How to Live among Non-Christians

Sunday Sermon Series Shine Like Stars

1 Peter 2:9-17


Peter wrote this during a time when Christians were beginning to be persecuted. The emperor at the time was probably Nero, who blamed the Christians for some awful things he did. 


If we are to shine like stars we must understand who we are (2:9).


  1. We are a chosen people…. God has chosen us. We’re not just a group of random people who believe the same thing. We were actually chosen by God. 

  2. We are a royal priesthood…. In the Old Testament, the priests were the go-between for the people and God. In the New Testament, that distinction is gone. Rather than having special priests who can pray to God, every believer is part of the priesthood and has a direct line to God. This is a big difference between baptists (as well as other Protestants) and Catholicism. 

  3. We are a holy nation…. Alright, if we're going to have direct access to God, we better be holy. It’s usually not good when someone or something sinful and unholy enters God’s presence. 

  4. We are God’s special possession…. We belong to God. He takes care of us and loves us. When we have something we consider a special possession, we take care of it. Or when we have friends we consider special to us, we take care of them. How much more would God care for those He considers special! 


If we are to shine like stars, we must declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light (2:9-10).... We should proclaim the mighty acts of God. We should desire to tell others what God has done for us. 


If we are to shine like stars, we must live in a way that brings glory to God (2:11-17).


  1. Abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul (2:11).... We are citizens of Heaven, which makes us foreigners on Earth. We must be different, but the sinful nature still exists within us and we will battle with it everyday. We should fight to abstain from the desires it gives us. 

  2. Live such honorable lives among non-Christians that their slander is silenced and that some will believe (2:12).... This verse tells us that Christians will be misrepresented by society. In Peter's time, they were accused of being cannibals because of what they said when taking the Lord's Supper and atheists because they worshiped no idols. However, if we live good lives and produce good works, some will see the truth and join the Christian priesthood. 

  3. Submit, for the Lord’s sake, to every human authority (2:13-17).... This was important to Peter. When we become Christians, we submit to God. Peter says we should also submit to human authorities. Why? It gives a good impression to others and also recognizes that God is the Supreme authority who gave these humans authority. Does that mean we always obey human authority? In Acts 5:27-29 we see an example where Peter and others don't submit. Why? Because the order they were given went directly against God's will. That is when we can disobey authority. Even if we don't like who's in charge or think the person in charge is evil and has an evil agenda, we should submit to their authority. The only time we don't submit is when their order directly prevents us from doing God's will. 


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