"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"
A Plea To Pilgrims (1 Pe 2:11-12)
1. Having said that as Christians we are...
a. "a chosen generation"
b. "a royal priesthood"
c. "a holy nation"
d. God's "own special people"
...Peter makes a heart-felt plea concerning our conduct before those
in the world - 1 Pe 2:11-12
2. As we consider this "plea to pilgrims", remember that Peter is
speaking by inspiration; i.e., it is actually GOD who is making this
[Before we examine the plea itself, let's notice some things mentioned
in the passage that serve as...]
I. THE BASIS OF THE PLEA
A. YOU ARE "BELOVED"...
1. Beloved by whom?
a. By Peter, of course - 1 Pe 2:11; cf. also 1 Pe 4:12
b. By Paul, James, John, & Jude, all of whom used this same
term of endearment
c. But most of all, we are beloved of God and Jesus! - cf. Ro 1:7;
2. It is out of such human and divine love that this plea is made
B. YOU ARE "SOJOURNERS AND PILGRIMS"...
1. You have not yet reached your heavenly home
2. As we will see later, failure to heed the plea will mean you
will never reach it!
3. In view of that real possibility, we find this plea made even
in form of "begging"
C. YOU ARE ENGAGED IN WARFARE...
1. A war in which "fleshly lusts" wage war against the "soul"
2. The outcome of this "war" will determine whether or not we
will reach our heavenly home
D. YOU ARE BEING OBSERVED BY OTHERS...
1. Some of whom often speak evil of you (even as they did of
2. But by heeding this plea, it is possible to cause those very
ones who speak evil of you to glorify God in "the day of
a. This "day of visitation" might refer to the Day of Judgment
b. Perhaps it refers to the "day" when God's grace is
shown through a presentation of the gospel to them - cf. Lk 19:44
c. In either case, we have an opportunity to bring glory to
God by the way we heed this plea
[In view of these four reasons, then, God through Peter is making a
heart-felt plea. What is this plea?
It contains two parts, which we shall now look at closely...]
II. THE PLEA ITSELF
A. FIRST, THE PLEA BEGS US TO "ABSTAIN FROM FLESHLY LUSTS"...
1. The word "abstain" means "to hold one's self constantly back"
2. From what are we to abstain?
a. "Fleshly lusts", some of which are defined by Paul in Ga 5:19-21
b. Notice that they involve more than just "sexual" sins (such
c. They also include sins of the "emotions" (hatred, outbursts
of wrath, jealousies, envy, etc.)
3. Why must we "hold ourselves constantly back" from these
a. According to Peter, they "wage war against the soul"
b. According to Paul, they can keep us out of the kingdom of
God! - cf. Ga 5:21
c. So if we want to succeed in our spiritual "pilgrimage" and
reach our heavenly destination, we must heed this "plea to
4. How can one abstain from fleshly lusts? In his epistles, Paul
a. Keep your mind on the things of the Spirit, and not on the
things of the flesh - Ro 8:5-6
b. Grow in Christ, and don't provide opportunities for the
fulfillment of fleshly lusts - Ro 13:13-14
c. Should such opportunities arise, flee them (remember Joseph
and Potiphar's wife?), and pursue after that which is good
- cf. 2 Ti 2:22
[By following Paul's advice, we can win the "war" between the flesh
and soul, and successfully complete our pilgrimage!
But abstaining from fleshly lusts is not the only thing expected of
B. THE PLEA ALSO BEGS US TO "HAVE HONORABLE CONDUCT"...
1. The word "honorable" ("honest", KJV) in the Greek is "kalos"
a. It means that which is good, beautiful, harmonious, and
b. I.e., our conduct is to be something beautiful and
refreshing to behold
2. We can have conduct that is "honorable"...
a. If on the one hand, we abstain from "fleshly lusts"
b. And on the other hand, we do "good works" ("good" is the
same word in the Greek as "honorable")
3. We have seen what are "fleshly lusts"; what "good works" can
we do that are beautiful to behold?
a. We can see to the needs of those who are poor, fatherless,
widowed, sick, and otherwise afflicted - cf. Ja 1:27
b. We can demonstrate love and hospitality to brethren,
friends, neighbors, even strangers - He 13:1-3
c. We can react kindly to those who despise us, speak evil of
us, and mistreat us - Lk 6:27-31
4. The effect of such conduct is that it will likely prompt
others to glorify God!
a. As Jesus taught us in Mt 5:16
b. Even those who, at the present, may speak against us as
evildoers - 1 Pe 2:12
1. By heeding this "plea to pilgrims" as found in 1 Pe 2:11-12 , it is
possible to accomplish several things at the same time...
a. We can save ourselves
b. We can glorify God
c. We might even help save those who presently speak evil of us!
2. As the "people of God" who have "obtained mercy" (1 Pe 2:10 ), can
we do any less?
a. Abstain, then, from those fleshly lusts which wage war against
b. Conduct yourselves, then, in ways that are honorable and a thing
of beauty for others to behold!
-- In so doing, you will ensure the successful completion of your
Speaking of the mercy of God, have you received the mercy that comes
through the "washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit"?
- cf. Ti 3:4-7
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