Acts + Letters Lesson 9 Day 5

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1 Peter 2:11-25


Peter encourages believers to live exemplary lives.

12. How we should live since we are a holy nation of kings and priests “alongside pagan people.” (Wuest NT)

Peter’s letter was written to those who had recently fled persecution in hopes of peace. Many of these people were finding themselves on the outer edges of society because of their faith in Jesus. Believers were being stereotyped as extremely strange, untrustworthy, and worse. If we consider the derogatory use of the N-word in our culture, we can better understand the kind of bigotry our brothers and sisters were facing at that time because they were called Christian. (Brian Hardin)

  • Abstain from fleshly lusts that war against our souls (not our born-again spirits. AWLC)
  • Conduct yourselves honorably, righteously. (vs. 12 AMPC)
  • Obey the governing authorities.

“The meaning of St. Peter appears to be this: the Jews thought it unlawful to obey any ruler that was not of their own stock; the apostle tells them that they should obey their civil magistrate, let him be of what stock he may, whether Jew or Gentile, and let him exercise the government in whatsoever form.” (Clarke via Enduring Word)

  • Treat everyone you meet with honor and respect.
  • Be loving toward other believers.
  • Fear God.
  • Honor the rulers.
  • If you are a servant (or employee), be a good one, whether your master or employer is kind or harsh.

My personal application

Take these verses to heart—

If therefore there is any exhortation [encouragement] in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassion, make my joy full by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind;  doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself; each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. Philippians 2:1-4 WEB

Pray and give thanks.

I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and givings of thanks be made for all men: for kings and all who are in high places, that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 WEB

One day last week, I spent the entire day with low-level-anxiety about many things. Holy Spirit gently instructed me, “pray instead of worrying as soon as a thought pops into your mind.”

This evening, a couple we haven’t seen for a while came to mind. My first thought was “look up their Facebook profile.” Again, Holy Spirit reminded me to pray instead.

How often have I missed a prompting to pray or yielded to the temptation to worry or satisfy my curiosity? This is a simple way to pray without ceasing instead of the typical worry without ceasing.

Work willingly and heartily

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 NLT

13. Jesus is our example as someone who endured punishment unjustly.

Depending on where we live, coworkers or family members may belittle us about our beliefs. In some countries, believers risk losing their lives if found with a portion of scripture.

Wherever we live, we should be considerate and fulfill our responsibilities the best we can.

Submission is an attitude. Obedience is an action. . .you can disobey people in authority and still be submitted to them.

When Peter disobeyed the rulers’ command not to teach in the name of Jesus anymore (Acts 4:18), he didn’t rebel at their authority. He didn’t go back to the believers and marshal a revolt or criticize their actions. Instead, the believers prayed for boldness regardless of what the rulers did (Acts 4:23-30). That’s submission without obedience.

We should never disobey God’s laws because of man’s laws. But in the process of doing what is right, we need to stay submitted to authority. Any form of government is superior to anarchy. See Exodus 1:17. (AWLC)

14. Current

In the US, the news media and the public at large slander and rail against government leaders, politicians, police officers, and teachers.

The Roman emperors in Peter’s time were openly wicked, yet Peter says be obedient and respectful.

“…the name Nero would become a byword for debauchery, misrule and anti-Christian persecution.” (

Nero murdered his mother, divorced his first wife so he could marry his second wife who was already pregnant, believed to have kicked that second wife to death during her second pregnancy, may have burned Rome so he could get credit for rebuilding it, blamed Christians for the fire, executed at least two of his rivals, “castrated a boy named Sporus to make him womanlike, and then married him in a traditional ceremony, which included a bridal veil and a dowry,” (according to the Roman historian and biographer Suetonius (circa A.D. 69). (Wikipedia)

15. My view of submission.

Because I suffered through 23 years in a verbally abusive marriage to a deacon, I’ve thought about the subject of submission. A lot. I didn’t defend myself or take part in screaming insults back at him because I thought it would be wrong and because I was afraid.

Fear of retaliation and pride kept me from telling anyone else until after he left. (I don’t recommend keeping it a secret. You need support.)

I wouldn’t wish my ordeal on anyone, but today I am thankful for those years of suffering because of the intimacy I have with Jesus.

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We take all scripture references from the public domain WEB translation unless we identify another source.

My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 9 Day 5