In the following context, Peter urged us to continue to live upright lives among the unbelievers, that “they may see your good actions and glorify God when he visits them.”
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people to be his very own and to proclaim the wonderful deedsf of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
- Once you were not a people,
- but now you are the people of God.
- Once you had not received mercy,
- but now you have received mercy.
Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and exiles to keep on abstaining from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. Continue to live such upright lives among the gentiles that, when they slander you as practicers of evil, they may see your good actions and glorify God when he visits them. 2 Peter 2:9-12 ISV
Gentiles/people of the world/pagans notice our lives are different from theirs. They observe our right conduct, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. When God visits people of the world He calls them out of darkness into His marvelous light. Observing the good we do in our upright lives predisposes people of the world to hearing the gospel of the kingdom and glorify God.
Jesus put it this way:
Jesus tells us: “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men. You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16 WMB
But Jesus called the disciples and said, “You know that the rulers of the unbelievers lord it over them and their superiors act like tyrants over them. That’s not the way it should be among you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That’s the way it is with the Son of Man. He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people.” Matthew 20:25-28 ISV