God says suffering injustice patiently is acceptable to Him. Not sure about this? Take the example of Jesus Christ himself.
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1 Peter 2:9-23
- This passage tells some things about who we are in Christ
- It reminds us that we have been called out of darkness and should now live in light
- It also reminds us of the mercy we obtained from God
- And tells us the manner in which we should now live
- Relating to our lives as citizens and as servants
- And it makes a distinction between our manner of living and the world’s manner of living
- At the end of the passage revealing that Christ is our example
- He behaved in a certain way, therefore His people should behave that way as well
1 Peter 2:9-10
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
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.
- Those of us who have faith in Christ are a people that are set apart for God
- We are to “shew forth” the praises of the One who called us
- Another translation says we are to “proclaim the excellencies” of Him
- Internalizing the fact that we have been called from darkness into light
- That we have been forgiven, provided with mercy, and transformed (eternally)
- Those of us who know Him can now be called “a people” even “the people of God”
- This is not because, by our own merit, we have reached a pinacle
- But because we have been freely given, by God, mercy
- The mercy we have received makes us belong
- But that doesn’t mean work will not follow – in fact, it very much will!
1 Peter 2:11-12
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
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.
- We have to be asked
- The dearly beloved, as strangers and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts
- Because they war against the soul
- Meaning, we are not just to avoid these behaviors because God says so
- But because they are destructive to us
- God knows and wants what is best
- He wants us to have a manner of life (conversation) that is honest in the wider world
- Those that are without may speak against us
- But we must do good works and glorify God
1 Peter 2:13-15
13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
14 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.
15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
- Be a good citizen
- Obey the law
- Do right as a member of your community and nation
- God has set us these authority structures – for our own good
- Leaders in society have a certain set of duties
- They (generally) punish evildoers and praise those that do well
- Therefore it is good – God’s will – that we obey them
1 Peter 2:16-17
16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
- We must not use our freedom to cover-up evil
- We are to – truly – be the kind of citizens God requires
- Honoring all, loving the brothers, fearing God, and honoring the king (those in authority)
1 Peter 2:18-20
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
- This passage reaches a little deeper into our lives as servants
- Those under a direct authority
- Not just good authorities
- Also those who who are unjust
- Yes, unjust
- Some may – some will – suffer unjustly
- We see examples of this in the early, New Testament church
- Of course, we should suffer whatever penalty we deserve
- But also learn to suffer when we do well
- What a counter-cultural concept!
- Very few in the world would express such a sentiment
- Yet God says, this unjust suffering (patiently) is what is acceptable to Him
- If we are not sure this is the case, we must take the example of Jesus
- For what did He do?
- When faced with untrue, unjust accusations, and an unjust punishment?
1 Peter 2:21-24
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
- We have nothing more to say when we consider Him
- It is certain – He being perfect – suffered much
- This is how our salvation was obtained
- He is to be our example