“Abstinence & Submission” I Peter 2:11-17

This week we discussed I Peter 2:11-17. In the first verse of his letter Peter referred to his readers as “God’s elect” and “strangers in the world”. In our text today, we see Peter begging those same readers to be, or live like, the “aliens and strangers” that they are. What does it mean to be an alien or a stranger? At its core it means to not fit in. It means to be different, to seem as if we don’t belong. It’s important to see here that Peter is not warning Christians that they don’t belong, He is begging them not to belong. He is pleading with them to not fight the discomfort, to not search to sooth the tension but to embrace it believing that it’s in the tension of difference that the goodness of God is most seen. Peter defines this difference with two key commands: abstain and submit. These two words are always about our hearts before they can ever be about our actions. So, what are we to abstain from and what or who are we to submit to?

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