Our suffering, which we often can't explain, is meaningful precisely because suffering for righteousness is clearly meaningful to God's purposes.
Scripture: 1 Peter 2:11-25
This passage opens addressing the beloved people of God as to a bride, the holy nation.
In order to live as God’s holy nation, our hearts must embrace Jesus as Lord and we are to submit to all lawful authority.
Love is defined in Christ paying for our sins (1 Jn. 4:10).
Our relationship to God as His holy people now shapes and governs all our other relationships.
We’re commanded to live obediently to ensure that glory will be given to God, both in our lives and by unbelievers.
Giving glory is not an emotional response. God receives glory when His creatures acknowledge His Lordship, even if it is in judgment (Phil. 2:10-11).
The day of visitation mentioned in verse 12 is that of the general coming of Christ.
Giving honour to God is made difficult because of the opposition we inevitably face: “when they speak against you as evildoers.”
Speaking the truth in love does not mean pleasant words.
Love is to acquaint people with the truth and reality about God’s world, no matter how offensive the truth may be.
Having purified our souls by the obedience to the truth (1 Pe. 1:22) we’re ready to stand firm for God’s truth.
God will bless you when you take a stand for Him at great personal cost.
Abstaining from the ‘passions of the flesh’ (1 Pe. 1:15; 2:11) isn’t a reference to living a disembodied existence; it is calling us to renounce all earthly desires that oppose God’s reign. ‘Flesh’ is not a bodily reference.
Our Spiritual worship is with our bodies (Rom. 12:1).
In those areas of our lives where we’ve been scarred in conflict, we may be specially prepared to stand for God.
The call to follow Jesus is for the present, not the future. We’re called to die to our fleshly selves.
We live as exiles in the world because we don’t belong to the world; we belong to heaven.
The desires of the world are contrary to the Spirit of God (Cf. Gal.5:17).
The Spirit of God floodlights Jesus Christ, enabling us to die to sin daily, as the battle rages on.
For the Lord’s sake we’re to live lawfully, honouring all authorities, even those that do not honor God; but we must not obey government when they the command what God forbids or forbid what God commands.
We’re to respect and honour our employers and masters.
We have been freed from slavery to sin, that we may be free to serve and worship the Lord Jesus (Ro. 6:16-18).
God has called us to the vocation of suffering for the sake of righteousness, though we often don’t know God’s reasons for it.
The Lord’s suffering is not incidental to His work. It is what brought us back from death to life.
Our suffering, which we often can’t explain, is meaningful precisely because suffering for righteousness is clearly meaningful to God’s purposes. The cross proves that.
Describe the role of suffering in our vocation as Christians.
Why do we inevitably face opposition from the world?
What does it mean to speak the truth in love?
Outline the Christian’s obligation to the civil government.
Outline the Christian’s obligation to masters or employers.
How does confidence in God’s sovereignty help us to endure suffering patiently? Give examples from history.