Fleshly lusts, suffering and honoring God
The Apostle Peter starts out by calling Christians strangers and pilgrims which is another way of saying that we are just passing through this world because it is not our temporary home. There was obvious a veiled message to tell us as believers in Jesus Christ to not get to attached to our lives. Obeying God and being holy before Him with one eye towards our real home which is heaven. There are some unbelievers that do not hold very tightly to this world but they do not care about God.
Then Peter goes straight to the point regarding the sin that destroys so many people and he writes abstain from fleshly lusts because they war against the soul. I can no believe the stats of people over hear that watch porn and other related things but it is common practice among many Americans. There is nothing quite like obeying God and living holy before Jesus Christ. There is something about a clear conscience before God which involves small, big, unknown and willful sin / sins. Just like the Bible says do not let the sun go down on your anger before you go to bed the same rule applies to all these types of transgressions. This requires us to be on guard all the time because we are always being temped; therefore, we should consistently be repenting of our sins to God through His Son Jesus Christ. The more specific we get before the mercy seat usually the more sincere we become in the presence of the Holy Spirit. I confess my known and unknown sins and ask God to bring many truths I do not understand to my attention. The Apostle Peter talks about fleshly lusts and trust me if one keeps doing this as a lifestyle the Bible says this will destroy our souls. It is just the opposite of holiness and obedience.
Peter tells us to let our conversation be honest if someone speaks about you as an evildoer. He also writes obey the law but for the reason of this lifestyle being for the Lord’s sake. This is the will of God so with our well doing we may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. There is the law of God and the law of men. In the latter (the law of men) we are supposed to try and follow the rules if it is not a sin against God.
The Apostle Peter explains that we as Christians have liberty in life (some more than others) but we are not to use this as a cloak of maliciousness but as servants of God. Peter also writes honor all men which is another way of saying give people respect. Love our brother but fear God. If you are a Christian this is a reverential fear because Jesus Christ is the Most High. He is the Creator of the universe, the Lamb of God and judge. This should cause us to shake a little because God is God and we are not.
Peter says be subject to your masters / bosses with all fear which is another expression for respect but not only to the good and gentle but also to the froward or unreasonable person. There a a lot of people like this but as Peter says this is thankworthy if a person for conscience toward God endue grief and suffer wrongfully. It is one thing to be buffeted for our faults but it is another thing entirely if we do well and suffer for it by taking it patiently because this is acceptable with God. We as Christians were called into the kingdom of God because Jesus Christ suffered for us and He is our example that we will follow His steps. Let me quote the original text so you can read it and perhaps make reference to the passage if need be in this particular study of the Bible.
(11) “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; (12) Having your conversation honest among the Gen’tiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may be your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (13) Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the King, as supreme; (14) Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. (15) For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: (16) As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. (17) Honor all men. Love the broth - hood. Fear God. Honor the King. (18) Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. (19) For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endue grief, suffering wrongfully. (20) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:” 1 Peter 2: 11 – 21.
The Apostle Peter warns us about fleshly lusts. On the one hand he knew the difficultly in abstaining from these sins but on the other hand he understood the importance of our duty to be on guard day and night. Before we go to bed we should pray that God keeps us pure. Specific requests are very dear to Jesus Christ. The Apostle had a strong interest in them because he writes dearly beloved I beseech you. As far as the fleshly lusts Peter was saying it is our duty to stay away from this transgression. The people that Peter was writing to had a strong respect for God with the exception of some problems so he was able to say dearly beloved. There is something about two pure Christians getting together and fellowshipping with each other as dearly beloved.
The Apostle Peter explains our condition in the world. We are strangers and pilgrims but this ties in with his theme regarding fleshly lusts because we should not give in to this sin in our passage through life. This transgression wars against the soul and none is more injurious to our hearts than fleshly lusts. God does not want us injured with sin He desires us obedient and holy before Him.
Peter exhorts them to an honest conversation. They lived among the Gentiles and they were the enemies of these believers in Jesus Christ and spoke of them as evil – doers. What the Apostle was saying is a good conversation may silence their words and perhaps bring glory to God. They may even turn to you and when seeing our good works ask you questions. If this becomes the case then just say not I but Christ within me. Good conversation will encourage but the wrath of man will not produce the righteousness of God.
Peter then says we are not only to be Godly on a personal level but honest with the law. Our duty is submission as long as it is not sin against God. The reason we are to obey the law of God and the law of man is because it is for the Lord’s sake who has ordained magistracy for the good of mankind. The law is supposed to punish evil – doers and to praise / encourage those that are obeying the law. Many times the law remains silent to the obedient so in a case like this just let your peace return back to you. The reason why Christians should endeavor in all our relations to behave him or herself to the highest Godly standards is is to put to silence the unreasonable reproaches of the ignorant / foolish people that are judging other people with less than reasonable standards. Most believers in Jesus Christ have meant these people and it is not easy to respond back in a Godly way but a soft answer does turn away wrath.
When the Apostle Paul explained the spiritual nature of Christians he was saying they were free spiritually. We are still commanded to obey the law of God and try not to sin but if there are transgressions in our life we should always repent. I find myself confessing my sins more than once a day. Not only are we supposed to try and obey the law of God but also the laws of our government as long as it is not sin. In fact if we are believers in Jesus Christ this should prompt us to have true obedience in our hearts toward Jesus Christ. We are free in Christ but this should motivate us to be very careful not to abuse our Christian liberty because bondage will come into our life.
The Apostle Peter lays out four biblical precepts. The first is to honor all men. Rich or poor but the wicked running our government should be respected not because they are evil but for the reason of conforming to the law because of other qualities they may possess. The second is love our brother in Christ because the Bible writes on repeated occasions to engage in this practice. The third is to fear God with the highest reverence. If this is not present the other three biblical principles will not be able to be applied in our daily lives. The forth is to try and obey the earthy governors. Our Christian liberty does set us free from an evil world. We should not only be subject to the good and gentle but also to the evil and perverse. We as believers in Jesus Christ are bound to do our Christian duty but usually it is in the earthy presence of evil in this world. If we are Christians and in charge we should be meek and gentle.
The Apostle Peter reasons with his audience that if they suffered unjustly they should be patient under their hardships because this is acceptable to God. We need to glorify God in the middle of our difficult circumstances. These types of sufferers are praiseworthy, honor God and are accepted in Jesus Christ. On the contrary if we deserve the suffering we still are commanded by God to endure with patience. We should respond this way because of the example of Jesus Christ. We were called to suffering, should expect it and deny ourselves and take up our cross. Jesus Christ suffered for us so we should be willing to submit to the light afflictions of our life and yes there will be an award for us in heaven.
If you would like to know the Lamb of God now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. There is suffering and evil in this world but we should always pray that we are victorious in Jesus Christ which includes abstaining from fleshly lusts. If you just made that all important eternal decision you made the right choice.
God Bless you,
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