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I PETER 2: 11- 12

I.                    Introduction

a.       Review/Overview

                                                               i.      Peter introduces a new movement in this letter.

1.      What God has done in our lives

a.       Caused the new birth, purchased redemption etc

                                                                                                                                       i.      Prepared a glorious future and established the means by which we will receive all that is prepared.

2.      Who we are

a.       Because of what He has done our identity has been altered.

b.      We were not His people, w/o mercy but that has been reversed

                                                                                                                                       i.      We are a royal priesthood etc.

3.      How to live to God

a.       This third movement will take us to the end of the letter.

b.      How do people of privilege who have received all that God has promised live to Him in a corrupt and contrary system.

                                                                                                                                       i.      Not “how do I live in the world,” but “How do I live to God.” 

II.                 Alien Warfare and the Glory of God.

a.       Aliens and Strangers

                                                               i.      A key theme for Peter. 

                                                             ii.      One whose citizenship is elsewhere. 

1.      We are subject to another Ruler, a Sovereign whose precepts are of primary concern. 

2.      That the morays, the ethos (the guiding principles, customs, characteristics) of our temporary residence are not that of our homeland.

                                                            iii.      As Exiles, (v.9) we belong not to this world but to God.

1.      We must foster the mindset of an exile.

a.       We do not assume that what the media declares as necessary in beneficial to the soul.

b.      That the priorities, values and strategies of business are beneficial to the soul.

c.       We do not assume that any of the mandates of this foreign land glorify and bring honor to our Sovereign and King.

                                                                                                                                       i.      When face w/ such issues we first look to our constitution (God’s Word) and do not rely on the conventional wisdom of the age.

                                                                                                                                     ii.      We get our bearings not from advertisers, Hollywood, Starbucks etc but from God’s Word.

b.      Warfare

                                                               i.      As an alien, abstain from all that seek to destroy the soul

                                                             ii.      Warfare is the picture and the battle is for the human soul. 

1.      In this world there is a battle for your soul. 

                                                            iii.      Winners and Losers

1.      In war there are winners and losers, the outcome alters one’s life

a.       Losers.  Live under the authority of another, their laws, systems etc.

b.      Winners: Have autonomy over former enemies. Those who sought your destruction are rendered powerless.

2.      There is a war being waged in this world for the soul. 

a.       Many consider this unimportant:  But Jesus gave the soul the highest value

                                                                                                                                       i.      Matthew 16:26

                                                                                                                                     ii.      To lose the battle of the soul is to lose all.

c.       Weapons of warfare

                                                               i.      That which battles against the soul are fleshly lusts.

1.      Indigenous passions:

a.       As foreigners we are placed in an environment where indigenous forces often conflict. 

b.      Abstain: Lit, keep at a distance.

2.      Lusts:  Not limited to the sensual.

a.       Disciplined that worldly passions do not have victory

                                                                                                                                       i.      To speak unkindly of others, to be selfish, seek revenge etc.  To desire the ideals of the world over the riches of the Kingdom.

                                                             ii.      The Christian Arsenal

1.      Not putting oneself in a vulnerable position.

2.      Developing a passion for God that is greater than a passion for the things of the world.

III.               The Glory of God.

a.       Peter has described a battle against internal desires, he now moves into the realm of external behavior. Doing good deeds.

b.      Ones conduct should be honorable among those in the country which we serve as ambassadors.

                                                               i.      The main focus is that God be glorified.

c.       The glory of God

                                                               i.      Our behavior is to be such that our King is held in high regard. 

1.      To influence others to esteem God.

d.      The Environment

                                                               i.      The environment where our God glorifying behavior takes place is hostile.

1.      Not surprising:  Foreigners are often distrusted.  Viewed w/ suspicion.

                                                             ii.      There will be hateful accusations. 

1.      Slanderous words:  A false charge, misrepresentations to damage another.

a.       By definition is untrue.

2.      Let your behavior be such that all negative speech towards you is slander, i.e. untrue.

a.       Do not provide the ammunition for others to shoot you.

                                                                                                                                       i.      Hypocrisy, gossips, jealous etc.

e.       Beautiful People

                                                               i.      Our conduct is to be honorable, beautiful.

1.      People are attracted to things of beauty. 

a.       Painting.

                                                             ii.      As they witness beauty in our behavior they glorify God or hold Him in high regard. 

1.      Many do not want to see that Christ has the power to change a life, but as they see your behavior they cannot escape the fact that He in fact does.

                                                            iii.      When they see your priorities are directed to something other than self promotion

1.      An inner strength and confidence even in earth shattering events, hope in darkness, giving when attaining would seem to be the norm. 

2.      Not enslaved by worldly comforts, more blessed to give than receive, not dreaming of bigger salaries, greater vacations but how to make the name of God beautiful.

3.      Such behavior transforms a hostile environment into a God honoring one.

IV.              Conclusion

a.       God has formed a people for Himself that they might spread His reputation and promote His renown

                                                               i.      This is achieved internally by keeping oneself from all that attempts to kill the soul and by externally being a person who brings honor to the King. 

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