Gracious Suffering - 1 Peter 2:18-25

When you paint in broad strokes, Peter’s instructions in this section of his epistle seem to match up with the common teaching of Roman household codes: everyone, obey the emperor; slaves, submit to your masters; wives, submit to your husbands; husbands, honor your wives. On all of these points, Peter fits right in line with Plato, Plutarch, and Seneca.But this raises two questions: first, if this way of life isn’t very different from Roman life, why is Peter so worried about suffering and persecution? Second, if Peter and Plutarch are saying the same thing, is there anything specifically Christian about…

Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 by CJ Bowen

Free Servants - 1 Peter 2:13-17

A great many of the problems that we run into as we try to live as elect exiles come about when we face the paradox of being free servants and say “Pick one.” Which is it? Am I free, or am I a servant? But our task as Christians is to cling to both truths, never letting our freedom keep us from serving our neighbors and being subject to the authorities, and never letting our service and subjection cause us to lose sight of the freedom we have in Christ.Peter gives these instructions to people tempted to make mistakes in…

Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2016 by CJ Bowen

Visible Holiness - 1 Peter 2:11-12

How should Christians live in the midst of an unbelieving world? That’s the main question of the book of 1 Peter, even though it’s taken him until the middle of the second chapter to lay the foundation for his answer. Verses 11-12 are the summarized version, which he then unpacks from 2:11 all the way to 4:11.Here’s what Peter says: abstain from the passions of the flesh that assault your soul, and maintain good conduct in the sight of unbelievers. Even though you’re in unbelieving territory, don’t live like an unbeliever, but at the same time, live in a way…

Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 by CJ Bowen