On Sunday, Pastor Ed preached a sixth sermon from I Peter, talking about our response to the culture around us.
First, in honor of Mothers' Day, he interviewed JaRee and Ty, who recenty finalized the adoption of their child after five years, excruciating legal battles, and amazing and dramatic answers to prayer. Their little girl said she knows her Mommy and Daddy love her because they adopted her. She knows she's officially part of the family, and that means so much to her.
Then we began talking about I Peter 2:13-14. We'd all like to influence our culture, and Peter gives us an attitude adjustment.
Our life should be characterized by proactive submission.
That's not passive nothingness.
We're to submit to EVERY "human institution." We're to submit for the Lord's sake.
Why? vs. 15 -- By doing good, we'll silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Put the critics to rest.
vs. 16-17 -- You're radically free, but don't use it to justify evil.
We are God's slaves. We have given our rights to God.
vs. 18 -- A different word for "slaves," more like "house servants." For us, this means submit to your employer.
This is attitudinal direction. Our attitude in the workplace should be proactive submission.
Ask God what this looks like in our lives.
We live and act with proactive submission because it's how Jesus lived and acted. He's our example. vs. 18-25
We want to walk in His steps:
The Cultural Way vs. The Kingdom Way:
DEMANDING/STRIVING vs. SERVING/SUBMITTING
Impose your will vs. Offer grace
Legislate your position vs. Listen
Inform your opponent vs. Build relationship
"Help"/condescend vs. Offer mercy
Rowboat model of spirituality vs. Sailboat model of spirituality
We are tacking and working in the sailboat, but we're totally dependent on the wind for power.
We don't belong to this culture. We're aliens and strangers.
Is this new way effective? Think of Jesus' life and teaching.
How did the first Christians impact their culture? They used the same means Jesus did. Many died. The way of the kingdom is service.
We can live and act with proactive submission because Jesus has healed us.
I Peter 3:1-7 Peter is writing to lots of women, probably many married to unbelieving husbands. Use the same response: proactive submission.
This doesn't mean a limp rag. It will look different for everyone. Sometimes proactive submission says No.
In his culture, Peter was really pushing the needle. He wasn't trying to create an external revolution, but a revolution of the heart.
Remember, we gave up our rights.
Peter always gives doctrine before he gives practice. What we believe matters. He always tells Why.
Doctrine gives us the power to do the right thing.
You don't respond appropriately just because you want to.
Assignment: Let's examine our own contexts. Are we reflecting proactive submission? Are we walking in the way of the kingdom, or the culture?