Ministry Resources

First Peter: Validate the Message

In the last article, we talked for a few minutes about the Apostle Peter’s desire for us to grow closer to God.

Peter told us that while it is true that we were once people from different backgrounds, now we are part of the same people group, those who belong to Jesus and even more, we are now part of a holy priesthood.

Peter identified five actions that mark us as God’s Chosen Priesthood:

  1. We rid ourselves of destructive behaviors.
  2. We crave God’s Word.
  3. We build on Christ, the one the world rejected.
  4. We tell others about Jesus.
  5. We live in the blessing of God’s mercies.

Today, we’re going to talk for a few minutes about how our actions can validate the message we have been given to those who do not yet know God.

Peter continues his teaching and urges us this way:

1Peter 2:11: Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

1Peter 2:12: Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

As you can see, we carry quite a responsibility. We are the ones that people will look at to determine whether or not Jesus is who He says that He is. Peter encourages us to live in a way that enables us to carry the report about Jesus without compromise. First, he tells us what we must shrug off and then he tells us how we should conduct ourselves. It’s a big responsibility to be God’s messengers. It’s a great privilege to carry His report. Let’s look at each verse individually:

Because Jesus Christ bought us with a price and adopted into a His family, we cannot relate to the world the same way we once did. Peter uses the example of sojourners and exiles. Think about that for a moment. Sojourners are people who are on their way to a specific destination. They do not try to become established in every place they stop. Instead, they keep the final destination in mind.

For us, that means that we should live in a way that makes it easy to move on.

Peter calls us exiles. That means that we were uprooted from our homes and that we now view each place that we rest our heads as a refuge, not a home. Some people use the term “Pilgrim” to describe this.

Then Peter goes on to say that as believers we should abstain from the passions of the flesh that wage war against your soul. When we allow ourselves to desire things more than God, we lose our ability to continue our journey. We can easily become loaded down with the things that the world says will please us and lose the very thing we have desired most, fellowship with God.

It is a stern warning for us to avoid becoming attached to the things in the world which ensnare people. Peter rephrases his encouragement more positively when he wrote:

“Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

If we are truly part of a new family, we will live in a new way. We can present Christ to those who do not know Him and entice them to listen because we are not driven by the same things that drive other people. Our motivation is sharing the good report we have been given, not making a name for ourselves.

When we promote Christ above ourselves, people respond to the message we bring. Our good actions will bring others to discover the same faith that changed us. That’s important, because there is a day coming when people will not have the opportunity to change their minds and follow Christ. So, we urgently communicate the truth that we found so that others can discover that truth for themselves.

Let me ask you a very personal question.

Have you allowed your love for the things this world offers to dampen your faith in Christ? Have you become just a bit too comfortable getting something more, something a little “better” and not seeking the things that are best?

The Apostle Peter was sounding an alarm that many Christians never heed. He was cautioning us against becoming too comfortable in a world that is not our home, it is not our final destination, it is not the best thing we can strive for. Instead, Peter challenges us to become faithful messengers who can carry the report of Jesus Christ to the lost and dying around us.

In closing, I encourage you to make a decision to hold lightly to the things this world offers and cling tightly to the message of Jesus Christ. It will be a life changing decision for you and for those around you who need Him too!

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