Faithlife Sermons

The Ethical Life

1 Peter - Hope in a World not our Home  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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abstain from sin and live your lives ethically in such a way that people, though they may not like you will glorify God.

we do this by submission, that is the key section of this part of the letter. To subject oneself to someone. Submit to every human being on account of the Lord. Submission to God first and foremost. verse 13 - to every Human authority - Authority can be translated creation. G2937 (Rom 1:25, Col 1:23). The word is used 17 other times in the NT for created or creation. we are to give up striving for authority and power over others and consider others as better then ourselves. That does go on to include governors, even those that would punish you. through submission, we will silence the foolish not through anger but by doing good.
This is what it should look like.


The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message" "Alter your course 10 degrees south." Promptly a return message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north."
The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am the captain!" Soon another message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am seaman third class Jones." Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am a battleship." Then the reply came "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am a lighthouse."
Sometimes when we are called to submit it is for reason. we do not know for what reason it is for that God calls us to submit sometimes but yet we are called to do it none the less. Submission. a word everyone loves to hear. Especially with what has gone on in the past few years when we start talking of submission and what that looks like we tend to want to run out the door.
when we remember that as we hope for what is to come, as we do this by living a lifestyle of holiness, as we remember that this word is not our home. As we do all this we go back to the way that we are to live our lives. We are called to a certain way of life as followers of Jesus whether we like it or not. The way that we live our lives are to be such that people need to but look at us and see the glory of God in us.
The way that we are going to look into to do this is through submission. Like the ship that has to submit to the lighthouse so we must submit to those around us. Let us look into what this means in our lives.

11-12 - A Call to Abstain

We start out first by a call to abstain and then an exhortation in what to do next after that. Our hope that requires us to be living for God means that we are reminded again that we are called to abstain from sin. We have gone over this before but it is important enough we will go over it again.
1 Peter 2:11 (CSB) 11 Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and exiles to abstain from sinful desires that wage war against the soul.
dear friends, I beg you, I urge you please do as I am telling you. You are strangers and exiles, as followers of Jesus you are strangers even in a world that is not our homes. as a people that is called to be different and live a different life then that of the world around us we are to abstain from sinful desires.
the bodies desires are not sinful or wrong in themselves. But sin distorts those desires and causes us to want to do things that go against the word of our God. We are tempted to often to fulfill our bodily desires in a way that goes against the will of God. To often we fall prey to those desires.
there is a war going on inside us, a war of desires. Whether to follow God with the desires of our heart or to fall prey to sinful temptations. SO easy is it to just forget about God, cast all thoughts and prays to God out of our minds and fall prey to sin. But the result of which, though in the moment feels good, in the end leaves a bitter taste in our mouths.
but rather,
1 Peter 2:12 (CSB) 12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits.
abstain from sin, do all you can to live a life for God. know what triggers you to sin and stay away from those things. Live your lives in such a way that accusations against us wont stick. Live honorable lives. The idea being that if someone ever where to bring any charge against as soon as people look at our lives they will see that there is no basis to the accusation. Jesus is the perfect example of this. All the charges that where brought against him and Pilate couldn't make any of them stick. He is innocent he said. living an ethical lifestyle, a principled lifestyle so that we may glorify God.

13-14 - exhortation to submit

the way that we are exhorted to do this though is a different matter. The Ethical lifestyle that we are to lead as we live in Hope of Jesus return is a call to Submission.
1 Peter 2:13 (CSB) 13 Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the emperor as the supreme authority
Submit to every human authority we are told. This is the problem we have it seems like.
to every Human authority - Authority can be translated creation. G2937 (Rom 1:25, “25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.Col 1:23 “23 if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it.” ). The word is used 17 other times in the NT for created or creation.
Submission means that we are to arrNAEG UNDER RANK, TO SUBJECT ONESELF TO.
so the word used here, institution is not necessarily the wrong one it is just understood better as be submissive period to all people. I know that does not make it sound much better does it. But following the context of scripture we get the idea that we are to serve others. A voluntary submission of yourself to others.
we are to be pursuing the good of others before ourselves. Did you know that Jesus taught this as well? you know turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, the last shall be first and the first shal be last. I could keep going on.
you may think that this does not include non-Christians, but then you would be wrong. 1 Peter 2:14
1 Peter 2:14 (CSB) 14 or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good.
emperors, governors leaders and the like. although we need to remember that as we do this we need to remember that this is not to the point of disobeying the word of God. there is a line there that we must stand behind.
Look at the examples that we have in the bible.
Peter and the other Apostles faced a challenge shortly after Pentecost (Acts 4–5). The Jewish council commanded them to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, but Peter and his associates refused to obey (see Acts 4:19; 5:29). They did not cause a rebellion or in any way question or deny the authority of the council. They submitted to the institution but they refused to stop preaching. They showed respect to their leaders even though these men were opposed to the Gospel.
I think that is the [art that we have trouble with, showing respect for the office while at the same time disobeying their command. Being willing to accept the consequences while at the same time staying true to the word of God. this is even given the fact that Paul likely Paul likely means that the human authority, the people we are to be evil, against what the bible says, we are still to respect them, submit when we can even though we do not do all that they say we have to do because some of it goes against the word of God.

15-17 - It is God’s will

why should we have to do this though? sometimes when dealing with your kids you have you have to drag them kicking and screaming. like coming to church sometimes why does it seem like it is the time that they are at their worst behavior and you walk in the doors arguing and then pretend everything is okay? likely we have all been there and it is normal. We are dragged to this idea of submission kicking and screaming because we hate what it means, or just hate that we have to do it. The next bit of the book of 1 Peter is going to deal with the idea of submission and the different ways that this works.
1 Peter 2:15 (CSB) 15 For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good.
This says that it is God’s will that we do this. There are two things that to focus on here. It is God’s will and the will of God that we are to do is silence the foolish people around us not by rioting and hollering and various other things that we sometimes do but rather we are to silence them we submit and serve to those around us to show the glory of God by doing good.
So first we read that it is the will of God that we do this. It is the will of God that we live an ethical lifestyle. That is abstaining from sinful desires and conducting ourselves in such a way as to be honorable to those around us. We are to submit to those around us, and we will see later on more about what this looks like.
but we submit to others, we serve others not because we want to do it. Not many people like to serve all the time. We get tired of it at times in our life when it feels like people are using us, using the good that we do. Also another thing that strikes me in this is that we often struggle with the will of God and what it is, but here we have the will of God in plain sight.
SUbmit as free people
1 Peter 2:16–17 (CSB)16 Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Submit as free people. Did you know that there sued to be slaves back in the bible times that would continue on as slaves even when they did not have to. A life of service they chose, but they also got food, a place to live. Sometimes it was better then getting sent into the world.
Based on the living hope that we have we are to serve others. This is how we share the glory of God with them, by doing good. We are free, but we are to use our freedom to point other people to Jesus. We do not do this by hammering them over the head but by thinking of them first.

SO What?

Someone may argue, “But, as Christians, are we not free?” Yes, we are free in Christ; but we must never use our freedom for ourselves. We must always use it for others. Sad to say, there are “religious racketeers” who prey on ignorant people and use “religion” to veil their evil actions. A true Christian submits himself to authority because he is first of all submitted to Christ. He uses his freedom as a tool to build with and not as a weapon to fight with

Abstain from sin.

This is the first thing we need to remember. We can not truly submit to others in the love of Christ if we are not giving up our lives of sin.

Submit in love

we chose to serve others not based on what we can get out of it but because we truly have the freedom to do it. I know it sounds weird but our freedom in Christ means we have the ability and the honor to show the love of Christ through serving others.

God’s will.

Maybe you do not like this, you try your hardest to fight against it but is the will of God that we use the freedom that we have not to cover up our sin but to serve. Why do we do this? so that others may see the good of God in us.
how are you serving others in the way that you live your life so that they may see the what God has done in your life.
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