Justice

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:18-25 (day two) …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…vs. 23

For most of us our sense of justice has a ring of the old covenant to it. We feel that if someone wrongs us, there should be some retribution. Mentally, we feel there needs to be accountability, and often payback. That rings of ‘an eye for an eye’, doesn’t it? Let’s be clear there are offenses that require that kind of justice, but how often do those things occur? What is more likely to happen is that our pride is hurt and rather than deal with it we demand justice. Sometimes the offense is intentional, and we think the only way forward is that they get what’s coming to them. We operate like there is a cosmic scale of justice. We know Christ’s words on this subject, and they rarely call us to that kind of equality. Jesus’ words and example were that of extreme forbearance. Our prayer should be to take our eyes off the offender and focus them on Jesus.

Re:Verse Blog – 10/3/22

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:18-25 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through 1 Peter 2:18-25 in our Fall Re:Verse Series: “To Be Holy Like Jesus” A Study in 1 Peter.

Make War

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:11-17 (day seven)

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. vs 11

There is a war for your soul. Are you fighting? You may think you have built your walls up high enough that the enemy can’t get through. You may think the once a week fortification of your walls is enough, but if you are not engaging in the warfare, the enemy will eventually break down your wall.

We live in a hostile environment. Every day, the enemy is bombarding you with an array of attacks hoping one of them will find a weak point. Once that weak point is found, the attacks become harder to hold off. The constant bombardment creates cracks in the once strong wall and will eventually bring them down. So what will you do? Will you make war? Grab your Sword and Shield and fight back!

“Take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:16-17

Living Properly Amongst Neighbors

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:11-17 (day six)

One way to live properly amongst neighbors is to submit to all authority for the Lord’s sake. And Peter is talking about the Roman government no less. I suppose it was true back then too, but our political culture is full of the kind of rancor that honor’s no one, always resulting in fear and separation. What’s worse, is that it would seem “Christians” are just as prone to participate as anyone else. Peter says, this should not be.

The result of willful submission is that God is honored by your neighbors, maybe even by those with whom you vehemently disagree. When we live by a different standard than the rest of the world (like submitting to all authority), it would seem our honorable words and behavior give away our truer citizenship.

To put it more bluntly, people are more likely to see Jesus in us, and maybe, just maybe turn to him and away from the false hopes and promises of the world.

A God-shaped Life

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:11-17 (day five)  “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” Here you have it. The Christian life summed up. Wrapped up in one single verse – relationships, politics, faith, etc.  However, when I omit the previous verses as the context for this verse, I lose valuable perspective and instruction. This passage (and the scripture for that matter) is not an attempt at inserting God into our lives- an add in or add on.  No, rather the scriptures were inspired and written so that we might have a real and vibrant relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And, in and through our relationship with God we would use even the most secular parts of our lives to live in right relation to Him and for Him-with Him in view- with His influence and guidance. A God-shaped life.
“The aim of life—including our social and political life—is to live to God. To live with God in view. To live under his authority. To live on him like we live on air and food and water. To live for his good reputation.”- John Piper

True Freedom

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:11-17 (day four)

Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond slaves of God.” Verse 16

Free men…free from what?  Free from sin!  We were under the bondage of sin until Christ set us free.  Peter is admonishing us to not use our freedom for evil or personal gain.  It is not freedom to do as we please, it is freedom to obey God and to paint an accurate picture to the world of a sanctified life.

What kind of picture are you painting?  When people see your life, how would they describe it?  Where do you invest your time?  Would they say, “he loves sports,” or “she spends all her time traveling”?  Does your life cause people to glorify God because of your good deeds?  Is your behavior excellent before all men?  Freedom is a precious thing…let’s use it for God’s intended purpose.  The most free individual may be under the heaviest bondage on earth!

Rules

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:11-17 (day three)

“Abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles.”

Peter does not say this in order to unleash the behavior police. He tells us these things because fleshly lusts will degrade your ability to draw near to people with compassion and empathy. When your body’s appetites become your workaround for your own fear and pain, another person will become a means to an end for you. Like everyone else, your life harbors places of deep agony. The shortest of shortcuts to alleviate that distress is your body and the bodies of others. When you instead begin learning from Christ to address anguish through the pursuit of holy living, your life starts to heal, and you gain the energy to love people. The behavior police live by rules. The church lives by love.

Good Choices

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:11-17 (day two)

For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. vs. 15

It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing. Have you ever heard that? Peter is giving incredible common sense advice for us to live by, and when wedded to a faith-filled life it becomes invaluable. When sin enters our life we constantly battle hiding it, running from it, and making excuses for it. It is exhausting. Living a life of holiness will perplex the world, but it will be your armor against their foolishness. When you have nothing to hide from because of your good choices and righteous living, you gain a measure of protection. It doesn’t mean that you won’t face opposition, but you will have the assurance that you have been faithful. You are free to love, serve, and help those who don’t yet understand how you got there.

Re:Verse Blog – 9/26/22

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:11-17 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through 1 Peter 2:11-17 in our Fall Re:Verse Series: “To Be Holy Like Jesus” A Study in 1 Peter.

Royal Priesthood

Re:Verse passage – 1 Peter 2:1-10 (day seven)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nationa people for God’s own possession. vs 9a

If this language sounds familiar, then you are probably connecting it to Old Testament passages such as Deuteronomy 7:6. Peter is using this common language to explain to his listeners that the Church is the new Israel. Jesus’ work on the cross created a new nation, not by race, but by His blood. All those who believe in Him now have access to things that were previously exclusive to Israel. He even takes it a step further by saying that every single person in this new Kingdom is royalty and a priest. These two things were exclusive to only a few people in Israel and they were never the same person… until Jesus. Our Great High Priest is King.

What does that mean for the church today? Personally, you have direct access to God. You can speak with Him and approach Him with confidence. He wants and desires to spend time with you. As a result, when we come together, the things God has been empowering in each us individually can be corporately shared and encouraged. We each have a part to play in the growth of our church and The Church.