Key Verse | 1 Peter 2:23-24

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Scripture | 1 Peter 2


A Living Stone and a Holy People

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
    a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone,” 1

and

“A stone of stumbling,
    and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Submission to Authority

13 Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, 2 whether it be to the emperor 3 as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants 4 of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Footnotes

[1] 2:7 Greek the head of the corner
[2] 2:13 Or every institution ordained for people
[3] 2:13 Or king; also verse 17
[4] 2:16 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface

We Can't Actually Do What Jesus Did



Devo | 1 Peter 2

Justice is one of God's many attributes, and for a lot of us, it's one of the easier attributes to understand. Maybe it's because many of us live in a country with a strong legal system that...

Justice is one of God's many attributes, and for a lot of us, it's one of the easier attributes to understand. Maybe it's because many of us live in a country with a strong legal system that helps us understand what it means to be just.

Simply put, justice implies that what is owed by people for their actions must be rightfully paid. It's a synonym for fairness. We get upset when we feel our personal liberty has been violated by another, and we don't enjoy our autonomy being "unfairly" limited. 

In light of our understanding of justice, passages like 1 Peter 2 are incredibly comforting for believers and challenging for anyone trusting in their own "good" actions. In this chapter, we see a contrast between Jesus, the only righteous one (Romans 3:11-12), and the people who follow Him. In an unjust situation, Jesus willingly gives up His autonomy and personal liberty. The result? Obedience to the point of death, leading to life and deliverance of sins for those who would follow after Him. He is the suffering servant (Isaiah 53)! 

His followers are to imitate Him (Ephesians 5:1). However, this is not in a "what would Jesus do" kind of way. Instead, we are to consider what He has done for us and live differently in light of that. We cannot do what Jesus would do, apart from God's Spirit enabling our obedience. Left to ourselves, we are very different from our Master. Faced with name-calling, threats, or liberties taken away, I know I'm like the Apostle Peter in the Gospels . . . either running for the hills or trying to fight back. Jesus did neither. 

As you move through a life of pursuing sanctification, remember that your God is the One who judges justly and that vengeance belongs to Him alone. (1 Peter 2:23; Romans 12:19; Deuteronomy 32:35) When justice seems to be absent, or an unrighteous deed goes unnoticed, don't put up your fists or bring out your keyboard; trust in the only One who has ever been just—He can bear the weight.

Discussion Questions

1. Are there certain issues about which you feel the need to be God's lawyer or justice team? Does He need your help? What is your method or metric for determining whether your action is warranted? 

2. Is there a part of you that is trying to repay God for the righteousness He has credited to you? Are you trying to prove to Him that His gift of grace and mercy to you was not wasted? Do you pay friends back on your birthday when they buy you a gift? How can you operate more out of Christ's love and less out of your desire to balance the scales today?

Meet Ethan Moehn

What's up, Join The Journey family?! I'm Ethan Moehn. I am husband to Sydney and dad to Elliot. In God's kindness, when I was in college, I trusted in Christ alone to be my redemption. I believed He was good and still believe that today. Today, the aim of my life is a continual surrender to a simple gospel and a trustworthy Master!

7 Comments available

Hugh Stephenson 9 days ago

GM Ethan! Great devo on justice and obedience. My flesh wants justice for “them” and grace for “me”.

Q1. So, so tempting to be the hammer of justice. I know that consequences are the best teacher and I am not, (Proverbs 29:19). When I see repeated and unrepentant sin I know I am called to consider what God might have me do. Sometimes I speak. Usually I don’t.

Q2. Balancing scales. Oh boy. Great image. Have to think about my works based people pleasing this way. Very thin ice.

I am reflecting on 1 Peter 2:13-25 on submission and suffering.

In my 39 year career across 3 firms I have had at least 15 CEOs. Maybe closer to 20. I have lost count.

I have had about as many Managing Directors to whom I directly report and are/were subject to their authority.

Hugh Stephenson 9 days ago

Of that group I have respected exactly one CEO and two MDs. I willfully submitted to those three, but not to the others. Arguments, disobedience, insubordination, and policy violations were all evidence of my heart.

After I trusted Christ in 2014 it was clear to me how wrong I was. I knew for certain that 2 Corinthians 5:17 was true for me - so I saw the immediate need for heart change, (Psalm 51:10).

Coming to understanding suffering was a similar journey. Oswald’s devo from 7/29 edifies; https://utmost.org/do-you-see-jesus-in-your-clouds/

Thank you Father for all of the clouds. I’v unlearned what I thought I knew about “clouds”. Now, I will look up and see all of them through a different lens.

I’m taught that that the mountain top experiences are to prepare me for my call and mission in the valleys. I see in sufferings that the same is true.

Matthew 17:1-13

Hugh Stephenson 9 days ago

In “unlearning”, I learned more of who my Father really is.

My reflection:

I would not have any faith if:

If I didn’t have relationship problems and conflicts with Amy.

If my mom hadn’t died at 51, when I was 22 and barely out of college.

If my dad hadn’t quickly remarried a hateful woman who forced him to cut his four children out of his life.

If my sister, my life long co-sojourner, my best and closest friend next to Amy, hadn’t died at 49.

If I didn’t have two unsaved prodigals.

If I hadn’t spent decades as an alcoholic and porn addict.

If I didn’t have sorrows or sufferings.

Sue Bohlin 7 days ago

Bless you, Ethan–great devo!

My heart is heavy for a sisterfriend experiencing unjust suffering on multiple fronts, so today’s passage deeply ministered to me in how to pray for her. The Lord has been stressing to me the importance of enduring and persevering, so I loved how Peter provides the key to living to the glory of God in hard circumstances: following Jesus’ lead, entrusting ourselves “to Him who judges righteously” (v. 23). Over and over and over, the verb tense instructs us.

And that’s what it looks like to make ourselves a living sacrifice per Romans 12:1.

Linda Green 6 days ago

Had to read again to see the Justice theme! Amazing how the Holy Spirit shows us different things in the same passage.

Twice in 1 Peter 2:19-20, he says it is a gracious thing in the sight of God if you suffer unjustly and do it well. Grace is always a lot more fun to receive than to give, but grace says so much to an unbeliever.

Excellent thinking questions today! Q#1- I struggle with knowing when to speak up or shut up. God doesn’t need my help but wants my allegiance. And sometimes it requires speaking up. But I can tell after speaking when I should have been quiet! Q#2 someone pointed out that refusing to accept Jesus’ forgiveness for any sin is also a way I try to earn my own salvation.

And operating out of Christ’s love would change every aspect of my life!

Michael Scaman 6 days ago

Peter was claled the rock, but now he calls all believers living rocks being built into a living place of worship for God

Michael Scaman 6 days ago

Ps 65:3-5

3 When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions. 4 Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!

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