Strangers & Pilgrims

1 Peter 2:11-12 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; (12) Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

We are in a strange house and live in a strange country. It is foreign to us, its ways strange and while we dwell here, we are to act as ambassadors for our native land. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and just as an ambassador to the United States from a foreign land would obey the rules of the land, he knows he is also a representative of his homeland, we are representative of ours.

A reason why we ought to live holy, that is, because we are citizens of heaven, and therefore we ought to live not according to the laws of this world, which is most corrupt, but of the heavenly city, although we are strangers in the world. The pagans by whom you are surrounded, and who will certainly observe your conduct. “That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without.

Why? that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Glorify God – Honor God; that is, that they may be convinced by your conduct of the pure and holy nature of that religion which he has revealed, and be led also to love and worship him.

I remember reading a story, I believe it was told by John R. Rice, the founder of First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX, on how he got on a bus and the driver gave him the incorrect change, 10 cents too much. As he wondered how he should handle it, he came to his stop to get off. As he got off he gave the driver the dime back and said: you gave me too much change. The driver replied, “I know. You are that Pastor at the new church downtown and I wanted to see what you would do with it.” After he got off the bus, he thought, “My God, I almost sent a man to hell for a dime!”

What Does This Mean to Me?

Be ye holy for I AM holy says the Lord to us.The sufferings will come, the storms will rage, the winds will blow. As Dr. Bob Jones Sr. use to say: “do right if the stars fall!”

I cannot control what people may say or do towards me, I can only control my reaction to them. If I allow them to control that, the devil wins. God loses the glory in my life. And only by His grace can I hope to live the holy life He has called me to. Faithful is He who called you who will also do it (1 Thess. 5:24) but He will not override our free will.

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Excerpt from The Series Suffering Saints, A Study in First Peter: Strangers & Pilgrims | Listen to Sermon

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