Because the word was preached to you, because it stands forever and you are now of imperishable seed (born of someone who will not perish), rid yourself of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. Crave the basics…but grow up.
You know that the Lord is good.
As you come to Jesus, you’ll be built into a spiritual house and priesthood offering sacrifices to God through Jesus. Scripture itself says:
I lay a stone in Zion, a cornerstone; whoever trusts in it will not be put to shame
To those who believe, the stone is precious. To those who do not, it is stumbled over and discarded, cast aside and meaningless.
But you are His chosen, people with a mission to praise Him to all people because he called you out of darkness and into the light. Once, you were not this people and you had no identity but now you are his. Once, you had not received mercy, now tou have.
This identity demands that you be strangers and aliens here- so strange and so alien that you abstain from sinful desires- they war against you. Live so faithfully as a stranger and alien to the world that they have nothing “honest” to accuse you of. And even if they should accuse you, your real deeds will be so obvious and God will be glorified.
Submit to the authorities over you- ALL OF THEM- the kings who have supreme authority and the governors who are sent in to punish those who do wrong and lift up those who do right. It is God’s will that you:
- do right- and when you do, your critics will be silenced
- live free- but not so free that sin abounds but as servants of God
- respect all- love believers, fear God and honor human authorities
Slaves, serve your human masters faithfully- the good ones who are considerate of you and even the ones who treat you harshly. If you suffer unjustly, you’ll be commended by God because you know him. But, if you are evil and endure suffering, this suffering has no value; you were called to suffer for doing good and Jesus was our example:
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth
When they attacked him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. He just gave himself over to God. He alone bore our sins that we might die to sin and live for righteousness- his bearing of our sin heals us. You were like sheep gone astray, but now you’ve come home to the Shepherd and Overseer.
1 Peter 2- paraphrased from NIV 1984.