"Exhortations, to Sobriety, and Against Malice."
This Bible Study is written by Roger
Christopherson, and made available with written
permission by http://www.theseason.org
I Peter 2:1 "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking,"
In a spiritual sense, when you come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and by faith and through your repentance to the Father in Jesus name, you become as a new born baby. Though in the things of the flesh body you are an adult, in your spiritual body or soul, you are just as a new born baby when it comes to matters of our Heavenly Fathers Word, and understanding the things of this world.
When you make that commitment to Christ, you separate yourself from all malice and the ways of the world. In your flesh body, you desire to get even with someone that does wrong to you, however, now that you are a Christian and saved by the blood of Christ, vengeance is not yours to take part in any more. When people speak evil of you or others for the sake of Christ, don't take part in their envies and strife.
I Peter 2:2 "As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"
When you become saved by your repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, at first you know very little of God's Word as to what you are to do, and are not to do. This then is the time to get into God's Word, and study with an earnest desire to have the Holy Spirit reveal His Word to your mind for understanding. It doesn't help to memorize a lot, if you can't apply the what your learning to your life. When a baby is first born, the only thing that matters to that infant is milk and getting clean from those dirty diapers. In the spiritual life there is no difference.
A spiritual infant that just can't get enough milk from God's Word, and when that milk is withheld from the new born babe in Christ, that spiritual life is dies. The new born babe in Christ knows that sin is dirty and filth to his or her spiritual life, and separating themselves from that filth or sin is important to him. Verse one of this chapter dealt with the separation of that new born babe from the filth in their life, while this verse deals with getting the milk of the Word of God that is a must in the growth of that Christian. If the baby Christian receives the milk of the Word of God, then he or she will start to develop into a mature Christian.
It is interesting that many of these new born babes in Christ study for a few weeks and months, and they come to the point of thinking they are an expert on God's Word. They hooked up with some miracle course of bible study under some one verse reverend, and are out to change the world. When one first accepts Christ, that is the time to get the proper tools for study that reveal the true meanings of the Word; and a numbered concordance, numbered to the Hebrew dictionary for the Old Testament, and Greek dictionary for the New Testament, such as the Strong's Exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Then move in your studies at the speed that allowes you to have understanding of what you are studying. There are three levels of understanding in the Scriptures, and as a new born babe in Christ, regardless of your age, you will not move much beyond the first level at first.
It is going to take much hard work, and good study habit to get to the truth of God's Word, and mature to a spiritually adult and mature Christian. It will take patience and a sense of duty, but the Holy Spirit will reveal His Word to you. Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find exactly what you are to know. The mysteries that are hidden in the Scriptures will be revealed, but the mind has to be spiritually prepared to receive them. If you are all wrapped up in the traditions of men, and put them in priority over the revelations of God's Word, then your maturity will not come.
The milk is good for you when you begin, but don't stay on the milk. Learn to grow in His Word, and develop patience, and wait for understanding to come to you. If you have been a Christian for twelve years, and you haven't progressed beyond the milk stage, you will die a spiritual death. The spiritual life is much the same as the physical life, and the meat of the Word is required to sustain your spiritual life.
I Peter 2:3 "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious."
When you start in the milk of the Word, and do your studies, you will see and taste of all kinds of God's unmerited favor.
I Peter 2:4 "To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,"
Jesus Christ is the Living Stone that was chosen of God to become the sacrifice for our sins, and the people didn't want Him. The religious leaders closed their minds to what Jesus had to say, and when Jesus spoke of God's Word, those words were against the traditions that men of the day had accepted to be true. Those religious Kenite leaders disallowed Jesus, and they sought to kill and murder Jesus for His revealing their traditions to the true light of God's Word.
What Jesus spoke and offered to those that would listen was precious, as was He, for what Jesus offered was eternal life to all those that would listen to Him, and accept the sacrifice of His own blood on the cross.
I Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, and holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
We are speaking of Christ, and here Peter is bring each Christian into the structure, and each Christian becomes a part or stone that goes to build up that spiritual house of God. This is not talking about the church house down on the corner, but the body of Christ made up of every person that has by faith believed in Jesus Christ and repented to the Father in Jesus name for their sins. Then each of those persons become a lively, or living stone that becomes part of the spiritual house, or body of Christ.
The church of Jesus Christ is not a physical structure, a building, but it is made up of all the people that have believed in Jesus Christ. Each of those members of that spiritual house are an holy priesthood and each of them have the duties of that priesthood. The duties of some are to plant the seeds of His Word to those they are with, while others with different gifts and talents are required more or less according to their abilities. Paul spoke of this in Romans 12:3-8.
Romans 12:3 "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
Romans 12:4 "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:"
Romans 12:5 "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
Roman 12:6 "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;"
Romans 12:7 "Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;"
Romans 12:8 "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."
Each member or living stone that goes to make up that building of the body of Christ is not the same, does not have the same duties, nor the same abilities. God knows that all men and women are not born equally with the same physical and mental abilities. Though each of us are one of those lively stones, it takes each of those spiritual stones to make up a different part of that spiritual structure. Today some have been blessed with the ability to make money, while other have the ability to teach. There are some with the ability to minister to the sick and still other have a good sense of being able to relate what is happening concerning the prophecies written in the bible. To each is given a gift to fit into that spiritual body of Christ, and we are to do what ever we do diligent and with mercy and kindness.
If you are still in that stage of drinking in the milk of God's Word, and you have been struggling along for many years sucking on that spiritual milk bottle, stepping in every dirt pile, and chasing after every new idea that comes along; its time to get away from those traditions of men that are holding you down. When you were a child, you spoke as a child, but when you grew up, then you became a man or woman, and it is time to put away those childish things. When you are a mature Christian, then it is time to follow those examples set forth by Christ.
When you become "begotten again", or as is called today "born again" you are born spiritually again back into the family of God, and it is up to you to study His Word. Nobody is going to beg you to do it, it is up to you to see the door and go through it, and go to the blessings that are yours for the taking.
I Peter 2:6 "Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, "Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded."
The subject matter has been to "begotten again anew". When you first learn what Christ has done for you, and accept it, you act and think as a babe in Christ. Then when the Spirit of God takes hold of your mind He matures you, and when you partake of Christ, you become as a living stone. Jesus Christ is the chief Stone, the foundation, the Rock that this church structure is built upon. It is not one of His apostles named Peter.
Today many people try to build their own spiritual houses, and the thing that matters is what kind of stones that they are using. It doesn't matter what kind of stone they use, for if their spiritual house is not build on Jesus Christ, that house will not stand in the times of trouble. Jesus Christ is the Word, and the chief corner Stone that all spiritual houses must be built on, for you just can't start your house thirty feet off the ground. All houses both physical and spiritual must start construction on firm ground, with a Rock solid foundation.
There are no surprises to that chief corner Stone that God has laid in Zion, it was prophesied in the Scriptures from the earliest times, and the fulfillment of those prophesies are will documented in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is that chief corner Stone, elected by the Father to fill this role, and precious to all that will believe on His name. If you believe upon Jesus, and know that He is the Word of God, when you posses Him you will never fall. It is the Spirit of God that takes the confusion of God from your mind, when you allow Him to do that for you. You do the choosing, and you open the door to all the understanding to come into your mind. When you open the door Jesus has promised that He will allow His Spirit do the rest.
Revelation 3:19 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me."
Jesus does the knocking, and you do the opening of that door to your heart or mind. When you open that door of your mind to Him, then He will do the leading, and giving understanding of His Word.
Revelation 3:21 "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne."
This is a promise that you can count on, it is part of your inheritance for the future kingdom, as well as here and now in the flesh age.
Revelation 3:22 "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.' "
When you make your commitment to Christ in faith and repentance and truly seek Him, Jesus Christ's love for you will correct you when you need to be corrected. Jesus does the knocking, only it is you that must open the door. It is you that asks Him for help and knowledge of His Word, and when you do He will provide it for you. You can count on that help, because it is our Heavenly Fathers promise to you. Not everyone has the ears to hear with understanding what is written in all of the Word of God, and when you do, you have the seal of God that will protect you in this time of the end.
Today we are very fortunate to see God's prophesies coming to pass on almost a daily basis. We know that God's Word is true, because we are witnessing it before our eyes.
I Peter 2:7 "Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the Stone Which the builders disallowed, the same is made a head of the corner,"
To understand the basis of this verse, you must first understand that it was the builders of this house that first rejected this chief corner Stone. So who are we talking about? Consider the ten virgins of Matthew 25; five of the virgins were sincere and had the truth in their hearts and minds, and five of them did not. The foolish virgins were all wrapped up in their traditions, and did not have the oil or truth of God's Word in their hearts and minds.
There are many churches today that call themselves Christian, yet in their doctrines they reject the doctrine of the chief corner Stone. Jesus is the chief corner Stone, and He taught us exactly what we should look for prior to His return at the second advent. Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 are detailed in giving us the seven events that He stated would take place prior to His return, yet many today still think that Jesus was playing some sort of joke on them. Jesus warned them so they would not be deceived, yet through their "rapture doctrine" and and other traditions, they disallow the advise of the chief corner Stone, Christ.
You had better stick to God's Word for your instruction, or you will be deceived, especially in this generation. We can visually see the prophesies of the end times coming to pass daily, and it is to close to the "time of the end" to listen to any man that does not teach exactly what The Stone, Jesus Christ has taught. Check out any teacher you sit under with the Word of God, to see that He is correct. We are approaching the time when a false Christ called the Antichrist is coming on the scene, and if you can't tell the difference, then you are in trouble from the start.
So what we are talking about in this verse, is builders that build their spiritual houses on false doctrines and false material. They build on a foundation other then the Rock Jesus Christ. They claim that you don't have to understand the Word of God, just believe. Friend, if you don't understand the Word of God, and His eternal plan, how are you going to prevent being deceived and confused when Satan comes with his supernatural powers. You were confused from the beginning when you were saved, so how could you ever know anything unless you get into the Word? Which Jesus are you are you going to believe in when you can't tell the difference between the true Christ and the false christ, which both come with supernatural powers? Don't let the traditions of men make void the Word of God, for all the set of instructions that our Heavenly Father gave to us, was so that we would not be confused and deceived.
You are a part of the living stones of the body of Christ, and as a living stone you can only fit into one house. Be aware of the builders of church house that reject the full and complete teachings of this Word.
I Peter 2:8 "And a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."
"Even to them which stumble at the Word," this is the prime subject. Do you stumble at hearing the Word? How could you not stumble if you don't know the Word? You are disobedient if you claim to be a Christian do not study the Word. If you are a Christian, a [Christ's man], then you had better know what Christ said. That goes not only for the gospels, but from before the foundation of this earth age.
In Genesis 1, when the Spirit moved on the waters, Christ was there, when the stars of heaven and this earth were formed Christ was also there. John 1:1 tells us that; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." That Word which became flesh and dwelt with us is Jesus Christ. He is the chief corner Stone, the Rock, and the foundation of all understanding of all Scripture.
If you don't know the difference between the first christ that will come to earth, and the Second Christ, then what you know of Jesus Christ will become a stumbling block to you. There are two Christ's coming, have you been taught which one is the True Christ? When you study line on line, chapter upon chapter and verse by verse, then you will know the difference. However if you have been listening to the jabbering lips of the one verse reverends, you will be confused. This is all Scriptural from the book of Isaiah.
I Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:"
We are living in the generation that is spoken of here, the generation living in the time of the parable of the fig tree. This is talking about those that are not in the dark concerning their understanding of His Word. Do you see the light of God's truth from His Word? If you understand you will see that the thing that makes Jesus Christ a stumbling block is that upon the coming of the false christ, Satan, who is the Antichrist [instead of Christ], those that are without the oil or truth of God's Word will accept Satan as the true Christ. They are the five foolish virgins of the parable of Matthew 25. If you accept the tradition of the fly-away people called the "rapture doctrine" or "any moment doctrine, then you have not prepared yourself for the time of Satan, and you will be deceived.
Those living in our generation, that know the truth and are sealed in their mind with the Word of God, they are that "royal priesthood, and the holy nation". We are a peculiar people that will stand out from all the rest. However, the entire world will chase after Satan the false christ when they see his miracles and supernatural powers that God will give to him at that time. It is God that has called you out to be in the truth and knowledge of His Word. If you understand it, it is because His Holy Spirit has revealed it to you.
What Peter is speaking of here in I Peter 2, comes from Isaiah 28.
Isaiah 28:9 "Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts."
God is going to use those Christians that have read the basics of true milk of His Word, those that He can trust to be faithful in following it.
Isaiah 28:10 "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:"
There were false prophets at Isaiah's time also, and Isaiah is actually mocking them a little here. Those false prophets know how the Word is to be taught and they run around sputtering the thought, yet they are ignorant of teaching it.
Isaiah 28:11 "For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this People."
God is telling you that if you do not study His Word as He has taught, line upon line and precept upon precept, He will turn you over to those with stammering, or jabbering lips. Those are the ones that ramble on, and in the end have nothing to say, it is like those mumbling in their tongues today. They will speak in a language that you just can't understand. They sound like they are holy and religious, but they are peddling non-sense.
Isaiah 28:12 "To whom He said, "This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest and this is the refreshing:" yet they would not hear."
They refuse to listen to the Word of God, but preferred to listen to the traditions of men.
Isaiah 28:13 "But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."
The thought of this is that we do not listen to one with jabbering lips, where knowledge and wisdom for God's Word cannot be understood. Before you start into the meat of the Word, you must first be weaned from the milk of the Word. Coming down hard on a new born believer will over-power them, and in the end sound like jabbering to them. The new believer will be without any sound understanding. We must build understanding of the plan of God like building blocks in their minds, brick upon brick, line upon line, and precept upon precept.
Isaiah 28:14 "Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this People which is in Jerusalem."
This goes especially to the people of today, for we are living in the time of the parable of the fig tree, which has come to reality. The Jews, both the good and bad figs, have returned to Palestine [Judah], they have established themselves in Jerusalem. That event started the final generation and Jesus warned us of this in Matthew 24:32-34.
Matthew 24:32 "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When the branches is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:"
Jeremiah 24:1 tells us of the two baskets of figs that came back to Jerusalem in the end times to be set up before the temple there. The basket of good figs were the people of Judah [God's people], while the basket of bad figs were the Kenites that had infiltrated within their nation, to become part of them. These Kenites were the offspring of Cain, the son born through the sexual union that took place between Satan and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Today people entertain themselves with fairy-tales about appeals, and all sorts of things concerning this act, and that is why they remain ignorant to much of the Word of God.
The Kenites today calls themselves Jews and of Judah, however they are the tares that were planted in that parable of Matthew 13, in the parable of the tares. This parable of the tares is explained by Jesus to His disciples in Matthew 13:38-41. The return of these two baskets of figs to Jerusalem happened way back in May, 1948, when they established the tiny nation of Israel. So this return would be just prior to the coming the Nebuchadnezzar which was a type of Antichrist of the end times. That king of Babylon of the Book of Revelation is Satan and he is the Antichrist.
Matthew 24:33 "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors."
From the day of the returning of the good and bad figs to Jerusalem, to now, many of the end time prophetic events of the Bible have happened. they are history to us living today.
Matthew 24:34 "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these thing be fulfilled."
This is Jesus Christ telling our generation that has seen the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, that all the prophecies concerning His return will have happened before His return. There is no fly-away, so you had better start preparing yourself for the time of the great deception, and know the difference between the two Christs and their advents. It is our Lord Jesus Christ that has told you to learn the parable of these events. .
Isaiah 28:15 "Because ye have said, "We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:" "
Death and Hell is Satan, the false christ. Have you made a covenant with him in ignorance? The covenant with Satan is the believing in false doctrines and man's traditions that go against the Word of God.
Isaiah 28:16 "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."
Make haste to do what? Those that believe in that chief corner Stone Jesus Christ know the difference between the two christ, and they will "not make hast" and be deceived when the first christ comes on the scene. They know it is Satan, and that they shall not see the True Christ in their physical bodies. The time of the tribulation or great deception must come first, that is the great apostasy, or "falling away" that is spoken of by Paul in II Thessalonians 2:3 and 4. Satan must sit in the side of the north in Jerusalem, and the entire world must recognize and worship him as the Christ first. When He declares himself to be God, which is the "abomination of desolation" [by the desolator], the world including the religious leaders will believe him.
Isaiah 28:17 "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall over flow the hiding place."
The waters that shall overflow the people at the coming of Satan, in his role as the Antichrist, are the flood of lies spoken of in Revelation 12:16; "And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth."
This flood happens when Satan and his angels are cast out upon the earth, and the time of Daniel's prophesies take place. It is that three and a half years that have been shortened to five months, when the entire earth shall worship Satan, thinking he is the the True Christ. The "waters" are the lies that the people have made a covenant with through their false doctrines, to fly them away to another place, and those very lies are what will swallow up in a flood, the people of this earth. The first woman taken in the field is taken by the false Christ, and that is why "he that believeth shall not make haste".
The preparation for this time is happening right now, as not only the rapture doctrine, but many other religious forms are spring up. These false doctrines are drawing the people of the world that reject God's entire Word to them. They are making their covenant with death and hell, which are roles that Satan will play. This is what Peter is talking about in this verse. The milk of the Word leads you to understanding your salvation, while the meat of the Word prepares you to stand against the fiery darts of Satan, and all the deception that shall come in our generation.
I Peter 2:10 "Which in times past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."
These people that came out of the darkness were not a people then, but when they saw the light and came out of their darkness, they became the people of God. While in their darkness, God did not give them unmerited favor, however now that they are in the Word, and have understanding and they have God's mercy or unmerited favor. God's people are all those that have come out of the darkness through their faith in believing in Jesus Christ and the repenting of their sins, and they are studying God's Word for their instructions.
I Peter 2:11 "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;"
This verse is directed at our keeping our minds focused that there we have two different natures, that of the soul or spiritual, and that of the flesh. If you do not yield yourself to God, your flesh will still act up, and do the things that are of your flesh nature. We are to take control over that flesh body, and all the lusts that come with it. There is a war going on within your own body, and the flesh nature is continually warring against your soul that is of the new nature. There is two bodies and two natures, and we are to know which is which, and give control to our inner man or soul.
If you allow the flesh part of you to take control, it will let you down and give you bad thoughts. The bad thought is not a sin, but yielding to that bad thought and allowing yourself to act upon it is a sin. It is your soul that our Heavenly Father is concerned with.
I Peter 2:12 "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you a evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."
There are two parts to this verse. In the first place, this verse is written to those that were scattered amongst the strangers or Gentiles. Those people are of the ten tribes of the House of Israel, not of the house of Judah, that were scattered by the Assyrians between 744 and 722 B.C. They migrated through the Caucasus mountains, and scattered through out Europe and the Americas. We know them today as "Caucasians" after the event of their migrations. The second group that is addressed are to the "elect", those that have been brought from the darkness into the light by the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
God is telling us that no matter which of these groups you belong to, the house of Israel, or the elect, When you claim to be a Christian, then show it in your good works. Those works are demonstrated by your words and deeds, and are a reflection of our Heavenly Father that on that day of visitation, the day of Jesus Christ return at the seventh trumpet, Jesus will be glorified by them. The Gentiles may not want to hear one word about Christ, but if they see what you do and the care that you give, that alone will show them that you are a good godly person. This is not talking about perfection in yourself, but following good common sense, in accordance to the Word of God. Once you set that standard in your life, people will allow some errors in your life, they know that you are human.
I Peter 2:13 "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;"
We are to follow all the laws of the land that we live in, for the Lord's sake. In our land we have freedom of religion, and as long as we obey the laws of this land, our country must guarantee our right to speak and practice our religious beliefs. The laws of the land will also protect us while we are doing it. However if you disobey the laws of the land, they you pay the price for your disobedience. If you run a stop light and are caught, you pay the fine. When you commit a murder, then you are tried, and suffer the punishment that the court brings upon you. Whether under a king or a republic, a Christian must obey the laws of the country that they are in.
I Peter 2:14 "Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for punishment of evildoers and for the praise of them that do well."
As long as you strive to do good in your works, and your deeds are right, the governors and those in charge will see to it that you have your rights. Paul talked about this in Romans 13.
Romans 13:1 "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."
Every government body that is set up and is in existence in this world is ordained, which is allowed and controlled by God. That government is allowed to exist in the fulfillment of God's plan, whether it be of Israel, the communists, Babylon, or any government. God sets governments up, and God brings them down.
Romans 13:2 "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation."
When God sets up a nation or government, and you live under that nation or are a visitor within that nation, as a Christian we are to obey the laws of the land.
Romans 13:3 "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be aftaid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:"
This is what Peter was talking about. The rulers of any land desire to see the affairs of his people taken care of, and when you seek to do good works within his land, you have nothing to be afraid of. It is only when you do evil, break the laws of the land and cause a disturbance that the terror of his judgment must be feared.
Be very careful of the ones that you listen to that are unlearned of the Scriptures. Many Christians say that we should not pay taxes, because of the uses that it is use for. However, taxes are the law of the land, and when the governmental body levies a tax for any purpose, if we live in the land, we are to pay the taxes that have been ordained by that government. That is a requirement by God.
Remember that Daniel was the number one tax collector in Babylon, the empire that God Himself relates to the kingdom that Satan shall set up in the end times. Daniel ran the system that brought in the money that subdued God's people, and that money ran the system. Yet at the same time that Daniel was over that system, he still was obedient to God in the matters that related to his soul. Even the king of Babylon, king Nebuchadnezzar appointed him to be over the kingdom as chief tax collector. Obey the laws of the land, as long as it doesn't restrict you from your worship of our Lord.
I Peter 2:15 "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:"
It is God's will that you do this, that by your doing this you will put to silence the traditions of men. Most people do what they do, and say what they say because they were taught to do so. Grandma and grandpa did it this way, and because they did it, I know that it is right. That is what is meant by traditions. Traditions are those things that are done in ignorance, and not by the will of God. Before God, each person will answer for their own sins, and when you are biblically illiterate, you stumble around and offend our heavenly Father.
I Peter 2:16 "As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God."
It is important to understand this verse. The liberty or freedom spoken of here, is the freedom that we have in Christ. In that freedom we have the freedom to be free from the gilt of sin. That when we sin in word or deed, and we see that we have fallen short of His Word, we come to the throne of God in repentance, in Jesus name, and those sins are blotted out for God's heavenly records. Peter is saying that just because we have the right to be forgiven for our sins, do use that liberty as a cloke or covering for doing malicious acts. However, we should use that liberty in showing the lost that we are servants of God. God is telling us to never misuse the glory, power and blessings that God gives to you, but use them to the glory of God.
I Peter 2:17 "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king."
Hold all men with esteem, and love the brotherhood of God's people. Give reverence to our Heavenly Father and to His Son Jesus Christ. Give honor to the authority that God has placed over you, for we must remember that God is in control of all governments, He sets them up, and He brings them down, in accordance with His Word. This honor and respect is even extended to all those in authority over you, in your family, church, your job and local community.
This goes a lot deeper then just lip service, for it instruct God's elect to take the knowledge and wisdom from His Word, and use it to lift up those around you. Don't try to tare people down, but lift them up in brotherly love. This is the will of God, and it is important that we stay in the will of God, for that is when God blesses us. When you build the people up around you, they will get along with you. Demonstrate in your life to the unbeliever what a Christian is.
I Peter 2:18 "Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward."
We are instructed by God that it doesn't matter whether a person is good bad or mean, you are to be good to them, that they may see Christ in you. If they are over you, obey them and serve them well. When a boss or employer is hard on you, and does evil against you we are to give the respect that is due his or her position. God knows the heart and intent of all people, and when it becomes necessary, God will make the changes. Either by opening other doors to you, or getting rid of Him. A vengeance is God's, and He is the one that makes things even. Through your kindness to him, his attitude may change, or even cause him to be drawn to Christ.
I Peter 2:19 "For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully."
When the people around you treat you wrongfully, and you don't deserve what they are doing to you, it pleases God to see the love that you have for them. This verse is in response to verse eighteen. Christianity and Christ forms a shell around you to protect you, and when the insults and rough handling comes you way, don't let it destroy you, but let it bounce off you and fall away. When we see the love that our Lord Jesus Christ had for us, and the great suffering and death that He took for our sins, it becomes easy to take insults. That is the time we are to show them what a Christian can accomplish.
I Peter 2:20 "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God."
When you treat people well because they have treated you will, that is what the world does. It is expect of anybody, and even common amongst the unbelievers. However, when you are buffeted for faults, and it is deserved by you, and you take it patiently and seek to do them well in spite of their treatment to you; God says that your actions are acceptable to Him. When you are one of God's little ones, God is not going to allow anyone pick on you to long before He steps in and takes him out of your hair. God knows how to get even with them far better then you or I can.
So the thought to this point is that when you do something wrong, then you deserve everything that is coming to you. However, when evil deeds and words are said about you, and you do not deserve them, then God will take care of them, and you have pleased God by your actions.
I Peter 2:21 "For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:"
Jesus Christ's life was given as an example to us. He set the way, and lit the path for us to follow. His suffering when He did not deserve any of it, is an example of how He expects us to react when we are abused because of being a Christian. It is not possible for us to be exactly as Christ did, because we are in the flesh, and the flesh nature desires to get even when we are wronged. However, to the best of our ability lets try to put our feet in the steps that Jesus took, when He lived and faced those around him.
Even in our day, God will perform a miracle when there is a purpose for it. What He does, He does for the sake of His Word, and within His will. What God does is for the fulfillment of His overall plan. Jesus didn't run around healing everybody, but those that were healed were healed for a purpose to explain a part of God's plan. Remember that day at the pool of Bethesda, as recorded in John 5. There were a great multitude of sick and lamed lying around the pool with their hopes set on being healed through this fairy-tale that was being taught.
When Jesus came to the pool, there was only one man there that He was concerned with, and that was this one man that had been lain there for the past thirty eight years, and Jesus healed only Him. Jesus healed the man to fulfill the lesson that He was trying to teach the Jews, as to which was more important, to heal a man of sin, or to heal his body from disease and sickness.
I Peter 2:22 "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth:"
The love of God is being truthful with those around you. Jesus' love to the Kenites was demonstrated in the harshness in the correction within His voice. When you love someone you don't lie to them, but you are truth to them. When Jesus spoke, there was only truth that came from His mouth.
I Peter 2:23 "Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him That judgeth righteously: by Whose stripes ye were healed."
Our God is a jealous God and a God of vengeance. But Christ set the example for us, that even when they crucified Him, He said Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing. Those words spoken by Christ when He hung on the cross, was prophesied in Psalm 22, and those words were being fulfilled, as well as every other detail that is written in His Word. So we see that there was no guile, in that sense, against those that acted in ignorance.
I Peter 2:24 "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed."
When Jesus Christ hung on the cross and suffered the death of the cross, He bare those stripes, and shed His blood so that you and I could have righteousness through our repentance for our sins. The only righteousness that we have before the throne of God, is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That is why we must believe on Him, for why would you repent to anyone if you did not believe that they were God? It is through the faith that we have in the truthfulness of His Word, that causes us to repent of our sins in Jesus name. A person with a broken leg doesn't lean on his crutches unless he knows that the crutches will sustain his weight. When we approach the throne of our Heavenly Father, we pray in Jesus name because God has told us that Jesus name is our credentials for approaching His throne.
Jesus paid the price, and He is also there in heaven as our advocate before the throne of God as your and my representative. When God said He would forgive our sins, if we repent them to Him, before we can come to Him, we must do it in the fashion or way that He set forth. He has told us that the only way is through His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and that is the protocol before the heavenly court. When we do it God's way, then we are accepted as one of His family, with all the rights and inheritance that goes with being family. Then you become a representative of God. You can't fool with God, for He knows your every thought, you either are or are not one of His.
This was prophesied in Isaiah 53:3; "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it wee our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not."
Isaiah 53:4 "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."
I Peter 2:25 "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."
Peter is quoting here from Isaiah 53:5, 6. What does a sheep use for its protection? It uses the shepherd for it's protection. A sheep has no built-in form of protection for itself; as it is not a flesh eating animal. Without a shepherd, the sheep are about the most helpless animal on earth. So a sheep leaving it's shepherd is doom. Our shepherd leads and guides our soul, and directs us as to what we do. When Jesus is our Shepherd, we are following the direction of His Word, and not allowing our flesh nature to take control of our being. Lets go to the prophesy that was written there.
Isaiah 53:5 "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and with His stripes we are healed."
Isaiah 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
This is speaking of Jesus Christ our Savior, who became the sacrificial Lamb that carried the sins of all the world on Himself. Lets read a few more verses of the suffering that Christ endured for the sins of you and I.
Isaiah 53:7 "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth."
Isaiah 53:8 "He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken."
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