- As you pray for your study today, ask God to use His Word in your life as the writer of Hebrews prayed in Hebrews 13:20-21: “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
- Read 1 Peter 2:11-12
- In 1 Peter 2:11, Peter returns to calling Christians “sojourners and exiles.” In this verse, he connects their status as “exiles” with a moral life they are to live. What is the connection between their status as sojourners and their conduct?
- Peter talks about the “passions of the flesh that wage war against your soul.” This is an indication that even after a person comes to faith in Christ, there are sins that still tempt them. What are some “passions of the flesh” that are especially tempting to you right now?
- Peter indicates that these “passions of the flesh wage war AGAINST your soul.” Even though the passions of the flesh are appealing to us, they ultimately seek to destroy us, not help us. How have you seen this to be true in your life? Has there ever been a time when sinning looked fun or attractive, but after you did it, you realized that the sin was bad for you (waging war against you)?
- STUDY NOTE: In 64 AD, the Roman Emperor Nero slandered Christians, wrongly accusing them of setting fire to the city of Rome. This false accusation was used by Nero to then start an Empire wide persecution of Christians. Scholars debate the exact date of the book of 1 Peter, but most scholars date the book either just before or just after Nero’s slanderous decree in 64. This historical event is very important to understanding 1 Peter 2:12. Peter was either preparing Christians KNOWINGLY for the persecution that was to come (i.e. he had already heard of Nero’s insanity), OR God was preparing Christians for this coming persecution through Peter, even if Peter did not yet know what Nero was getting ready to do (i.e. the letter was written just before Nero’s outburst). Either way, the historical context of this letter shows God’s immediate care and counsel for His people. The direction God gives Christians here is still valid and applicable today as Christians live life in society.
- Christians are to have an influence in the world around them for Jesus. One of the ways this happens is by living exemplary lives that keep non-Christians from being able to lampoon Christian’s immorality or justify their mistreatment. Can you think of any examples biblically or historically when God used the righteous lifestyle of one of His followers to help convince a pagan that God was real and worthy of worship?
- Is there anything God is leading YOU to do in response to 1 Peter 2:11-12 so that the non-Christians around you might glorify God as they see God’s work through your ethics and life?
To access the entire “True Grace” study of 1 Peter, click here.