1 Peter 2:11-15
1 Pet 2:11 (KJB)
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Beseech - Exhort or encourage
Strangers - Foreigners
Pilgrims - Sojourner or exile
Abstain - Keep from or put distance between
Lusts - Desire, longing or craving
War - Serves as a soldier or serves in the army
Peter now changes direction and teaches these believers how to remain strong in the Lord so their testimony will not be tarnished. Peter is imploring these believers by reminding them that they are just foreigners and sojourners in this world and that they are to keep away from fleshly desires which will war against their souls. There is always a spiritual battle going on in the believerís life as the flesh still has its lustful desires which when obeyed can derail a Christian. The lust of the flesh is akin to a soldier in an army whose main purpose is to annihilate the enemy. The flesh and the new born again spirit are in constant battle. The born again soul is tied to Heaven and righteousness while the flesh is tied to this world and its snares. This is why the Christian has so much conflict. When a Christian obeys the flesh they sin against God, and when they obey God their flesh cries out for satisfaction.
1 Pet 2:12 (KJB)
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Conversation - Conduct or manner of life
Honest - Honorable or respectable
Of visitation - Inspection as in the Day of the Lord
Peter is admonishing these Christians that they are to conduct their lives in a manner of honor as he continues from verse 11. The Christians have been spoken against as evil doers but Peter saying that the people can say what they want but if their accusations have no foundation then on the day of Judgment these accusers will be shown that they falsely accused these people. On the other hand Peter states that these people can see their good works which will bring glory to God on the last day. The ones who will glorify God on the last day will be the ones who have become saved through the good works of the Christians. The greatest good work that the Christian can do is to bring the Gospel to the unbelievers. In the day of visitation, God will get glory by means of praise from His people or from having His holiness vindicated through the Judgment of the unbelievers.
1 Pet 2:13 (KJB)
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
Submit - Be in subjection
Ordinance - Institution or creation
Peter is stating here that these believers must live in subjection to the laws of the land. This way the Christians will live a peaceful life plus they would not be able to be accused as lawbreakers unless it was through false accusations and false accusations can be broken down. If the law of the land contradicts Godís law, Godís law must take precedence because manís law is derived from Godís law and not the other way around. Some years ago there was a move in the sciences that much of the law of Moses was taken from the Code of Hammurabi (circa 1500 B.C) but when the two are compared there are some similarities but they are very distant in ideology.
1 Pet 2:14 (KJB)
Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
Peter continues the thought from verse 13. Here he says that not only are the laws of the land to be obeyed but the Christian is also to be subject to the local laws put forth by local government. These laws could be on a statewide basis, county or city. (Rom 13:3 KJV) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: Government is not supposed to terrorize the people but they are supposed to be the protectors of them. When citizens obey the laws of the land then a peaceful milieu will exist but if there is unrest on part of the citizenry or despotism on the part of the government, then no rest can take place until one of the factions becomes a lawful entity.
1 Pet 2:15 (KJB)
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
Silence - Muzzle or tie shut
Ignorance - Senseless or foolish
Peter speaks of the will of God for the believer in the area of lifeís conduct that if we show ourselves to be obedient to the laws of the land then we will literally muzzle foolishness of the ignorant crowd who tend to bring false accusations against the believers. Of course, we have seen this throughout history in the Roman Empire, in communist Russia, Nazi Germany, today in China, Vietnam, North Korea and all the Muslim countries and even in the United States when Christian morality causes companies to halt the promotion of Christians. Yet, no matter what situation the Christian finds themselves in, they are to be obedient so all the accusations of the unbelievers are false.