On the entrance to a shop in the ancient city of Sardis was inscribed in the marble, a cross. It seems that the business owner was a Christian and wanted people to know that. When Debbie and I were in Turkey visiting many cites of ancient Asian cities, like the seven cities of Revelation, we saw evidence of early Christian commitment.
As we saw in the previous passage, I Peter 2:9-10, we are sojourners with a purpose and that purpose is to proclaim the excellencies of God. Who else and what else can declare to the world how exceedingly great is the grace and mercy of God? Who can proclaim that God saves except those whom He "has called out of darkness and into his marvelous light"? We have singular privilege and responsibility to do just that! And in our passage today, Peter exhorts us to do that by the way we conduct ourselves in the world. Our conduct is to be counter-cultural, conforming to the Kingdom.
On one occasion when the great explorer/missionary David Livingtstone was on the Zambezi River expedition came upon 84 men, women and children who were being driven by slave traders to the slave markets on the coast. When Livingstone and his men set them free a young boy approached them and asked, "The others tied and starved us, you cut the ropes and tell us to eat; what sort of people are you? Where did you come from?'"
Read I Peter 2:11-12.
- Peter employs three terms to describe his readers. What are they and what truths are they intended to remind us of?
- How does one become a sojourner and exile? And what do these terms say about our past and present life in the world?
- What are we urged to do in verse 11?
- What are some "passions of the flesh"? (consider I Pet. 2:1; Eph. 4:17-32; Gal. 5:19-20)
- We live in a culture that tells us that feelings and desires are for the most part neutral. What does Peter's exhortation to us suggest about the truth about strong feelings and desires?
- What to the passions of our flesh do to us and how have you experienced that?
- What is the exhortation in verse 12?
- How do these two exhortation in verse 11 and 12 go together
- Why might non-believers speak against us as "evildoers"?
- What does Peter hope will be the outcome of our good conduct? (cf. Matt. 5:13-16)
- How do our good and God's glory come together in this passage and in our lives?
- In what way did the Lord address you in His Word today?
God be with you, and I hope to see you Sunday!
Jay Milbrandt, The Daring Heart of David Livingstone, (Nashville, TN: Nelson Publishers, 2014) p. 83.