Live as People Who’re Free

1 Peter 2:11-12 ESV

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

We Live as Strangers on Earth

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to live as though we are strangers here on this earth, as though this world is not our home and as though heaven is our true home. Although we live in this world, we are not to be of the world. We are not to be like the world, but we are to be like Jesus who died for us.

When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old lives of living for sin and self are put to death so that we can now live for our Lord.

So, we are not to participate in the passions of the flesh which involve such things as lying, gossiping, cheating, stealing, abusing, lusting, committing adultery, deceiving, manipulating others and mistreating others. For God is love, and he is within us, and love does no harm to its neighbor.

Instead, we are to walk (in conduct) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. And we are to love one another as we love ourselves and as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. And we are to love God and to keep our Lord’s commandments (New Covenant).

And we are to do so, not just because it is the right thing and the loving thing to do, and because our Lord commands it, but we are to do so also for the sake of our testimony among those who do not know the Lord or who are not walking in fellowship with him, for we want them to know Jesus, too.

1 Peter 2:13-17 ESV

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”

Living as Servants of God

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be obedient to governing authorities, but with limitations or exceptions. We must not compromise with the world or compromise the truth of the gospel or our morals. We must never obey evil. We must never do what evil people do. We are allowed to resist evil.

We are not to take the “mark of the beast.” And a mark is not merely something physical that can be seen with human eyes, but a mark is foremost taking on the influence, character, attributes, values, philosophies and belief system and practices of the world system. Don’t do it!

If people in authority over us, whether at a workplace, or in the government, or in the church, demand that we change up the gospel message to make it more acceptable and less offensive to the world, we say “No!” If they try to persuade us to not speak the truth, we kindly answer, “No!”

And also, we don’t worship the government or pastors in churches. We don’t pledge to them our undying loyalty and devotion. It is not them we are to follow. We are to follow Jesus Christ. We only obey them as far as what they are asking of us is not against God’s divine will and purpose for our lives.

We are not to be rebels and troublemakers, but we are to stand on the truth of God’s word and for what is right and just and holy. We can follow Jesus’ example in this as well as the examples of the New Testament apostles, who did not compromise truth and righteousness to obey human authority.

And the truth of God’s word does not permit us to continue living in sin and for self under the guise of God’s grace. The truth is that Jesus died on that cross to put sin to death so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, all in His power, wisdom, and strength.

So, yes, Jesus died on that cross to free us from sin, but not just from the punishment of sin, but from slavery to sin, so that we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, and so we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.

So, living in the freedom which God provided us means we no longer live according to the flesh, but now we walk according to the Spirit, we die with Christ to sin, we submit to him as Lord above all else and everyone else, and we honor him with our obedience to his commands (New Covenant).

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 6:44; Jn 14:23-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15, 21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8]

Here I Am, Lord

By Daniel L. Schutte

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them –
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night
I will go, Lord
If You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart

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