Archive for May, 2010

May 28, 2010

Examples to Imitate

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 29, 3 John 1

Imitate to Inherit

Paul told the Ephesians to “be imitators of God” [1], the Philippians to have the same “attitude [] which was also in Christ Jesus” [2], and the Corinthians to “[b]e imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” [3].

The writer of Hebrews commended a reason for such imitation: “ … show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” [4].

But not everyone should be imitated.  John warned, “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.  The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God” [5].  How do we distinguish, however, between “what is good” and “what is evil”?

What Is Good: Gaius

Gaius is an example of “what is good” because he walked “in the truth” [6], “act[ed] faithfully” [7], and loved the church, “especially when they [were] strangers” [8].  He evidenced his love for these brethren-strangers by showing them hospitality.  At the time, since hotels were nonexistent, it was traditional for hosts to accompany their guests on their first day’s journey.  Thus, John exhorted Gaius to practice this tradition “in a manner worthy of God” [9] and gave three reasons for doing so: (a) because they were working “for the sake of the Name” [10], (b) because only Christians would support their work of advancing the gospel [11], and (c) because supporting their work enabled them to be partners [12].

What Is Evil: Diotrephes

Diotrephes, however, constitutes a foil to Gaius.  He “love[d] to be first” and “[did] not accept” the message of the apostles [13] – even “unjustly accusing [John and his coworkers] with wicked words” [14].  Unlike Gaius, Diotrephes did “not receive the brethren” – even forbidding others from doing so under threat of ex-communication [15].

Standard of Measurement: Jesus

Unlike Diotrephes, Gaius is an example of “what is good” because he imitates the love and hospitality of our Lord.  Jesus does not love us because we are attractive, successful, popular or insiders.  Rather, He loves us “while we [are] yet sinners” [16].  He shows hospitality by welcoming “the least of these” and exhorts us to do likewise [17].

What kind of example are you imitating?  And what kind of example are you becoming?

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[1] Ephesians 5:1 NASB  |  [2] Philippians 2:5 NASB  |  [3] 1 Corinthians 11:1 NASB  |  [4] Hebrews 6:11-12 NASB, see also Hebrews 11:1ff  |  [5] 3 John 11 NASB  |  [6] 3 John 4 NASB  |  [7] 3 John 5 NASB  |  [8] 3 John 6 NASB  |  [9] 2 John 6 NASB  |  [10] 3 John 7 NASB  |  [11] Id. |  [12] 3 John 8 NASB  |  [13] 3 John 9 NASB  |  [14] 3 John 10 NASB  |  [15] 3 John 10 NASB  |  [16] Romans 5:8 NASB  |  [17] Matthew 25:31-46 NASB

May 27, 2010

Truth and Love: A Match Made in Heaven

by Perryn Pettus

Love and Truth Together

We often think of truth and love as diametrically opposed entities.  Truth often seems aggressive, haughty and prideful, while love brings thoughts of agreeableness and happiness.  Yet, truth and love do not act independently while only occasionally joining forces.  For the Christian, truth and love coexist all the time – truth tells us what we’re aiming for and love gives us the motivation to reach the goal.

One Without the Other

In fact, truth is like a map that directs our driving route and love is like the gasoline that enables the car to be driven.  A map without gasoline is useless and gasoline without a map is useless [1]. Specifically, truth without love merely serves as a way to gain power and love without truth is cowardice.  As we grow in Christ, not only are we commanded to speak the truth in love [2], we are also told to be cautious of those who do not speak the truth of Christ lest we share in their wicked ways [3].

Uniting the Two

How, then, do we reconcile these two together so that they begin to coexist in our hearts and lives?  On the one hand, God commands that we walk in love: “Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another” [4].  On the other hand, obeying His commands is love: “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments” [5].  The cyclical nature of love and commands provides an inherent bond between truth and love, as they exist together in Christianity.  If our hearts and minds are focused on loving God and demonstrating that love by obeying His commands, truth and love will form our hearts and lives as they are joined perfectly together.

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Written by guest author Perryn Pettus

[1] Analogy taken from Mark Dever, sermon overview on 2 John  |  [2] Ephesians 4:15  |  [3] 2 John 7-11 |  [4] 2 John 5 NASB, see also John 13:34  |  [5] 2 John 6 NASB

May 26, 2010

Why does it matter that Jesus is fully God?

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 27, 1 John 5

Not only is Jesus the Son of Man …

As we have seen this week, Jesus came in spirit and in flesh.  As the Son of Man, he offered Himself as a perfect and spotless sacrifice to atone for our sins.  Demonstrating His acceptance of this sacrifice, God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand [1].

… He is also the Son of God …

Yet, Jesus was not merely the Son of Man; He was also the Son of God.  In fact, John wrote an entire gospel account for us to believe this: “ … these [signs that Jesus performed] have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” [2].

… and, as such, He possesses the family resemblance.

Jesus is everything that God is.  He is omniscient [3], omnipresent [4] and omnipotent [5].  He has authority to forgive sins [6] and, as the Creator [7], He rules over all [8] and is not dependent on anything for life [9].  He has always existed and will always exist: “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am’” [10] [11].

This is a hard truth …

Although John walked alongside our Lord in intimate circles for three years, he didn’t understand Christ’s deity until His resurrection.  This is why he wrote his gospel account of Christ’s life (John) and recorded his apocalyptic vision of Christ’s reign (Revelation) – he doesn’t want his readers to be as confused as he was about the person of Jesus.  Thus, as he neared the end of his life, he wrote this letter to stamp out any false teaching that Jesus was anything other than fully God and fully man.

… but it is life-changing.

To the extent that we believe in Jesus’ deity and present reign, we are able to endure the present age and maintain our hope and joy for one to come [12].  Since He sits as our mediator at God’s right hand [13], we have confidence before Him that “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” [14].

In your prayers, do you have confidence before God, knowing that Jesus is fully God and serves as your advocate?

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[1] Ephesians 1:1-23  |  [2] John 20:30-31 NASB  |  [3] Matthew 18:20, 28:20; Acts 18:10  |  [4] Matthew 16:21; Luke 11:17; John 4:29  |  [5] Matthew 8:26-27, 28:18; John 11:38-44; Luke 7:14-15; Revelation 1:8  |  [6] Mark 2:5-13  |  [7] Colossians 1:16  |  [8] Matthew 28:18, Revelation 19:16, 1:5  |  [9] John 1:4, 14:6, 8:58  |  [10] John 8:58 NASB  |  [11] Hebrews 1:2 NASB  |  [12] Titus 2:12-14  |  [13] 1 Timothy 2:5 NASB  |  [14] 1 John 5:14-15 NASB

May 25, 2010

Why does it matter that Jesus is fully man?

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 26, 1 John 4

The doctrinal test …

As we saw yesterday, false teachers were proclaiming that Christians could separate their physical lives from their spiritual ones.  This belief, however, was only the tip of the iceberg.  Their deep doctrinal error was their belief that Jesus came only in spirit, not flesh.  According to John, however, believing that Jesus came in the flesh is the doctrinal test of first importance for the Christian:  “By this you know the Spirit of God:  every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God … ” [1].

… is Jesus in the flesh …

Jesus has a human body: “And the Word became flesh” [2].  He was born [3] and grew up [4].  He got tired [5], thirsty [6] and hungry [7].  He died [8] and was resurrected: “See My hands and My feet … touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” [9].

Moreover, He experiences human emotions.  He “wept” when His friend died [10], offered prayers “with loud crying and tears” [11] and, as He faced crucifixion, he was “deeply grieved, to the point of death” [12].

Jesus has a human mind and will.  He “increased in wisdom” [13] and sought His Father’s will, not His own: “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” [14].

… as atonement for our sins.

Jesus’ sinless human life is not a mere ideal or model.  He was not a mere moral teacher.  He was “spotless” so that He could be a legally acceptable sacrifice for our sins [15].

When Jesus offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice to atone for the sins of the world, He became our High Priest and satisfied Levitical law.  He was sinless in every way that we were not so that He could redeem us in every way – body, heart, mind and will:  “He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” [16].

Today, as you experience moments of sin in thought or deed, how can you praise Jesus in those moments for his perfect, sinless human life that He lived for you? [17]

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[1] 1 John 4:1-3 NASB  |  [2] John 1:14 NASB  |  [3] Luke 2:7  |  [4] Luke 2:40, 52  |  [5] John 4:6  |  [6] John 19:28  |  [7] Matthew 4:2  |  [8] Luke 23:46; Mark 15:37  |  [9] Luke 24:39 NASB, see also John 20:20, 27  |  [10] John 11:35 NASB  |  [11] Hebrews 5:7 NASB  |  [12] Matthew 26:38 NASB  |  [13] Luke 2:52 NASB  |  [14] John 6:38 NASB, see also Matthew 26:39 |  [15] 1 Peter 1:18-19 NASB  |  [16] Hebrews 2:17 NASB, see also Hebrews 4:15 [17] If you struggle with the humanity of Jesus (as many of us do), then I commend reading the gospel of Mark, The Person of Christ by Donald MacLeod, Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion,  Book II, Ch. XIV, “How Two Natures Constitute the Person of the Mediator.”

May 24, 2010

Being and Doing

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 25, 1 John 3

An Absent Boss

Imagine that you set up a company.  You incorporate, solicit investors, appoint officers and hire staff.  Then you go on a business trip.  You leave someone in charge (“Mr. Number Two”) and give him instructions about how to manage the company in your absence.  When you return, you discover that none of your instructions have been followed and the business is in shambles.  You ask Mr. Number Two, “What happened? Did you get my letter?” He responds, “Yes, I got it and it was amazing!  In fact, your letter was so good that I made copies of it and distributed it to everyone.  We had small group letter studies and even memorized parts” [6].

An Ever-Present Lord

False teachers were living among the Christians to whom John was writing.  They were teaching that it was possible to be righteous without practicing righteousness: “Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” [1] [2].

A Born-Again Obedience

John is saying that we can’t be like Mr. Number Two, who marvels at the beauty of letters from a physically absent chief without doing what they say.  We can’t sit in Bible studies and consider the truth of the Word of our Lord without being changed by it.

God won’t let us.  If you are a Christian, then you have been “born again, not of seed which is perishable but imperishable” [3].  This seed is incompatible with sinful behavior: “No one born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” [4].  God does not make peace with sinful behavior.

John tells us of the connection between being and doing because he wants us to be assured of our salvation:  “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” [5].  Whether we increasingly obey His commands evidences whether we have eternal life and have been born again by an imperishable seed.

If you lack confidence in your salvation, to what extent is your lack of confidence a reflection of a disconnect in your life between your being and your doing?

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[1] 1 John 3:7 NASB  |  [2] See also 1 John 1:6; 2:4, 29  |  [3] 1 Peter 2:23 NASB  |  [4] 1 John 3:9 NASB  |  [5] 1 John 5:13 NASB  |  [6] Analogy inspired by Mark Dever, overview sermon on 1 John.

May 21, 2010

A Thief in the Night

by Bethany

As we saw yesterday, Peter is concerned about false teachers bringing in destructive heresies.  These teachers were so devoted to the present world that they rejected Christ’s Second Coming: “ … mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’” [1].

Since the Day of the Lord …

The day of the Lord is coming.  The Old Testament prophets spoke of a day when God would vindicate His holy name, bring destruction on His unrepentant enemies, and gather His people into a new kingdom [2].

… will come like a thief …

That day will come unexpectedly and suddenly – “like a thief” [3].  As Jesus warned, “ … be on the alert, for you do not know which day the Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into” [4].

… and the earth will be destroyed …

When that day comes, “the earth and its works will be burned up” [5] and “the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat” [6] [7].  Only righteousness will survive: “ … new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” [8].

… what sort of people should we be?

“Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be …?” [9].  We must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will” [10] and we should be “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God” [11].

We make ourselves “ready” and “hasten” His coming when we live in “holy conduct and godliness” [12].  When we pursue righteousness, we pursue that which lasts and is not destroyed.  Yet, how much do we think and talk about iPads and blockbusters rather than about the cross and righteousness?

The Lord is holding back the Day of the Lord because He longs for us to repent and receive His righteousness: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” [13].

Today, how will you spend your time, talk and tithe on things that will last – even into eternity?

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[1] 2 Peter 3:3-4 NASB  |  [2] see Joel 2:30ff, Zephaniah 1:14ff, Malachi 4:1ff  |  [3] 2 Peter 3:10 NASB  |  [4] Matthew 24:42ff; see also 1 Thessalonians 5  |  [5] 2 Peter 3:10 NASB  |  [6] 2 Peter 3:12 NASB  |  [7]  Why will God destroy the world, which He created and declared was “good”? In Romans 8:20-21 NASB, Paul wrote, “creation was subjected to futility” and enslaved “to corruption” when humankind fell into sin.  Therefore, creation itself must be transformed.  When Peter writes that the earth will be “burned up” or “destroyed,” however, he doesn’t mean that the fire will annihilate the world.  Rather, according to Peter, it will be like the flood in Genesis, “through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water” (2 Peter 3:6).  Thus, there will be some connection between today’s version of creation and eternity’s version of creation.  |  [8] 3 Peter 3:13 NASB  |  [9] 2 Peter 3:11 NASB  |  [10] Matthew 24:42ff, NASB  |  [11] 2 Peter 3:12 NASB  |  [12] 3 Peter 3:11 NASB  |  [13] 2 Peter 3:9

May 20, 2010

The Promise of Rescue

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 21, 2 Peter 2

The Encouragement

Yesterday, we saw that the Lord’s “precious and magnificent promises” cause His “divine power” to work in us to gain “life and godliness” in Christ Jesus.  We find these promises in the Word written by “men moved by the Holy Spirit” [1] and in God’s spoken Word over Jesus at the mount of transfiguration, at which Peter was a witness: “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased” [2].  Thus, we can trust and rest in His divine power and promises because they are unchangeably rooted in His eternal and prophesied Word and, in trusting and resting, we “make certain about His calling and choosing [us]” [3].

The Warning

Today, we see the writer’s continued exhortation toward certainty as he offers a warning of destruction to those people who do not trust in His divine power to attain life and godliness.  Such people are “false prophets” and “false teachers” who “secretly” bring in “destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them” [4].  They are “like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant …” [5].

The Issue

These are “false” prophets or teachers because one of their primary “destructive heresies” was the propagation of sexual immorality: “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned” [6].  Thus, the writer equates ungodly living with heresy because such ungodliness, in effect, denies the lordship of Christ.

The Stakes

To deny the lordship of Christ has high stakes.  The writer recalls God’s decisions to condemn the angels [7], the ancient world during Noah’s time [8], and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, in which “the sexual conduct of unprincipled men” was at issue.  In all of these cases, the Lord “[kept] the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment” [9].

The Hope

Even among these accounts, however, God rescued some from destruction.  And just as He has rescued before, He will rescue again –  for “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation” [10].

Are you rescued – living out your calling to life and godliness and acknowledging the lordship of Christ in your life?  If you’re not sure, how can you search His Word for promises that will make your calling and choosing certain?

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[1] 2 Peter 1:21  |  [2] 2 Peter 1:17 NASB, quoting Mark 9:7  |  [3] 2 Peter 1:10, NASB  |  [4] 2 Peter 2:1, ESV  |  [5] 2 Peter 2:12, ESV  |  [6] 2 Peter 2, see also 2:18-19, NASB (“For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” |  [7] v. 4 NASB, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment …” See also (rev. 20:10) Matt. 25:41 – Depart from me … into eternal fire …   |  [8] 2 Peter 2:5  |  [9] 2 Peter 2:9  |  [10] Id.

May 19, 2010

“His Precious and Magnificent Promises”

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 19-20, 2 Peter 1

Although many scholars think that Jude penned Second Peter [1], Peter’s voice and apostolic authority are behind it.  Irrespective of authorship, however, its purpose is clear: To address a false teaching that arose due to the delay of Jesus’ return.  As the foolishness of the cross [2] and the destruction of the temple isolated the new believers from Judaism, they longed for the Second Coming.  The writer of this letter, therefore, calls on them to wait patiently for their King’s return.

Life and Godliness

He reminds them that the twin goals for the Christian are eternal life in the coming age and godliness in the present one: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness … ” [3] [4].  These are “twin” goals because life and godliness are connected – namely, if a person rejects godliness, they reject eternal life [5].  Although godliness cannot earn eternal life, it does evidence a saving faith that leads to eternal life.

His Divine Power

He tells them that the source of these twin goals is the gift of divine power given by God: “His divine power has given …” [6] and, “ … by [His own glory and excellence] He has granted to us …” [7].  In Christ, God has provided our means of justification, sanctification and glorification.  Although this does not give us license to be lazy [8], it does exhort us to humbly acknowledge our reliance on His divine power, glory and excellence.

Knowledge of God

We access His divine power by knowing the Lord: “ … through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” [9] and “ … He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises …” [10].  In order to deny the false promises that sin offers, we must meditate on the true promises in His Word.  For example, when sin tells us that sharing Christ with our colleague would ruin our friendship or career, we fight this false promise by trusting in God’s promise that the gospel is good news unto salvation for all.

Therefore, as you wait on the return of the Messiah, what are promises that you cling to in order to deny the power of sin and persevere in your pursuit of life and godliness in His divine power?

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[1] Many people believe that Jude wrote 2 Peter because it quotes extensively from the letter that bears his name, Jude.  |  [2] 1 Corinthians 1:18-21  |  [3] 1:3, NASB, emphasis mine  |  [4] See also 2 Peter 1:4, NASB  |  [5] 2 Peter 2:19-20, ESV, “For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.  For if, after [the false teachers] have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome [by them], the last state has become worse for them than the first.” See also Hebrews, James. |  [6] 1:3, NASB  |  [7] 1:4, NASB  |  [8] See Philippians 2:12-13, ESV: “ … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” |  [9] 2 Peter 1:3  |  [10] 2 Peter 1:4, NASB

May 18, 2010

Humility as the Basis for Courage

by Bethany

Today’s Readings:  Isaiah 17-18, 1 Peter 5

Humility as the Basis for Courage

Two weeks ago, ABC’s The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck made degrading remarks on-air about Erin Andrews’ costume attire on Dancing With The Stars.  Later that evening, as she was doing a devotional with her daughter on Proverbs 12:18 (“Reckless words pierce like a sword,” NIV), Hasselbeck decided to privately and publicly make an apology to Andrews.   The next day, on set, she humbly apologized in tears [1].

Pride Weakens Boldness

When Hasselbeck apologized, her courage was exemplified, not diminished.  After all, anyone can be bold and courageous when they have done the right thing, had the upper hand, or have looked better than others.  Pride causes boldness to come naturally.  The elders and young men to whom Peter was writing, however, were being persecuted and increasingly tempted to lose their courage.  Peter reminded them, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” [2].  So, how can we be courageous and bold without being prideful?

Humility Increases Boldness

The more confident we are in the love of God, the more humble we become.  As we realize our constant need and dependence on Him, we are free to recognize that we are nothing without Him.  As we grip this idea, it allows us the freedom to be bolder in Him rather than in our pride or reputation.  And because we know He loves us for no other reason than He freely and humbly chooses to, it empowers us to be courageous in Him, not ourselves.

Humility through Prayer

Prayer provides a direct interaction with humility as we are reminded that God calls us to boldly approach His throne [3].  As we come before Him in adoration, repentance, thanksgiving, supplication and petition, we are constantly humbled before our great and mighty King.  It reminds us of our need for Him and His unconditional love for us.  Therefore, let us humbly and boldly approach Him so that we may be more courageous in Him!

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Written by guest author Perryn Pettus.

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[1] Erin Andrews gets a ‘slap in the face’ from Elisabeth Hasselbeck |  [2] 1 Peter 5:5 (see also Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6)  |  [3] Hebrews 4:16

May 17, 2010

Immigration and Assimilation

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 16, 1 Peter 4

American Immigration

According to Harvard Professor of Sociology Orlando Patterson, the Immigration Act of 1965, which abolished the system of national-origin quotas, “set in motion vast demographic and social changes that have altered the nation’s ethno-racial landscape” [1]. While European immigration declined, immigrants from all over the world flocked to the United States [2]. Today, 12.6% of the total American population is foreign-born [3].

Cultural Assimilation

In many cases, immigrants feel homeless, living in a tension between two cultures. Although they live in the United States, they maintain their old country’s cultural identities, languages, and traditions. After a few generations, however, the tension often dissipates and full assimilation results. According to Patterson, studies report, “[W]hatever the language spoken at home, the children of recent immigrants nearly all come to use English as their first language, and they are as Americans in their attitudes and behavior as their native counterparts” [4].

Christian Aliens

Immigrant assimilation should serve as a warning to Christians. In his letter, Peter refers to Christians as “aliens” [5]. Although Jesus says that we are “in the world” [6], Paul cautions us not to be “conformed” to it [7]. As Christians, our primary citizenship is in heaven, our primary authority figure is Jesus Christ, and our primary law is the Word of God.

Christian Distinctives

Peter offers several Christian distinctives. First, he writes that Christians should be “of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer” [8]. We must be alert so that we can stay touch with our foreign king. Second, we must “keep fervent in [our] love for one another” [9]. We must not ruin the camaraderie and unity of our alien community. Third, we must “be hospitable to one another without complaint” [10]. We must create opportunities for one another to feel at home. Finally, we should “employ [our special gifts] in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” [11]. We must be vehicles of grace used by God.

Christ the Immigrant

In Jesus, who was fully human and fully God, we see a resident alien marked by Peter’s Christian distinctives. On the cross, He prays to the King, sacrificially loves His citizens, practices hospitality by inviting immigrants to come home, and gives grace through amnesty.

What about you? Are you maintaining your true identity of our King in these ways – prayer, love, hospitality and grace – or are you assimilating to our culture?

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[1] New York Times, Race and Diversity in the Age of Obama, 14 August 2009. Not only did the European-born immigrant population drop from 60% in 1970 to 15% in 2000, immigration as a whole doubled between 1965 and 1970 and again between 1970 and 1990| [2] David Frum. How We Got Here (2000). See also Study: Immigration Grows, Reaching Record Numbers. USA Today. 12 December 2005 (In the five years after President George W. Bush signed the Immigration Act of 2000, nearly eight million immigrants came to the United States – more than in any other five-year period in our nation’s history). | [3] Id. at [1] | [4] Id. | [5] 1 Peter 1:1, NASB, emphasis mine | [6] John 17:11, NASB | [7] Romans 12:2, NASB | [8] 1 Peter 4:7, NASB | [9] 1 Peter 4:8, NASB | [10] 1 Peter 4:9, NASB | [11] 1 Peter 4:10, NASB

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