 Tim. 3:11
Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Today in much of society one is admired for his or her courage to come out of some closet and admit to being a practicing pervert.
But woe unto those who claim to be Christian.
No, I say woe unto those who persecute God's own!
Remember the guards who tossed Shadrach, Meshach and Abedneggo into the fiery furnace?
They were instantly barbequed, weren't they?
The point is that if you are living
a Christian life and are wronged for it, God will take care of it, for
He takes care of His own
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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