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

LESSON 8 - WALKING IN HIS FOOTSTEPS (1 PETER 2:20-25)

INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK WE STUDY 1 PET. 2:20-25.  LAST WEEK THE
LAST PART OF OUR LESSON DEALT WITH SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY--AND SO
DOES OUR LESSON THIS WEEK.

     PART OF PETER'S GOOD LIVES, GOOD WORKS THEME--THAT WHAT WE DO
REFLECTS ON GOD--IS THIS IDEA OF SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY.

     LETS PICK UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF LAST WEEK:

I.  SUBMISSION OF SLAVES

     A. READ v. 18-20. IS PETER JUST REPEATING WHAT HE SAID BEFORE
ABOUT SUBMISSION TO GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY? (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.)

     C. BUT JESUS HAD A GOAL--TO SAVE US.  WHAT GOAL DOES THE
BEATEN SLAVE HAVE?
     
(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.)

     D. DOES THIS ONLY APPLY TO HOUSEHOLD SERVANTS?
     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.)
     
 (TWO POINTS:
          1.THE IDEA OF SUBMITTING TO AUTHORITY IS UNIVERSAL. BUT
PERHAPS WE HAVE A SMALLER CIRCLE OF AUTHORITY WHEN WE ARE DEALING
WITH FREE MEN AND WOMEN. FOR EXAMPLE EMPLOYERS ARE UNDER THE
AUTHORITY OF THE STATE, AND THE STATE MANDATES ACCOMMODATION FOR
RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.)

          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.)

II. GETTING WHAT YOU DESERVE

     A. WHAT IS PETER'S POINT ABOUT DESERVING WHAT YOU GET IN v.
20?
          1. DOES THIS APPLY TO MORE THAN A BEATING FOR SERVANTS?

          2. MY DRIVING IS LESS THAN PERFECT SOMETIMES. ASSUME THAT
I GET INTO SOME TERRIBLE ACCIDENT BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN OBNOXIOUS: 
SHOULD I GET CREDIT FOR SUFFERING PATIENTLY WITH MY INJURIES?

          3.  WHAT IF I DO NOT WATCH MY DIET AND HAVE A HEART
ATTACK?

          4.  WHAT IF I MARRY AN ABUSIVE SPOUSE--AFTER BEING
WARNED?

 (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.)


III. CHRIST'S EXAMPLE

     A. READ 2:21-25.  DO YOU RECALL OUR STUDY OF PETER'S ATTITUDE
TOWARDS JESUS' STATEMENTS (PRIOR TO THE CROSS) THAT HE WOULD HAVE
TO SUFFER? (SOMEBODY READ MATT. 16:22 HE WAS HOSTILE TO THAT IDEA. 
HE DENIED IT.)

     B. IS HE STILL HOSTILE? (NO. HE NOW SAYS THAT WE ARE ALL
CALLED INTO IT. v.21)

     C. WHICH DO YOU LIKE BETTER: PETER'S ADVICE THEN OR HIS ADVICE
NOW?

     D. LOOK CAREFULLY AT THIS: PETER SAYS WE ARE "CALLED" TO
SUFFER FOR DOING GOOD.  IN 2:9 HE SAYS WE ARE CALLED FROM DARKNESS
INTO LIGHT.  
          1. IS AN UNJUST BEATING LIGHT?
          2. ARE WE REALLY "CALLED" TO SUFFER FOR DOING GOOD?

     E. GO BACK TO MATT AGAIN: THE DISCUSSION BETWEEN JESUS AND
PETER. READ MATT 16: 23-25.

     F. ARE PETER AND JESUS NOW SAYING THE SAME THING?
          1. DOES WHAT JESUS SAID CAST LIGHT ON WHAT PETER IS
SAYING?

     G. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT PETER IS NOT SAYING THAT WE ARE CALLED
TO SUFFERING, BUT THAT WE ARE CALLED - IF WE SUFFER - TO BE
PATIENT? "TO BEAR UP" v.19. 

     H. OR, IF WE ARE NOT SUFFERING, IS IT BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT
ANSWERED THE CALL OF PETER 2:9?
      
     I. WHY DID THE PHARISEES DECIDE TO GO AFTER JESUS? (CONSIDER
THE IDEA THAT IF WE ARE NOT MAKING A DIFFERENCE, THERE IS NO REASON
TO GO AFTER US.  BUT IF WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE, SHOWING UP
UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, THEN WE BECOME A TARGET.)


     J. NOTICE v.23 AGAIN. IT SAYS THAT JESUS "TRUSTED HIMSELF TO
HIM WHO JUDGES JUSTLY."  WHY DOES TRUSTING IN GOD MEAN THAT WE DO
NOT RETALIATE OR MAKE THREATS? 

(WE HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE FATHER'S RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT. "DO NOT
TAKE REVENGE, MY FRIENDS, BUT LEAVE ROOM FOR GOD'S WRATH, FOR IT IS
WRITTEN: 'IT IS MINE TO AVENGE; I WILL REPAY,' SAYS THE LORD."
ROM.12:19)
     K. DRAW     (LIFE PEOPLE)     (DEATH PEOPLE)
                 (RIGHTEOUS)       (UNRIGHTEOUS)
                 (ACTS->LIFE)      (ACTS->DEATH)
          
     L. CAN WE MAKE UP A MODEL HERE OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE
UNRIGHTEOUS?  THAT ON THE ONE SIDE ARE ACTIONS THAT LEAD TO DEATH
(GOD KNEW THIS FROM THE BEGINNING. HE DID NOT IMPOSE DEATH AS A
PENALTY, HE SIMPLY KNEW WHERE SIN LEADS) AND ON THE OTHER SIDE ARE
ACTS THAT LEAD TOWARDS LIFE.
          1. THE DEATH SIDE PEOPLE IMPOSE THEMSELVES AND THEIR
VALUES ON THE LIFE-SIDE PEOPLE.
          2. BUT THE LIFE-SIDE PEOPLE NEVER IMPOSE THE ACTIONS AND
VALUES OF THE DEATH-SIDE PEOPLE ON THE DEATH SIDE PEOPLE.

     M. IF YOU ACCEPT THE FACT THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE A
SACRIFICE, DOES THAT MAKE LIFE EASIER?
          1. HOW MUCH OF YOUR LIFE EFFORTS ARE SPENT TRYING NOT TO
BE EMBARRASSED?  OR TRYING TO LOOK BETTER THAN OTHERS?

     N. IN v.24 IT SAYS THAT JESUS BORE OUR SINS IN HIS BODY ON THE
TREE SO THAT WE BEING DEAD TO SINS (KJV) MIGHT LIVE FOR
RIGHTEOUSNESS:
          1. HOW DO WE DIE TO SINS BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS DID?

          2. HOW DO WE LIVE FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS BECAUSE OF WHAT HE
DID? (THE DEATH PART COMES BECAUSE HE PAID THE PRICE FOR US.  THE
RIGHTWAYSNESS PART IS THIS WHOLE CONCEPT OF GOOD LIVES THAT PETER
STRESSES.)

(JESUS FREED US FROM THIS CYCLE OF DEATH.  HE BROKE THE CHAIN OF
SUFFERING BY FREEING US FROM WHAT WE DESERVED, SO WE TOO CAN BREAK
THE CHAIN BY FREEING OTHERS FROM WHAT THEY DESERVE (THAT IS, NOT
RETALIATE.)
          
     O. IN v.25 JESUS IS CALLED THE SHEPHERD AND THE OVERSEER (THE
BISHOP). PETER GOES FROM THE IDEA THAT JESUS IS THE LAMB SACRIFICE
FOR US TO THE IDEA THAT HE IS OUR SHEPHERD. 
     
          1.HOW IS JESUS OUR SHEPHERD? (IF WE ARE CHRISTIANS, WE
ARE IN HIS CARE!)

          2. WHEN WERE WE GOING ASTRAY? (BEFORE WE WERE CHRISTIANS-
-OR WERE FULLY CONVERTED. PETER WAS SCATTERED THE NIGHT THAT JESUS
WAS ARRESTED BECAUSE HIS HEART WAS NOT COMPLETELY CONVERTED.)

IV. NEXT WEEK: 1 PETER 3:1-7 AUTHORITY IN THE FAMILY AND ADVICE
THAT IS PRESENTLY UNDER SERIOUS ATTACK IN THE WORLD TODAY.  I COULD
GET IN ALL SORTS OF TROUBLE!
: 1 PETER 3:1-7 AUTHORITY IN THE FAMILY AND ADVICE THAT IS PRESENTLY UNDER SERIOUS ATTACK IN THE WORLD TODAY. I COULD GET IN ALL SORTS OF TROUBLE!