As strangers in the world, live a noble life
Dear friends, I urge you, as guests and strangers in the world: Refuse to do what the body wants, because its appetites fight against the soul. Live a noble life among the people of the world, that instead of accusing you of doing wrong, they may see the good you do and glorify God when He visits them. 1 Peter 2:11-12 AAT
The thrust of Peter’s exhortation is even though we are in the world, we are as strangers in it. Our life should be such that the people of the world see the good we do and our example brings them to God. In context, this follows what Peter wrote just earlier.
Come to Him. He is the living Stone whom men rejected but God selected as precious. You also, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual temple, to be holy priests who bring spiritual sacrifices that God gladly accepts through Jesus Christ. 1 Pe 2:4-5 AAT
But you are a chosen people, priests of a King, a holy nation, a people saved to be His own and to tell of the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Pe 2:9 AAT
Our citizenship is in God’s kingdom (Eph 2:19). Like Abraham, we are looking “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb 11:10). That city is the new Jerusalem (Rev 21:2).
Abstain from fleshly lusts
Since we are God’s chosen people, priests of a King and a holy nation we are to: “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Pe 2:11 NKJV).
Now, you know the works of the flesh. They are sexual sin, uncleanness, wild living, worshiping of idols, witchcraft, hate, wrangling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, quarreling, divisions, envy, drunkenness, carousing and the like. I warn you, as I did before, those who do such things will have no share in God’s kingdom. Gal 5:19-21 AAT
Up until after the second world war, The American culture was a moral restrainer. Even those living in sin recognized they were living in sin. Not anymore. Today our predominate American culture is sinful. Take a close look at the sins Paul listed in the Word quoted above and tell me which ones are not politically correct. Even hate became politically correct back in the “I hate Bush” days of 2003. The world is without God, so like little gods, people of the world establish their their own values to justify their sinful behavior. Thus, our politicians and high courts have rescinded all American laws that existed against the sins listed in Galatians 5:19-21. Instead, the courts have gotten so far away from “One nation under God,” that they have made it illegal to discriminate against sodomites and women who burn with lust for each other.
God sets a high standard for Christian conduct. Sadly, it is much higher than that of many quasi-church, anything goes, leaders and their quasi-Christian followers. What these people and the people of the world refuse to consider is: sin brings the wrath of God (Col 3:5-6) and it it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:31).
For you who are ensnared in fleshly lusts, repent and be forgiven.
If we live in the light as He is in the light, we have it in fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son washes us clean from every sin. If we say we don’t have any sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth isn’t in us. If we confess our sins, we can depend on Him to do what is right—He will forgive our sins and wash away every wrong. If we say we haven’t sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.1 John 1:7-10 AAT
Living a noble life among the people of the world is not without suffering
The people of the world have persecuted Christians ever since the church began. They have hated, killed, raped, beaten, tortured, demeaned and scorned Christians all these centuries. Yet, Christians have endured and trusted no matter how much they have been persecuted and made to suffer. Our response to suffering is not to judge, hate or retaliate, but to live a noble life. For God’s love has been poured into our hearts.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5 RSV
Paul gives us further perspective on how to live a noble life among people of the world by relying on God’s covenant justice for His people. As for the people of the world, we do not judge them. Rather, we trust God’s justice to take vengeance on those who don’t know God and on those who will not obey the good news of our Lord Jesus. Thus Paul encourages Christians with his inspired Word.
Blessing to you and peace form God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We always have to thank God for you, my fellow Christians. It is the right hing to do because your faith is growing wonderfully and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing, so much so that we’re boasting about you in tn God’s churches how you endure and trust no matter how much you’re persecuted and made to suffer. It shows how God judges righteously: He means to make you worthy of His kingdom, for which you are suffering; it really is just for God to pay back with suffering those who make you suffer and give relief to you suffer and to us when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in a blaze of fire, to take vengeance on those who don’t know God and on those who will not obey the good news of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished by being taken away from the Lord and from the glory of His power to be destroyed eternally when He comes on that Day to be glorified in His holy people and admired by all who believed (you did believe the truth we told you0. With this in mind we’re always praying for you that our God will make you worthy of His calling and by His power accomplish every good thing you decide to do and every work of faith, so as to glorify the name of our Lord Jesus among you, and you in Him, according to the love of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1 AAT
May God “make you worthy of His calling and by His power accomplish every good thing you decide to do and every work of faith, so as to glorify the name of our Lord Jesus among you, and you in Him, according to the love of our God and Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess 1:11-12).
No doing wrong
Many of the people of the world rightly accuse and gloat when the media points to another christian has slipped, floundered and fallen to fleshly lusts. Yet, there are 2.4 billion people classified as Christian and the vast majority walk worthy of the Lord (Col 1:10). In order for a Christian congregation to fulfill its destiny and purpose to be to the praise of God’s glory (Eph 1:11-14), church discipline must be upheld.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells the Christian congregation they have no jurisdiction over pagans and have no business judging them. God does. But, we are to judge and discipline anyone in our fellowship who claims to be a brother or sister in the Lord but lives in malignant sin.
In my letter I wrote you not to mix with those who live in sexual sin. I didn’t mean you should altogether keep away from people who live in sexual sin in this world, from those who are greedy, who rob or worship idols; then you would have to get out of this world. But now I write you: Don’t mix with anyone who calls himself a Christian but lives in sexual sin or is greedy, worships idols, slanders, gets drunk, or robs. Don’t even eat with such a person.
Is it my business to judge those who are outside the church? God judges those who are outside. Shouldn’t you judge those are inside the church? Put the wicked man away from you. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 AAT
In his next letter, Paul tells the Corinthians to restore the repentant man to fellowship (2 Cor 2:1-11).
This was in accord with Matthew’s quote of Isiah’s prophetic Word on Jesus. “He will not crush a bruised reed or put out a smoking wick till He has made justice victorious. And His name will be the hope of the nations” (Mt 12:20-21 AAT). As long is there is any life and a flicker of faith, Jesus is there to bring restoration.
That people of the world may see the good you do and glorify God when He visits them
The good works of the Christians, their meekness under the severest provocations, their cheerful readiness to be of service at all times, their self-evident observance of all precepts of God’s holy will—all these were bound to make an impression, in spite of all opposition. Many an unbeliever that originally considered Christianity a huge fraud has been led to reconsider his first impression by the conduct of the confessing believers. Exact observation, closer acquaintance, showed him the injustice of his position. And when the grace of God was then proclaimed to him, when God visited him with the gracious Word of the Gospel, his heart was changed in favor of the Christian religion, he accepted its truths, he glorified God, whom he now recognized also as his Father for the sake of Jesus. Kretzman
Our very lives should show forth the glory of God that those caught in the world would see the good we do. Thus leading them to follow the Good Shepherd in the day of visitation, the day He calls to one of the lost sheep “Come” and that one comes to Him (Lk 19:10).
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:11-14 KJV