1 Peter: God’s Pilgrim People in a Hostile World – Strangers and Pilgrims in the World

Peter Barnes | 1 Peter 2:11-12

1 Peter 2:11-12

– How is a Christian to live in this world? Work from the general to the particular – that is the right order.

1. Christians are strangers and exiles in the world.

– 2:11; literally ‘away from homers’.

– Ps.39:12-13; Heb.11:13; Phil.3:20.

– When Philip Henry (Matthew Henry’s father) became engaged to a woman of high class, her father was not happy, and asked his daughter: ‘Where has he come from?’ She replied: ‘I do not know where he has come from, but I do know where he is going.’

2. Abstain from evil, do what is good.

– 2:11-12. The negative part is that we abstain from the passions of the flesh; see Gal.5:19-21. Also 1 Cor.15:33.

– then we have the positive side – 2:12; the word is usually ‘beautiful’.

3. This may win some unbelievers.

– 2:12; Matt.5:16; Justin Martyr was moved by the sight of Christian martyrs to become a Christian himself, and then a martyr.

– Richard Dawkins: ‘Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.’ Some of us tend to fight abuse with abuse, but Peter says to wear it down with your good works. Note 1 Thess.4:11-12; 1 Tim.3:7. John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress: He’ll labour night and day/ To be a pilgrim.