Sunday, December 30, 2012

1 Peter 2.11 - The Life of a Sojourner - 121230AM@TBC

Ill.– Soldiers attached to a particular unit. 
Employees of a chain assigned to a store or corporate division.

Covenant:  an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified. Unabridged. Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

Our fivefold covenant with each other to be…
1. Sojourners - that as strangers and pilgrims we will refrain from fleshly lusts (I Peter 2: 11).
2. Forgivers - That we will put away from us all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us (Eph. 4:31-32).
3. Do Gooders - That as we have opportunity, we will do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6: 10).
4. Followers - That we will remember them who have the rule over us who speak unto us the Word of God (Heb. 13:7). That we submit to the loving oversight and discipline of the Members and officers of this Church of Christ, and
5. Givers - that we will give as God has prospered us (I Cor. 16:2), not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver (II Cor. 9:7).

The New Year is typically a time for reflection, evaluation, and recommitment to things that are important.
As you engage in reflection and evaluation, I would like to turn your attention to the first commitment in our church covenant, to be strangers or sojourners.

1. That as strangers* and pilgrims we will refrain from fleshly lusts. (1 Peter 2:11)
* Sojourners

SOJOURNERS who have a heavenly home.
&  1 Peter 2.9-12 (esp. 11)
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake,
whether to… ...king, governors, (2.18) masters, (3.1) husbands


A. What we have… (1.3-5)
1 Peter 1.3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Four things about this inheritance...

  • incorruptible, imperishable —It lasts forever.
  • undefiled—It is pure.
  • does not fade away—It is does not wither or diminish in value.
  • in heaven —It is not on this earth.
That is not just pie in the sky.  It’s something we should give serious thought to.

B. Who we are...
1 Peter 2.9-10
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1) a chosen race,
γένος   Strong's G1085 - genos: "a nation, a race,"
Selected by God.

2) royal priesthood,
Offering spiritual sacrifices to God.

3) holy nation, and
ἔθνος  Strong's G1484 - ethnos: originally "a multitude," denotes "a nation" or "people,"
Set apart to God.

4) people for His possession
ἔθνος  Strong's G1
Owned and prized by God.

to proclaim His excellencies
2.9  Out of darkness into the light
2.10 God has claimed you for Himself.
         God has shown mercy on you.

How much do you think about Heaven?

We have heard that we should not be “so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.”  There is little danger of that.  Our concern should be that we are so mindful of earthly things that we are of little use to Heaven.
If you have been raised with Christ,
 … Set your minds on things above
Colossians 3:1-2
When we think about heaven, it is not day dreaming about harps and clouds.  It is giving attention to what is excellent in heaven.
That will change our perspective on this life.
Notice in this Colossians passage that Paul after admonishes us to focus on heaven, he immediately turns his attention to the things that destroy that heavenly focus.
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth:

11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
A. The Sojourner’s Perspective
1.  The Greek words: Sojourners and pilgrims
Sojourners  πάροικος   Strong's G3941 - paroikos—in the NT, a stranger, a foreigner, one who lives in a place without the right of citizenship
YLT, KJV—strangers; NASB, NIV, WET—aliens; NKJV, ESV—sojourners
Pilgrims  παρεπίδημος  Strong's G3927 - parepidēmos -  one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside there by the side of the natives
YLT—sojourners; KJV, NKJV—pilgrims; NASB, NIV—strangers; ESV—exiles; NLT—foreigners
Bottom line is ...
You are not one of them.
You do not belong here.

2. Example from Scripture
Genesis 23.4
2 So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3 Then Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, 4 "I am a foreigner and a visitor among you. Give me property for a burial place among you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight." 5 And the sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, 6 "Hear us, my lord: You are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places. None of us will withhold from you his burial place, that you may bury your dead."
Hebrews 11:13-16
13 These [Abraham, Isaac, Jacob] all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
3. Example from Pilgrims Progress
Then I saw in my dream, that when they were got out of the wilderness, they presently saw a town before them, and the name of that town is "Vanity"; and at the town there is a fair kept, called "Vanity Fair"; it is kept all the year long. It bears the name of Vanity Fair, because the town where 'tis kept is lighter than vanity; and also because all that is there sold, or that comes thither is vanity. As is the saying of the wise, "All that comes is vanity."

The Prince of princes himself, when here, went through this town to his own country, and that upon a fair day too; and as I think, it was BEELZEBUB, the chief lord of this fair, that invited him to buy of his vanities; yea, would have made him lord of the fair, would he but have done him reverence as he went through the town. Yea, because he was such a person of honour, BEELZEBUB had him from street to street, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a little time, that he might, if possible, allure that Blessed One to cheapen and buy some of his vanities. But he had no mind to the merchandise; and therefore left the town without laying out so much as one farthing upon these vanities.  (Matthew 4:8  Luke 4:5-7)
This fair, therefore, is an ancient thing, of long standing, and a very great fair.
Now these pilgrims, as I said, must needs go through this fair: well, so they did; but behold, even as they entered into the fair, all the people in the fair were moved, and the town itself as it were in a hubbub about them; and that for several reasons. For –
First, the pilgrims were clothed with such kind of raiment as was diverse from the raiment of any that traded in that fair. The people, therefore, of the fair made a great gazing upon them: some said they were fools; some they were lunatics; and some they are outlandish men.
Secondly: and as they wondered at their apparel, so they did likewise at their speech; for few could understand what they said. They naturally spoke the language of Canaan; but they that kept the fair were the men of this world: so that from one end of the fair to the other, they seemed barbarians each to the other.      (1 Corinthians 2:7, 8)
Thirdly: but that which did not a little amuse the merchandisers was, that these pilgrims set very light by all their wares – they cared not so much as to look upon them; and if they called upon them to buy, they would put their fingers in their ears, and cry, "Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity;" and look upwards, signifying that their trade and traffic was in heaven.  (Psalm 119:37;  Philippians 3:19, 20)
One chanced mockingly, beholding the carriages of the men, to say unto them, "What will ye, buy?" but they, looking gravely upon him, said, "We buy the truth".

B.  The War Against Your Soul
1) The war
4754 στρατεύομαι [strateuomai /strat·yoo·om·ahee/] — 1) to make a military expedition, to lead soldiers to war or to battle, (spoken of a commander)  2) to do military duty, be a soldier 3) to fight
ESV—”which wage war against your soul.”
WUEST—”like an army carrying on a military campaign, they are waging war hurling themselves down upon your soul.
NET—”that do battle against your soul.”
...some have strayed from their faith … and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  1 Timothy 6:10
2) The enemy:  fleshly lusts
1.) abstain  ἀπέχομαι  Strong's G567 - apechomai  - 1) to hold one's self off, refrain, abstain
YLT, KJV, NASB, NKJV, ESV, NIV—abstain; WET—holding yourselves back; YLT—keep away from
“The verb translated abstain means ‘to keep away from, avoid’ … and it’s present tense gives the sense continually keep away from sinful desires, to not let yourself indulge in them at any time.”  —-Grudem TNTC
“should be constantly holding yourselves back from the passionate cravings which are fleshly by nature.”  —Wuest Exp Trans

2.) fleshly      NIV84—sinful; NLT—worldly
σαρκικός  Strong's G4559 - sarkikos:  fleshly, carnal  a) having the nature of flesh, i.e. under the control of the animal appetites
Note: The adjectives "fleshly," "carnal" are contrasted with spiritual qualities… Speaking broadly, the carnal denotes the sinful element in man's nature, by reason of descent from Adam; the spiritual is that which comes by the regenerating operation of the Holy Spirit. —Vine’s
3.) lusts
YLT,NIV, YLT—desires; KJV, NASB, NKJV—lusts;  ESV—passions; WET—cravings

Galatians 5.17-22
adultery,  fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
idolatry,  (covetousness, which is idolatry.   Col 3.5)
hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath,
selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,  envy,
drunkenness, revelries,
Ephesians 4.17-31; 5.3-5
corrupt word;  filthiness, nor  foolish talking, nor coarse jesting,
Colossians 3.5-9

These desires are like
leeches or parasites,
food allergies.
They sap our spiritual focus, strength, and desire.

We should not cheapen ourselves with fleshly desires of this world.

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
And give me life in your ways
Psalm 119:37 (ESV)
Like Pilgrim and Faithful in Bunyan’s tale, we should expect to be out of step with the world around us.

12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to...king, governors, (2.18) masters, (3.1) husbands
A) Honorable Conduct:  Acting like Christ.
Honorable conduct  2.12
καλός  Strong's G2570 - kalos ;  beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable
YLT—right; NASB—excellent;  KJV—honest; 
NKJV, ESV—honorable;  NIV84, NET—good ; 
WNT—beautiful in their goodness;  NLT—properly
2) Good works
Accusations against the early church

  • cannibals (eat children) — Christians took in unwanted children and cared for them.
  • gross immorality at love feasts —
  • disrupt the economy —
  • break up families — 
  • primarily working class, uneducated, poor —
  • think you are so righteous —
  • atheists —  (Did not worship the Roman gods.)
  • unpatriotic — (Would not worship the emperor.)
—The Trial and Testimony of the Early Church, #3
“When Plato was told that a certain man had been making certain slanderous charges against him, his answer was: “I will live in such a way that no one will believe what he says.”  —WB
3) Being subject   v. 13 and following

B. Glory to God
We give glory to God when we imitate Christ.
Romans 8.28-29
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

We glorify God when our good behavior leads the unsaved to praise Him.
1 Peter 3.1-2
1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

“Peter’s exact phrase does not appear anywhere else in the Old or New Testament, so it is unwise to assume it is a technical phrase for judgment: it is better to understand it simply to mean ‘on a day when God visits’ (whether to bring blessing or judgment must be determined from the remaining context."  —Grudem in TNTC
Some commentators tie the phrase to Isaiah 10:3 and see it as the time when the Lord returns to earth.
 Whichever view you take of ‘the day of visitation’….
On this day of visitation pagans who are currently slandering Christian will as converted believers glorify God. 
“This glorification is almost certainly the voluntary praise of people who have been converted, and not the forced acknowledgement by unbelievers that God has been right.”  —Grudem in TNTC

What are you devoted to?

(What do you crave and desire?)
not lagging in diligence,
fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope
Romans 12:11-12
We should be full of diligence and zeal for the things that are important in our heavenly home.
We should be fervent (on fire) for the things of the Lord.
(We should be on guard against the smallest encroachment of fleshly desires.)

1. We are sojourners with an eternal inheritance in Heaven.
2. We should not cheapen ourselves by indulging our fleshly desires.
3. We should be fervent to glorify God with our excellent behaviour and good works.

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