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Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:9-12
Living Before the World
1. A temptation easily yielded to by Christians is compartmentalized discipleship. Saints on Sunday, Savior-less on the weekdays.
2. "Christ lives in me...I live by faith in the Son of God", Gal. 2:20.
-Answers the problem of compartmentalized discipleship:
a. In the home: Prayer, Bible study, Bible discussions, Bible-based decisions (Eph. 6:4; 1 Pet. 3:7).
b. On the job: Work as to the Lord, honest and fair (Tit. 2:9-10).
c. At play: 1 Pet. 4:1-4 (moral purity).
d. Worship: Jno. 4:24.
3. We do not live to ourselves, Rom. 14:7. So, we must live before the world in ways that our influence has an impact for righteousness.
4. 1 Peter 2:11-12: Framework for Christ living in us as we live before the world.
I. OUR CONTEXT IN THE WORLD, 2:11.
A. Sojourners and Pilgrims.
1. "Beloved" by God ("Dear friends", NIV is unfortunate/inaccurate).
2. Strangers: "a foreigner, one who lives in a place without the right of citizenship" (Thayer). A "by-dweller". (cf. Exo. 12:40)
a. Our citizenship is in heaven, Phil. 3:20. "Holy nation", 1 Pet. 2:9.
b. We are the Israel of God, cf. Gal. 6:16; Rom. 9:6; Eph. 2:12-13.
3. Pilgrims: "to dwell beside" (Robertson). A resident foreigner (alien resident). Don't live like we have a "green card" in the world!
a. "metaphor here is that heaven is our native country and we are only temporary sojourners here on earth" (Ibid).
b. " The Christian is a pilgrim on his way to the homeland" (Ibid), 1 Pet. 1:17. cf. the Rechabites, Jer. 35:1-10 (16)
B. Losing Our Distinctiveness, 2 Cor. 11:3.
1. When we are no longer distinctive morally, doctrinally and in our daily living, then we have made this world our home. Ezek. 22:26; 44:23 (42:20); 1 Pet. 2:9 (royal priesthood).
II. OUR CONFLICT WITH THE WORLD, 2:11.
A. Abstain from Fleshly Lusts. (to hold oneself off, refrain)
1. World indulges the flesh, 1 Jno. 2:16-17.
2. We respect God's holiness. We are His children, a chosen generation and holy nation, 1 Pet. 1:15; 2:9.
B. Worldly Lusts War against the Soul, 2:11.
1. Our protection is fulfilling the desires of the Spirit (which satisfy the soul), Gal. 5:16-17.
2. Fleshly lusts are in a military campaign of conquest against the divine purpose for the soul, cf. Eccl. 12:13.
III. OUR CONDUCT REFLECTS A DIFFERENT CHARACTER FROM THE WORLD.
A. Honorable Conduct, 2:12.
1. Good, valuable, virtuous, worthy, cf. Phil. 2:15.
2. Home, work, play, school, society generally; 1 Pet. 3:10-12.
3. Warning: "The Gentiles are on the watch for slips in moral conduct by the Christians." (Robertson)
4. Why we dare not try to compartmentalize our faith.
5. Character of Christ (new man...image of Him), Col. 3:9-10.
IV. OUR COURAGE IN THE FACE OF OPPOSITION.
A. Your Good will be Evil Spoken of, 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:13-17.
B. Courage of Faith must be Unwavering to Influence the Lost, 1 Cor. 16:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:7-8.
-If we are silenced by fear then our influence in the world is rendered powerless, Phil. 1:27-29.
V. THE CONVERSION OF THE LOST.
A. You Get their Attention by Your Life, 2:12.
1. They see your good works, 2:12.
2. Don't act and react like the world to events, joys, problems, trials and trouble, Phil. 4:10-13.
3. When you are not salt of the earth and light of the world you forfeit opportunities to help convert the lost.
B. God Gets their Soul with the Gospel, 2:12. Rom. 1:16
1. Good examples alone will not convert the lost, Rom. 10:13-15.
2. Use gospel meetings, personal study, worship assemblies, etc. - these opportunities grow out of your good examples before the lost.
1. Christ living in us does not begin and end at the worship services.
2. Our lives before the world must remain distinct, defined by the gospel and dedicated to influencing and saving the lost.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: April 17, 2015