Pastor Shane Ham : Godliness in a Secular Culture

The Real Deal · 45:52 · Recorded January 17, 2021

Godliness in a Secular Culture

1 Peter 2:11-25 (NIV) 11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. 18Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Three lifestyle maxims:

1. Doctrine must be the basis.

Matthew 5:18 (KJV) “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV) For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Ephesians 4:32 (NLT2) Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

All prescription for living must be based in truth.

2. We are aliens and strangers!

Hebrews 11:13-14, 16 (NIV) And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own… They were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Philippians 3:20 (NLT2) But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.

Philippians 3:17-19 (NLT2) Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.

John 17:14 (NLT2) “I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.”

3. We live as free servants.

You have to respect the need and nature of authority.

Romans 13:1-2 (NLT2) Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.

You have to evaluate all authority in light of God’s word.

Acts 4:19 (NRSV) But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge…”

You always act like Jesus!

  • Reread the opening scripture in 1 Peter. What does Peter say in verses 11 & 12 that helps to set the stage for this passage? How are Christians to act toward governmental authority? When submit is used in the New Testament, it is voluntary in nature. How is this different from other interpretations of the word today? What is Peter’s response to one whose master is not a Christian or is just a difficult person (v.19)? How does Christ’s death result in both an ending and a beginning in our lives (v.24)?

  • Point #1: Shane used the words “familiarizing” and “internalizing” What steps are you taking today to be more familiar and to internalize more of God’s Word? Do you have a Bible reading plan (northpointe.org/bible) or prayer journal? Are you in a small group to help you grow, learn, and dig deeper? Make a plan today and create supportive accountability around it.

  • Point #2: We’ve talked a lot about being aliens and strangers the past couple of weeks. In your small group, describe what that means to you today. How does that look? What actions does it generate? What’s different about your “citizenship” than that of a person who doesn’t yet know Jesus?

  • Point #3: Shane gave three different declarative statements about how we, as believers, must live. What is your take on the term “free servants”? In our current political/civil climate, how are you expressing respect? Evaluate your words and actions in relationship to our governmental authority…are you acting like Jesus? Remember that Christian’s viewpoints on this will differ – are you doing everything possible to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18)?

  • Parents – Check out the information on our kid’s page at northpointe.org/kids where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources to help you as you navigate this current season.

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