1 Peter 1
1 Peter 3

1 Peter 2

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage 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.

“The world takes its notions of God, most of all, from the people who say that they belong to God's family. They read us a great deal more than they read the Bible. They see us; they only hear about Jesus Christ” 
Alexander MacLaren

As Peter continues his letter he continues to tell his readers that while as Christians we should expect that we will be persecuted and experience suffering, our response to that suffering makes a world of difference to unbelievers and a proper response to the suffering will make a great foundation for making the gospel believable and attractive to them.

In exhorting them to live holy lives before unbelievers he starts by saying that it must be an inside job that manifests itself with outside actions.  It all starts with Christ redeeming us and the Holy Spirit regenerating us.  That regeneration produces a new godly nature with holy longings.  But that new life remains imprisoned in the old, unredeemed, human container.  As a result a war begins to rage.  Having become aliens in this world we must still live in this world but we must resist the sinful desires that are in direct opposition to our heavenly nature.  The fact that Peter says to abstain gives us the understanding that we have the ability, in  Christ, to restrain the human container, even though the world keeps telling us that we cant.  Peter goes on to paint the picture that the world is relentless - it wages war - a continual process of which we must be aware.  It is not a one-time battle but a war that will continue till we leave these earthly, sinful bodies behind.

And our motivation for all of this...so that God may be glorified and that a cynical and attentive world may see Christ in us and come to glorify and worship Him. 

Our response to suffering and persecution can make a world of difference to a watchful, unbelieving world.

comments powered by Disqus