Wednesday, 8 July 2020 1 Peter 2:13-25
"For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. " -1Peter2:21[NLT]
Peter was addressing the Church that was undergoing severe suffering, under the Roman Government. So naturally the question arose among them, how to respond to such unjust treatment. They were persecuted not for any kind of wrong or evils; instead for doing good! They wondered if it was God's will to subdue to these kind of cruelties by the authorities. In our key verse, Peter draws his conclusive remark by looking at the Cross of Calvary, where our Savior died for us leaving an example that we should follow His steps.
Peter combines two important thoughts to bring out the truth— 1. Christ suffered for you (Propitiation) 2. Example of Jesus Christ. Note that, we need to combine these two elements to get the real Christian. In the world we might have people either acknowledging Christ as their Savior but not following Him as an example; or there may be another group of people, who do not accept Jesus as their Savior, but following his example in mere outward form. According to the Bible, both are wrong. So it is of importance for the Christian life to combine these two truths.
Christ suffered for you: (Propitiation) 1 Peter 2:24[NRSV] says: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness…” The saving grace is purely hung on this truth that the sinless son of God suffered for our sins. So those who believe in this sacrificial death and suffering on our behalf by Christ, gets saved. Unless we are saved by this wonderful truth, any amount of following will be of no use.
Example of Jesus Christ: For the Christian, Jesus was not only to be limited as a propitiation for our sins; but also as an example for our renewed nature to follow. 1 Peter 2:23[AMP]: “While being reviled and insulted, He did not revile or insult in return; while suffering, He made no threats [of vengeance], but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges fairly.” The true Christian faith carries the spirit of Jesus Christ. By the influence of this Spirit of love, we naturally choose to suffer even in the midst of persecution. This influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, gives us the strength to carry on even when we are ridiculed, set aside or hated. The reason we suffer is to carry on the same example of Christ in this world to fulfill His command to reach out to the lost.
As a Christian, how is your response to difficulties and unjust behaviour against you in a more and more hostile world? Are you following the example of Christ? If not, once again look to the Cross. Instead of reacting to the situation in a human way; you will be encouraged to follow the way of the Lamb of God, who did not open His mouth, when he was reviled or nailed to the cross and suffered. Hebrews 12:3 [NLT] encourages us: “Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” His example is the best to follow.
All through the church history we can see martyrs, who gave their lives not for being evil, but for being a saint in its truest sense. From the first century to this day, the world and all the systems in this world are against the true Christian model. Though often opposed to us, let us submit to all authorities and carry out the will of God.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I thank you for Christ sent as my Savior and an example to follow. Strengthen me through your Spirit, to carry on even when called to suffer unduly. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.