August 04, 2023 – Friday
1 Peter 2:11-12 NIV
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.
1 Peter 2:11-12 NKJV
11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
In verse eleven Peter makes a real change in the subject in chapter two. Now he provides instruction on how as believers we are to live in the pagan world. Something truly applicable today without question. Before Peter exhorted us to walk worthy of being called Christians, a walk differing greatly from our former walk. Now he encourages and exhorts us to walk in ways that glorify God before the unbelievers all around us.
How are we to do so? First recognize this is not our home. We may be citizens, but truly we are foreigners and sojourners in this life. Keeping this in mind we are to abstain from sinful desires and fleshly lusts which war against our souls. Why was this so important beyond the obvious? Guzik writes, Christians were falsely accused of great crimes in the early church. Pagans said that at communion Christians ate the flesh and drank the blood of a baby in a cannibalistic ritual. They said that Christian “agape feasts” were wild orgies. They said that Christians were antisocial because they did not participate in society’s immoral entertainment. They said that Christians were atheists because they did not worship idols. And then added the following with a quote from Barclay, But over time, it was clear that Christians were not immoral people – and it was shown by their lives. “The striking fact of history is that by their lives the Christians actually did defeat the slanders of the heathen. In the early part of the third century Celsus made the most famous and the most systematic attack of all upon the Christians in which he accused them of ignorance and foolishness and superstition and all kinds of things – but never of immorality.”
Today we are accused of being haters because we will not endorse the sin that surrounds us. Further we are often ridiculed for our faith in a loving God who sent His Son to pay the price for our sins so we would be able to go to heaven. Absurd, irrational, ridiculous, and crazy are some of the words screamed at our deeply held faith. And what do we do? We pray for them, remembering we were once like them, lost and unbelieving.
At the same time, we are to live good lives with honorable conduct among the unbelievers so that even when they speak of us as doing wrong or being evildoers, our own good works refute them. And by what they observe they may come to know and glorify God. It is my experience that many a family member, relative, co-worker, or neighbor has come to see God through what they have observed in our lives.
Bottom Line: Be careful, very careful not to fall among the unbelievers when instead you may be able to show them God’s love by your faith and actions.
Prayer: Almighty God, Help us to live out our faith in such a way that it brings others to a faith in You and Your Son. Help us to live glorifying You with our lives. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton