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This week we continue our series titled “Standing firm under stress” the messages will come from Peter’s first epistle.

Peter knew what it meant to be under pressure, and he wrote to people who were under the pressure of persecution. 

His book speaks to the personal needs of God’s people today.

Today we are talking about The Christian Pilgrim

The Christian Pilgrim.

Text

1 Peter 2:11-12 (AMP)

11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges [those dishonorable desires] that wage war against the soul. 

12 Keep your behavior excellent among the [unsaved] Gentiles [conduct yourself honorably, with graciousness and integrity], so that for whatever reason they may slander you as evildoers, yet by observing your good deeds they may [instead come to] glorify God in the day of visitation [when He looks upon them with mercy].

Scripture Reading.

1 Peter 2:11 – 1 Peter 3:12

Introduction 

Christians are to be in the world but not of it.

Jesus refused to pray that His disciples should be removed from the world.

John 17:15 (AMP)

15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but that You keep them and protect them from the evil one.

The world needs Christians look at Matthew 5:13-16, and the Christian probably needs the world.

Peter addressed his Christian readers as “strangers and pilgrims.”

  1. The nature of the pilgrimage.
  1. Pilgrims are citizens of heaven.

Philippians 3:20 (AMP)

20 But [we are different, because] our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await [the coming of] the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

As citizens of the kingdom of heaven, the pilgrims are are subject to the King.

They are exhorted to live in this temporary abode in accord to the will of the Lord of their eternal home (Hebrews 11:8-10, 30-16)

For this cause they will abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul, we are told in 1 Peter 2:11.

B. Pilgrims are witnesses.

They seek to get others to join them in the Christian journey.

Peter exhorted believers in 1 Peter 2:12 (AMP)

12 Keep your behavior excellent among the [unsaved] Gentiles [conduct yourself honorably, with graciousness and integrity], so that for whatever reason they may slander you as evildoers, yet by observing your good deeds they may [instead come to] glorify God in the day of visitation [when He looks upon them with mercy].

2. The pilgrims responsibility.

  1. Civic Responsibilities (1 Peter 2:13-17)
  1. It is in accord with God’s will that civil governments exist.

The purpose of government we are told in verse 14 is “to bring punishment to those who do wrong, and to praise and encourage those who do right.”

2. Christians are not anarchists.

They are to submit to the civil authorities as part of their duty to God.

“Submit” is a military metaphor that pictures an army arranging itself in proper order for battle.

All of the soldiers cannot be generals if the army is to accomplish its purpose.

3. Peter’s general admonition, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake,” must be tempered by what Peter did.

When the authorities over stepped the bounds of God’s will for civil government and charged Peter and John not to speak at all or teach in the name of Jesus, they answered, in Acts 4:19-20 (AMP)

19 But Peter and John replied to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you and obey you rather than God, you must judge [for yourselves]; 

20 for we, on our part, cannot stop telling [people] about what we have seen and heard.”

Jesus’ great affirmation in Matthew 22:21, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Indicates that duties to God and duties to government ought not to conflict with each other.

When government oversteps its bounds, then Christians must obey God.

B. Master and slave relationships (1 Peter 2:18-25)

Peter did not seem to question the institution of human slavery, nor did other Christians for many centuries.

Today here in Australia and in countries around the world, Christians are on the front lines in the fight against sex slavery and human trafficking, the modern day forms of slavery.

Commanding a slave to suffer a bad master is quite different from suffering for Jesus’ sake or for righteousness’ sake as commanded in Matthew 5:10-12.

C. Home relationships (1Peter 3:1-7)

In the Hebrew world, the patriarchal family was not questioned.

Perter did not question it.

Within the system he suggests:

  1. Wives can win their husbands to Christ by a good example in verse 1.

2. Beauty of character is more important than outward beauty in verse 4.

3. Husbands have a Christian obligation to be kind to their wives in verse 7.

4. Peter acknowledged that both the husband and the wife are equal spiritually in God’s sight as “heirs together in the grace of life” (verse 7)

The teaching of Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6, outing with approval Genesis 2:24, and His advocacy of the single standard in John 8:1-11, leads us to believe that His will is that both men and women be considered as equals and full partners in the home.

Conclusion.

Our pilgrimage is important.

In it we prepare for heaven.

In it we influence others.

The example and teaching of Christ are our guide, and His will is love, Matthew 22:35-40(AMP)

35 One of them, a lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law], asked Jesus a question, to test Him: 

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 

37 And Jesus replied to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 

38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 

39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ 

40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

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