Summary of 1 Peter 2:11-25:
We are aliens and strangers in this world. Abstain from sinful desires and live such good lives that the pagans will glorify God.
Peter says to submit ourselves to every authority instituted among men who are sent by him (God) to punish those who do wrong and commend those who do right. And doing good will silence the ignorant. Live as servants of God and do not use freedom as an excuse to do wrongs. Respect everyone; love believers; fear God; honor authority.
Slaves submit yourselves to your masters whether good or bad. It is commendable if you endure under unjust suffering because you are conscious of God to which you were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving the example. Christ never retaliated or made threats. Instead, he trusted God. He died so that we may die to sin and live for righteousness. By his wounds we have been healed.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 9, Day 5: 1 Peter 2:11-25
12) Part Personal Question. My answer: If you are walking in Christ’s footsteps, you are living every day as an alien and stranger in this world for our home is in heaven, not on earth (see discussion HERE). We are God’s chosen people, separate from unbelievers, set aside for eternity. The Holy Spirit lives within us; therefore, we are different and our lives should reflect that. We live according to God, not others. Thus, we should live in every way as an alien and a stranger. The challenge for us is to be holy in a non-holy world.
13) The same it looked years ago. Under unjust suffering, you do what Christ did: love his persecutors, forgive them, and suffer since you’re reward is in heaven and not here. Doing so, you will show the light of Christ to others.
14) Today I see little to no respect for authority or the government (and definitely nothing close to submission). Everything government related we grumble and complain. There is a vile undercurrent that pervades our attitude to government authority in today’s society that is sickening to watch and has made me give up all reading of the news. There is no respect for cops and elected officials. It’s sad.
15) Personal Question. My answer: Jesus did not retaliate or offer threats. He entrusted himself to God and set the example that when we suffer, we do so for God. Submission is something we should do as the Bible says. My view is largely unchanged.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 9, Day 5: 1 Peter 2:11-25
This whole lesson can be summarized as: do what Jesus would do.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 9, Day 5: 1 Peter 2:11-25
Sinful desires attack the soul.
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.
But over time, it was clear that Christians were not immoral people – and it was shown by their lives. The Gentiles might be persuaded to become Christians by seeing the lives of other Christians, and that they would glorify God when they meet Him instead of cowering before His holy judgment.
Submitting to Authority
As Christians we should be good citizens, submitting to government. This was very different from those zealous Jews in Peter’s day who recognized no king but God and paid taxes to no one except God.
Peter wrote this in the days of the Roman Empire, which was not a democracy and no special friend to Christians. Yet he still recognized the legitimate authority of the Roman government.
“The meaning of St. Peter appears to be this: the Jews thought it unlawful to obey any ruler that was not of their own stock; the apostle tells them that they should obey their civil magistrate, let him be of what stock he may, whether Jew or Gentile, and let him exercise the government in whatsoever form.” (Clarke)
God uses governing authorities as a check upon man’s sinful desires and tendencies. Governments are a useful tool in resisting the effects of man’s fallen nature. Based also on what Paul wrote in Romans 13, we can say that the greatest offense government can make is to fail to punish evildoers, or to reward evildoers through corruption.
Peter knew that our conduct is a way to defend the gospel. He knew that those who never read the Bible will read our lives, so it is by doing good that we put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Jesus is our example as someone who endured punishment unjustly. When He was reviled Jesus did not revile in return, but in His sufferings He committed Himself to the Father.
Peter clearly meant the cross of Jesus when he mentioned the tree (literally wood). Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the wood of the cross.
“He who bore my sins in his own body on the tree, took all my debts and paid them for me, and now I am dead to those debts; they have no power over me. I am dead to my sins; Christ suffered instead of me. I have nothing to do with them. They are gone as much as if they had never been committed.” (Spurgeon)
Peter quotes Isaiah 53:5, which primarily refers to spiritual healing but also includes physical healing. The provision for our healing (both physically and spiritually) is made by the sufferings (stripes) of Jesus. The physical aspect of our healing is received in part now, but completely with our resurrection.
If a master treats us unjustly, we should not fear whatever harm he causes. We can be healed and restored by Jesus’ suffering for us.