1. Living Under Stress As . . Submissive Servants. 2:18-20
A. Submissive Servants with A . . Conscience Toward God. 2:18-19
18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the
harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering
B. Submissive Servants . . Commendable Before God. 2:20
20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten
for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good
and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
This is a stressful world but walking with Christ in the Spirit can definitely calm things down. When we walk with Christ, our conscience is better able to endure grief, suffering, and all kinds of stress. On one occasion I allowed myself to get under a real burden of stress. I went to a state conference and the speaker shared if you are under a lot of stress you are not under the Lord’s burden, but the worlds. That made a lot of since to me and I recognized the truth of that statement making immediately plans to correct it. In the time this text was written Christians were apt to suffer greatly for their faith. Today in our world many Christians suffer and some die. A man in a Muslim Country was just recently released from jail after being held for something like 1,000 days because he converted to Christianity and would not recant. That kind of faith is really commendable.
2. Living Under Stress As . . Suffering Servants. 2:21-23
A. Suffering Servants with An . . Example to Follow. 2:21
21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should
22 Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His Mouth.
Suffering Servants with An . . Extraordinarily Christian Character. 2:22
23 who, when He was
reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not
threaten, but committed
Himself to Him who judges
At the time this book of 1 Peter was written many Christian were suffering but they knew they had an example to follow in Christ. Christ did not suffer for His sin but ours. What an example! Through the years there have been many who had to suffer for Christ but knew in Him they had an extraordinary example.
Jesus committed Himself to the Father and trusted His judgement to be just and righteous. Do you believe you can trust the Father to judge you? Personally I believe I can trust the Lord to judge fairly. I am not afraid to be judged by the Father or Son in their particular roles in the present or future times of judgement. I believe He is fair and we do not need to fear him. Now it is also a great truth that we who are “in Christ” will not be judged related to our heavenly home but the “bema” judgement relates to heavenly rewards.
3. Living Under Stress As . . Satisfied Sheep. 2:24-25
A. Satisfied Sheep . . Living for Righteousness. 2:24
24 who Himself bore our
sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might
righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.
B. Satisfied Sheep . . Laughing about Restoration. 2:25
25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
I do not believe the statement, “by whose stripes you were healed” refers to physical healing. If it did it would have to include all sickness, injury, etc. The healing is past tense and if it referred to physical healing it
could eliminate death. This healing refers to the applying of the sacrifice of Christ’s blood for our sin debt.
The affect of His atoning death enables us to die to sin and someday live with Him. Because of this relationship we are called “sheep.” Now on occasion sheep do go astray but the Shepherd draws them home and they return. Their return is a happy experience and I can sense their laughter as they return to the Shepherd of their souls. No longer Living Under Stress Amen? Amen!