"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"
Commendable Conduct Before God (1 Pe 2:18-25)
1. Our last study introduced the importance of submission to human
institutions that rule over us - 1 Pe 2:13-17
2. Now in verses 18-25, Peter addresses those who were servants,
emphasizing again the principle of submission (READ)
3. In the course of his instructions, Peter mentions conduct that is
considered "commendable" before God...
a. In the NKJV, the word "commendable" is used twice - 1 Pe 2:19-20
b. The NASV translates it as "finds favor"
4. In this study, we shall consider...
a. What is commendable conduct before God
b. Why it is considered commendable
c. How we can be sure to have this commendable conduct before God
[First of all, then...]
I. WHAT IS COMMENDABLE CONDUCT BEFORE GOD?
A. TO SUFFER PATIENTLY WHEN MISTREATED FOR DOING GOOD...
1. Consider the example given by Peter...
a. A servant is trying to serve his master well
b. For some reason, however, his master mistreats him
c. The servant "finds favor" in God's sight if he patiently
and submissively endures the mistreatment
2. To put it in other words:
a. When you are doing that which is good...
b. And despite it you are being mistreated...
c. But you endure the unjust treatment patiently...
d. Your patient forbearance is commendable in the sight of
3. Note carefully:
a. It is not simply suffering patiently that is commendable
b. But suffering patiently when you did good, and yet are
abused for it - 1 Pe 2:20
B. IS THIS APPLICABLE ONLY IN A MASTER-SLAVE RELATIONSHIP?
1. No! Consider 1 Pe 3:13-14, v 17, where Peter speaks to brethren
2. In writing to servants, then, Peter is applying a general
truth to a specific application
3. It is therefore applicable to any situation where we are told
a. E.g., in our relationship to government - 1 Pe 2:13
b. E.g., in a wife's relationship to her husband - 1 Pe 3:1
c. E.g., in our relationship to one another - cf. Ep 5:21
[So whenever we do good and suffer for it, to endure that suffering
patiently is "commendable conduct before God."
But that is hard! It is our natural inclination to resist and defend
ourselves when we are "in the right" and being mistreated. Indeed, we
want to "stand up for our rights."
To appreciate why patient endurance is commendable before God,
let's address the question...]
II. WHY IS THIS CONDUCT COMMENDABLE BEFORE GOD?
A. WE WERE CALLED FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE!
1. Consider 1 Pe 2:21-23
a. Christians are called to follow the example of Jesus
b. Just as He suffered patiently when mistreated without
cause, so should we
2. We have therefore been called to respond to ill treatment with
good treatment - cf. 1 Pe 3:9; Lk 6:27-36
B. IN VIEW OF THE POTENTIAL GOOD THAT CAN RESULT!
1. See what Jesus accomplished by His patient forbearance to
mistreatment done to Him - cf. 1 Pe 2:24-25
a. The forgiveness of our sins
b. The restoration of straying sheep back to their Shepherd
2. By following the example of Jesus, we can have an effect for
a. Returning good for evil, we are more likely to overcome
evil - Ro 12:19-21
b. In this way, we are more likely to change those who
c. For they are often ashamed when they see how we patiently
endure their mistreatment by doing good
[Just as we were moved by the sacrificial death of Jesus for our sins,
so we might best move others to change their evil ways by patiently
doing good even when they mistreat us. That is why we have been called
to follow the example of Jesus.
Finally, here are some suggestions to the question...]
III. HOW WE CAN BE SURE TO HAVE THIS COMMENDABLE CONDUCT?
A. "REJOICE" THAT YOU ARE COUNTED WORTHY TO SUFFER...
1. So Peter commanded later in this epistle - 1 Pe 4:12-14
cf. also Ac 5:41
2. Just as Christ did in His sermon on the mount - Mt 5:10-12
3. Knowing that we are blessed in the sight of God, and have
joined a great group of prophets, apostles, and disciples in
suffering for Christ, can help us to have the proper attitude
(one of joy, not vengeance)
4. Even if those mistreating us do not know that we are
Christians, if our response is governed by Christ's teachings,
we can still have satisfaction in knowing that God is pleased
B. "RESIST" THE TEMPTATION TO RETALIATE...
1. When we suffer mistreatment by others, Satan is behind it all
- cf. 1 Pe 5:8-9
2. He would love to hinder the cause of Christ by having us
retaliate just as people in the world would, proving that
Christians are no different than sinners of the world
3. Don't let him win
C. "RESPOND" TO MISTREATMENT BY DOING MORE GOOD...
1. When mistreated for doing good, just do more good! -
cf. 1 Pe 3:9; Ro 12:20-21
2. "Endure" (1 Pe 2:19) means "to bear from underneath,
i.e. (fig.) to undergo hardship", thus to bear up under pressure
3. There is nothing noble (commendable) about stopping when "the
going gets tough"; but when "the tough get going", and going
about doing good, now THAT is commendable
D. "RELY" ON GOD...
1. Suffering patiently when mistreated for doing good does not
always bring immediate satisfaction
2. We must therefore trust in God, believing that His will is
3. So just as Jesus "committed Himself to Him who judges righteously"
(1 Pe 2:23 ), so should we - 1 Pe 4:19
4. And if our Christ-like behavior does not change the behavior
of those who mistreat us, God will one day do what is right
- cf. Ro 12:19; 2 Th 1:6
1. Hopefully by following the "four R's" (rejoice, resist, respond,
rely) we can follow in the steps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
2. If so, then we can be sure that we have "commendable conduct before God"!
We have made reference to what Jesus accomplished by suffering for us,
how He bore our sins on the tree (1 Pe 2:24). Peter also says Jesus
did this "that we, having died to sins might live for righteousness".
Have you "died to sins"? Do you even know how that it is accomplished?
The answer is found in Romans 6:1-8...
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