In 1805, a group of missionaries presented the Gospel to Native Americans in Boston. In response, one Native American said, “When your message about Jesus stops your own people from cheating us, we will accept Him as our Savior.” Their response highlights the point Peter made in 1 Peter Chapter 2. There, he outlines how God’s people should behave here on earth. He begins by reminding us that we are God’s children living as temporary residents in an often-unfriendly world. He counsels us to live upright lives so that our behavior will persuade others to accept our Christ. To cover their guilty consciences, some unbelievers often demonize God’s people. Our lives of integrity must show such lies to be false. Peter urges us to respect everyone, even those whose lifestyles violate God’s moral standards. He urges us to love those who profess faith in our Lord, even if they differ with us on insignificant doctrines. He urges us to submit to government regulations unless they violate our loyalty to God. He warns us not to use our freedom in Christ as a pretext for doing evil. Peter sums up his view of a Christian lifestyle this way: Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.
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