Scripture Reading: I Peter 2:11-25.
Memory Verse: “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” (I Peter 2:21)
We are quickly brought back down to earth by Peter as he presents us with our responsibilities and obligations. We should walk carefully as we identify the demands put upon God’s children.
We are first challenged to be subject to the civil government. A good citizen can do much to promote the good name of Jesus Christ. No doubt our churches have been hurt because of the civil misconduct of some of its members. A radical reaction by either a government or its citizens can lead to unnecessary suffering. However, we are given this guideline, which can lead to some persecution.
The message Peter gives to servants in I Peter 2:18 applies to us in whatever capacity we serve in our secular work, whether we are working for an employer or we are self-employed. This applies anytime that we are serving others in any capacity. The way we serve others offers an opportunity to demonstrate the servant attitude that our Savior showed through his life on earth. We work for imperfect people that do not always treat us fairly. What will be our attitude when an injustice happens? Will we continue to do our work as a faithful employee? Are we willing to follow the example of Jesus, who “was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth”?
Not once or twice in our fair island-story The path or duty was the way to glory. He, that ever following her commands, On with toil of heart and knees and hands, Thro’ the long gorge to the far light has won His path upward, and prevailed, Shall find the toppling crags of Duty scaled Are close upon the shining table lands To which our God Himself is moon and sun. -Alfred Tennyson
- How is Peter making a special appeal to God’s people? I Peter 2:11-12. What should be the reason for any accusations against us? Philippians 2:15; Matthew 5:16.
- Discuss the expected duty these verses call us to. I Peter 2:13-14. How far should this submission go? Acts 5:28-29.
- What is the motivation for submission? I Peter 2:15. Explain the phrase “ignorance of foolish men.”
- In what ways could we abuse the liberty Christ has given us? I Peter 2:16; Galatians 5:13; I Corinthians 8:9-13.
- How do we apply this in our contemporary society? I Peter 2:17. Remember, some leaders are a Nero.
- What should a servant’s attitude be toward his master? I Peter 2:18. What if the master is cruel and difficult to get along with?
- How is a servant supposed to respond to a harsh taskmaster? I Peter 2:19-20. Why? Matthew 5:10; II Corinthians 4:17.
- What example do we have for suffering wrongfully? I Peter 2:21-23; Isaiah 53:1-3.
- How far was Christ willing to submit Himself? I Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:4-5. Why? Romans 5:8; Galatians 5:13.
- What is our gain from the act of submission as a way of life? I Peter 2:25; Isaiah 53:6.
EXTRA-MILE QUESTION: List some ways that you serve others in your personal life and in your professional life. Can you think of examples of when you have suffered unjustly in that service? How did you handle the situation?