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Kingdom Citizens

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1 PETER 2:13-25

I.                    Introduction.

a.       A most difficult topic: Submitting

                                                               i.      We have our freedoms, rights, choose our own course, bel in ou/s etc.

                                                             ii.      A primary reason many reject the gracious offer of Jesus?

                                                            iii.      Yet ironically we do this everyday. 

b.      Layers of authority

                                                               i.      Various authority structures in our lives (school, church, work, citizen)

1.      In such structures those in authority may lack wisdom, discretion, prudence, foresight.

2.      Often in these spheres of influence conditions are less than ideal.

3.      How do we live to God under such influences, especially when we disagree w/ them?  How do we live when we don’t like the rules?

c.       A major component of Christian living and an important issue in the NT.

                                                               i.      Jesus submitted to his parents, we are to submit to one another, church to Christ, etc.

d.      An uncomfortable topic:  One that we naturally resist.

                                                               i.      What does it mean to be a God centered person in a pagan culture?

1.      Our aim in life is to live to Him.  This text explains how our socio-political lives are put into relationship w/ God.

II.                 Submit

a.       To governing authorities.

                                                               i.      As ambassadors, pilgrims living on foreign soil it is our primary responsibility to promote our King as one of worthy of esteem, honorable.

                                                             ii.      We submit for the Lord’s sake.  Because of the Lord.

1.      These authorities do not stand-alone.  The exist by God’s permission.

2.      There is submission that is not for the Lord

a.       Fear of getting caught, docile temperament.

                                                            iii.      Purpose:  It is God’s will and means of silencing fools.

1.      Many considered Christians insurrectionists, rebels because they were said to serve another King, not Caesar.

2.      Don’t allow your freedom to be a cloak for evil.

a.       Freedom does not mean being unbound by earthly laws.

                                                           iv.      Exceptions?

1.      When govt. laws directly conflict w/ laws of heaven

a.       Preaching the gospel, serving God, reading Bible.

b.      Slaves to Masters.

                                                               i.      The general idea of submitting is renouncing one’s own will for the sake of another.  Giving preference.

                                                             ii.      The exhortation is given not because Christianity endorses slavery but because this was a social reality that Christians were in no position to alter.

1.      How do you live to God in this difficult situation

2.      Submitting takes on a new role.  Your legal position remains unchanged but your relationship is altered.

                                                            iii.      The picture:  the Christian is in an oppressive environment that cannot be easily changed, how does he live to God?

1.      How is God involved in the worst moment of your life?

2.      Slaves were often tempted to deceit and guile.  But Peter points them to look to the Lord and strive to copy His innocence.

                                                           iv.      One’s relationship to Christ does not provide the right to rebel against one’s superior.

1.      Do not have the right to join into the office gossip.

                                                             v.      Suffering for righteousness sake finds favor w/ God.

III.               Christ Died for our Sins.

a.       To this you were called.

                                                               i.      You were called to live like Christ. 

b.      3 Statements and 3 purpose clauses.

                                                               i.      #1.  Christ suffered for you…so that you might follow in His footsteps.

1.      He suffered unto death for us, on our behalf that we should follow in His footsteps.

2.      The footsteps of Christ lead to a cross

a.       But the cross leads to glory. There is no glory w/o a cross

b.      It is God’s purpose to glorify you w/ His Son and the path to such a goal is a cross.

                                                             ii.      #2.  He bore our sins on the cross so that we might live to righteousness.

1.      He bore our sins.  He was bearing our sins so we did not have to.

a.       This was a substitution.

2.      This thought is the same as the previous but expands on it.

a.       #1 he did suffered as an example. 

                                                                                                                                       i.      Relates to our conduct in this society

b.      #2 Jesus was more than just an example.  His death actually accomplished something.

                                                                                                                                       i.      All of our sins, the public and the private have been lifted from me, borne by the sinless Son of God in His body that I might no longer be imprisoned by them.

                                                                                                                                     ii.      I carry them no more.  Not only are they removed but the consequences as well.  There no longer is guilt for my past actions.

c.       We do not have to carry our sins any longer.  Set them down.

                                                                                                                                       i.      When Satan comes and reminds you of your past, look to this verse.

3.      Purpose Clause

a.       That we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

                                                                                                                                       i.      The sufferings of Christ are the means by which God desires to make us righteous.

                                                                                                                                     ii.      The sufferings of Christ not only liberate us from the guilt of sin but free us from the enslaving power of sin

1.      By His sufferings you are empowered to live like Him.

b.      A gross cosmic injustice if God simply bore our sins.

                                                                                                                                       i.      And you were still enslaved to the power of sin.

                                                            iii.      #3. By His wounds you were healed.

1.      This is speaking of salvation.  Peter is not referring to physical healing.

2.      What Jesus did actually accomplished something.

a.       This does not refer to potential but to a reality.

b.      Healing from sins destruction is not simply offered but is actually effected.

                                                                                                                                       i.      His wounds achieved God’s design.  Namely salvation.

3.      Purpose Clause.  For we were always straying like sheep but now we have been returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls. 

a.       Here is the healing.  Why did you need healing?  Because you were always straying like sheep.

                                                                                                                                       i.      Sheep desperately need a shepherd.

b.      So Christ died so that straying sheep might be brought home to green pastures of the Good Shepherd.

IV.              Conclusion

a.       Peter begins w/ instructions on how we might bring honor to our King in this neo-pagan society.

b.      He concludes w/ one of the most powerful statements regarding the example of Jesus and what it means to us.

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