Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
1 Peter 2:9-17 (NIV)
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live 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. 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
Here, St. Peter gives us his own teaching on this week’s theme. He explains that God has “called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.” This is a way of saying God has called us out of the world (ruled by Satan) and into the Kingdom (ruled by Christ). That means, when we live our daily lives, working and serving in the world, we are aware that the world is not our true home, but we are “foreigners and exiles.” (v. 2:11). But while we are in the world, we behave according to the standards of God’s kingdom. When we do this, we “live such good lives” that even unbelievers will glorify God. This is the foundation of evangelism: instead of telling unbelievers what is wrong with them, we demonstrate the beauty of God’s love in our own lives. Compare this to Philippians 3:20.