04 Our Christ-Like Submission – 1 Pet 2:11-25 – Study NotesFireproof Faith
04 Our Christ-Like Submission 1 Pet 2:11-25
How are Jesus’ followers to make the greatest possible impact in a lost, dark, dying world? Is it by resisting authority, instigating arguments, or declaring war? Is it by blending in, compromising, and accepting cultural norms in order to attract the lost? No! Rather, it is by excellent, Christ-like behavior, with good deeds that even pagans must notice. That behavior includes submission, placing ourselves under authority, and responding to mistreatment even as Jesus did.
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Questions to consider as we begin …
How can Christians draw their pagan neighbors to God and silence their critics?
If the king (or boss) is not godly, why should we respect and submit to him?
Should we obey rulers if they command us to sin? Discuss.
Is it God’s will that we scorn and ridicule government leaders? Why or why not?
Why should a Christian slave respectfully submit to a harsh master?
How does unjust suffering give us an opportunity to follow in Jesus’ steps?
What redemptive purpose did Christ accomplish by not retaliating?
How could our response to fiery trials help bring others to salvation?
2:11-12 Excellent Behavior
1 Pe 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
We are “beloved” of God. How does that assurance drive us?
In what sense are we aliens and strangers? How does that help?
See this post on the blog: A CASE FOR ABSTINENCE.
What war? What are the “fleshly lusts” from which we must abstain?
How can we refute and overcome the criticism of unbelievers?
Mt 5:13-16 “Let your light so shine …” Ph 2:14-16; 1 Pe 4:4-5.
Day of visitation = Day of Judgment? Why will they glorify God?
2:13-17 Submission to Civil Authorities
1 Pe 2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
For whose sake do we submit to human government?
Read Rom 13:1-7. Note 13:4 calls the ruler a “minister of God.”
What if the ruler is Nero? What if your life is threatened?
What limits are there to such submission? Ac 4:19-20; 5:27-29.
Christians did not submit to calling Caesar “Lord!”
Generally, government punishes the evil and rewards the good.
Don’t do evil, defy the law as a criminal, and shame the Lord!
1 Pe 2:15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
“What is God’s will for my life?” Here it is! Just keep doing right.
When you do God’s general will, He’ll work things out. Prov 3:5-6.
Righteous living often silences critics of the gospel.
Ignorance – term implies willful rejection of knowledge. Rom 1:19ff.
Do not give credibility to foolish men who attack the gospel!
Leave them with nothing to say legitimately against God!
Ro 12:17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
1 Pe 2:16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
Freedom from slavery to sin, guilt, and condemnation. Jn 8:31-36.
Free, not to cover evil, but to reject it and serve God. Gal 5:1, 13.
Bondslaves of God – ultimate submission that prompts all others.
Slaves of … Rom 6:16 (obedience), 18 (righteousness) 22 (God).
Honor to all and to the king. Reverent fear to God.
Brotherhood – the relationship we share with sister congregations.
Autonomous congregations, in loving unity with others.
2:18-20 Submission to Masters
1 Pe 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
This sounds hard and harsh to some today. Why?
Does Peter endorse harsh slavery … or help slaves persevere?
If Christian slaves submitted only to gentle masters, how would they be any different from the world? Mt 5:46-48; 1 Tim 6:1; Tit 2:9-14.
Does the NT also instruct Christian masters? Eph 6:9; Col 4:1.
In what circumstances does one find favor with God?
1 Pe 2:20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
No credit when patiently suffering for doing wrong. 1 Pe 4:15-16
Great reward when patiently suffering for doing right. Matt 5:11-12
We do not choose suffering. We choose our response to it.
Each injustice is an opportunity to find favor with God!
When we patiently endure mistreatment, we receive His blessing!
2:21-25 Submission Like Christ
1 Pe 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH;* 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously …
*The NASU translation uses all caps for OT citations. Read Isa 53.
Have we been called – to suffer unfairly? Phil 1:29; 2 Tim 3:12.
Did Christ suffer to keep us from suffering … or to show us how?
Is it possible for mortal man to walk as the God-Man did? 1 Jn 2:6
Read Isa 53. What’s the irony? His innocence. His being reviled. His not retaliating or threatening. What He chose (and we must choose) instead: trust in the Righteous Judge! How did / will that work out?
1 Pe 2:24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
Various aspects and effects of the atonement. God. Man. Satan.
First: its effect on God – substitution, propitiation. Our <<>> His.
Second: its effect on us – redemption, justification, sanctification.
He died for sin that we might die to sin. 2 Cor 5:14-15.
“Healed” of the wounds of sin. No guarantee of physical health.
“All we like sheep …” Isa 53:6.
The Good Shepherd – John 10. Head Overseer – watching over us.
Written by Cory Collins
Cory Collins is a Bible teacher and a minister of the gospel. He serves with Keller church of Christ in Keller, Texas. He and his wife, Tanya, have been married since 1977. They have two children and two grandchildren.