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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 7 - CIVIC RESPONSIBILITIES (1 PETER 2:11-20)

INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK OUR STUDY IS 1 PETER 2: 11-20.
LETS REVIEW AGAIN:

     1.  IN THE 1ST CHPT PETER TELLS US TO REJOICE BECAUSE JESUS
     HAS GIVEN US HOPE: THAT WE WILL NOT JUST DIE--HOPE IN THE
     RESURRECTION AND HEAVEN.

     2.  THAT HOPE ALLOWS US TO REJOICE DESPITE TRIALS

     3.  THAT HOPE CAUSES US TO GET OUR MINDS IN GEAR TO DECIDE TO
     LIVE HOLY LIVES

     4. THAT HOPE CAUSES US TO HAVE THE RIGHT ATTITUDES TOWARDS
     OTHERS

     5. AND A DESIRE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT JESUS--

     6. THAT MAKES US A CHOSEN PEOPLE, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD AND A 
     HOLY NATION. (2:9)  SOUNDS GREAT, RIGHT?

I. ALIENS
     A. READ 2:11.  HOW DO YOU FIGURE?  JUST AFTER TELLING US THAT
WE ARE ROYAL PRIESTS AND A CHOSEN PEOPLE, PETER NOW SAYS THAT WE
ARE ALIENS AND STRANGERS.  
          1. HOW CAN THAT BE? (WE ARE PART OF GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE
AND ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, BUT WE ARE ALIENS TO THE WORLD.)

     B. WHY DOES PETER STRESS THIS ALIEN STUFF? (IN 1:1 HE WAS
CALLING US "STRANGERS" TOO.  POINT IS: KNOW WHO YOU ARE.))

     C. OK. SO PETER SAYS TO US, "KNOW WHO YOU ARE.  KNOW YOUR
PLACE."

     D. KNOWING OUR PLACE, PETER SAYS, CAUSES US TO ABSTAIN FROM
SINFUL DESIRES.  
          1. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? (LONGING FOR HUMAN WEAKNESS)
          2. WHY DOES KNOWING OUR PLACE CAUSE US TO ABSTAIN? (IF
YOU ARE A TEMPORARY STRANGER, YOU ARE UNLIKELY TO ADOPT THE CUSTOMS
OF THE LOCALS.)
          3. WHY DO SINFUL DESIRES "WAR AGAINST OUR SOULS?"
          4. AND ARE WE IN A WAR?
(THESE DESIRES COME FROM THE DEVIL.  AND HIS WAR PLAN (HE DOES HAVE
A PLAN) IS TO DO IN OUR SOULS.  SO PETER SAYS, "FIGHT IT" "STAY
AWAY!")

II. GOOD LIVES

     A. READ v.12.

     B. NEXT PETER TELLS US ABOUT OUR ACTIONS: HE SAYS, "LIVE GOOD
LIVES."  WHY? (PAGANS SEE IT.)
     C. BY THE WAY, THE GREEK WORD TRANSLATED "GOOD,"  CAN ALSO
MEAN "BEAUTIFUL" OR "ATTRACTIVE."

          1. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT OUR CHURCH WANTS TO BE RESPECTABLE
IN THE WORLD, ACCEPTED.  AND SO DO I.  
               a. DOES PETER SAY THAT THE PAGANS ARE GOING TO
PRAISE US FOR OUR GOOD LIVES? (NO.  HE SAYS THAT THEY ARE GOING TO
ACCUSE US OF WRONGDOING.)

          2. SO WHAT IS THE POINT IF THEY ARE GOING TO BAD MOUTH US
ANYWAY? (PETER SAYS TWO THINGS:
               a. THE PAGANS WILL GLORIFY GOD FOR OUR GOOD WORKS;

               b. ON THE DAY GOD VISITS.)

     D. WHEN DO YOU THINK GOD WILL BE VISITING THE PAGANS?
(VISITATION IN THE OT MOST OFTEN REFERRED TO JUDGMENT. EX.
20:5;34:7; LEV.18:25.  BUT IT HAS ALSO BEEN USED TO MEAN COMING IN
MERCY.  ZACHARIAS PRAISES GOD FOR VISITING HIS PEOPLE IN THE BIRTH
OF HIS SON JOHN THE BAPTIST. LK 1:78 av.)
          1. WHY WILL THEY GLORIFY GOD THEN? (IF JT. THEN FINAL
ADMISSION THAT JESUS IS JUST (WON'T THAT BE GREAT TO FEEL THAT WE
HAVE BEEN A PART OF WINNING THE GREAT CONTROVERSY?)  IF VISIT MEANS
CONVICTION, THEN AN EVEN GREATER POSITIVE FEELING THAT WE HAVE
HELPED LEAD SOMEONE TO CHRIST.)

III. SUBMISSION TO OTHERS

     A. READ v. 13-17.

     B. SO FAR WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT OBEYING GOD.  PETER HERE
TELLS US (v.16) TO "LIVE AS SERVANTS OF GOD."  
     
          1. BUT HE GOES A LOT FURTHER: HE SAYS THAT WE SHOULD 
          SUBMIT TO THE AUTHORITY OF MAN.

          2. WHAT DO YOU THINK HE MEANS BY THAT? (GOV'T AUTHORITY)
          3. DOES THIS VARY BY COUNTRY? (YES, BECAUSE THE NATURE OF
THE AUTHORITY VARIES BY COUNTRY. OUR COUNTRY IS MOST UNUSUAL IN
TERMS OF AUTHORITY.  HERE, A FOUNDATION OF OUR GOV'T AUTHORITY IS
LIMITED.  (THE 9TH AND 10TH AMENDS LIMIT THE FED GOV'T AND SAY ALL
AUTHORITY NOT GIVEN TO THE FED GOV'T IS RETAINED BY THE STATES OR
THE PEOPLE.)

     C. IF WE ARE ALIENS, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING TO
AUTHORITY? (THIS IS STILL A PART OF PETER'S GOOD LIVES, GOOD WORKS
THEME.  WHAT WE DO REFLECTS ON GOD. HE DOES NOT WANT ANY BASIS FOR
PEOPLE TO THINK THAT FOLLOWING GOD PROMOTES BAD LIVES.)

     D. IS IT JUST THAT?  OR IS IT MORE? 
     E. THE NIV MAKES THIS CLEARER THAN IT IS BY TRANSLATING (ONE
AUTHORITY SAID "EXPANDING") v. 13 AS "EVERY AUTHORITY INSTITUTED." 
THE KJV SAYS "ORDINANCE" OF MAN. BUT A LITERAL TRANSLATION OF THE
GREEK IS, "BE SUBJECT TO EVERY CREATION OF MAN." ("KTISIS" MEANS
CREATION. OR TO CREATE.  VINES SAYS THAT THIS WORD WAS NEVER USED
IN THE GREEK OF THE DAY TO REFER TO GOD'S CREATION--ONLY WHAT MAN
CREATED.)

(THE IDEA OF SHOWING RESPECT TO EVERYONE, AS INDICATED IN v. 17 IS
PART OF THIS EXPANDED IDEA.)

IV.  SUBMISSION OF SLAVES

     A. READ v. 18-20. IS PETER JUST REPEATING HIMSELF HERE? (NO.
HE IS NOW ADDRESSING "OIKETES," "SERVANTS"-- "HOUSEHOLD SERVANTS."
SO HE NOW ADDRESSES PEOPLE WHO ARE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION.)

     B. WHY IS IT COMMENDABLE TO BE UNJUSTLY BEATEN? (BECAUSE IT
REVEALS CHRIST'S ATTITUDE: HE WAS WILLING TO BE BEATEN FOR US.  IF,
AS PETER SAID IN v.12, GOOD WORKS GLORIFY GOD (AT LEAST ON THE DAY
OF JT.), THEN SUBMITTING TO AUTHORITY THROUGH SUFFERING W/O
STRIKING BACK GLORIFIES GOD.)

     C. IS THIS A POPULAR CONCEPT TODAY?

     D. DOES THIS ONLY APPLY TO HOUSEHOLD SERVANTS? (TWO POINTS:
          1.THE IDEA OF SUBMITTING TO AUTHORITY IS UNIVERSAL.
PERHAPS WE HAVE AN SMALLER CIRCLE OF AUTHORITY WHEN WE ARE DEALING
WITH FREE MEN AND WOMEN.
          2. A FUNDAMENTAL IDEA IS BREAKING THE CHAIN OF
WRONGDOING.  IF YOU "GET BACK" AT SOMEONE FOR DOING EVIL, YOU ARE
STILL IN BONDAGE TO EVIL.  BUT IF YOU ENDURE WITHOUT "HITTING
BACK," YOU HAVE BROKEN THE CHAIN OF EVIL. YOU DO NOT NEED REVENGE,
GOD WILL REPAY.)

     E. DOES THIS CONCEPT APPLY TO EMPLOYEES? (SINCE I SUE
EMPLOYERS WHO DO NOT RESPECT THE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF EMPLOYEES,
THIS IS A MATTER OF CONCERN.  IT GOES BACK TO THE QUESTION OF
AUTHORITY.  EMPLOYERS ARE UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE, AND THE
STATE MANDATES ACCOMMODATION FOR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.)

     F. WHAT IS PETER'S POINT ABOUT DESERVING WHAT YOU GET IN v.
20?
          1. DOES THIS APPLY TO MORE THAN A BEATING FOR SERVANTS?
(THINK IT IS A WARNING TO US.  MY BET IS MOST OF OUR SUFFERING
ARISES FROM OUR OWN DECISIONS.  PETER SAYS YOU DON'T DESERVE ANY
CREDIT FOR SUFFERING FROM YOUR OWN WRONG DECISIONS.)

V. NEXT WEEK: 2:20-25.  PETER GETS INTO A DEEPER EXPLANATION ABOUT
HOW AND WHY WE SHOULD BE WILLING TO SUFFER ABUSE.
WRONG DECISIONS.) V. NEXT WEEK: 2:20-25. PETER GETS INTO A DEEPER EXPLANATION ABOUT HOW AND WHY WE SHOULD BE WILLING TO SUFFER ABUSE.