Pen Points 8
A Reminder of the Christian’s Example
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. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 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. (1 Peter 2:21-23)
1. When Jesus was reviled, he did not revile in return. To be reviled means that one is vilified and abused. If Christians vilify and abuse others (whether verbally or in writing), they are not following Christ.
2. When Jesus suffered, He did not threaten. If we resort to threats, we are not following Christ.
3. Jesus entrusted Himself to God who judges justly. God is the Judge. If we must go through many tribulations to enter the kingdom (Acts 14:22), then we must leave judgment up to God and entrust ourselves to Him. If we are called to suffer, then let us have the attitude of Christ and His disciples who rejoiced “that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (Acts 5:41). Teaching must go on.
We are not saying Jesus never called out sin or that we should not. We are not saying that we should not care about what is going on in the world or this nation. And we are not saying we want Christians to suffer. Caring about what is happening and speaking up for righteousness and against sin does not change the point here. And suffering for Christ, while not preferred, is often what Christians are called to do (2 Tim 3:12). This is part of counting the cost.
We are simply pointing to a passage that explicitly calls Jesus our example in these areas. We are not to revile when we are reviled, and we are not to threaten when we suffer or are threatened. Do we think there are exceptions to this?
Let that message sink in. If we want to follow in HIs steps, we will take this seriously—no matter what else is going on in this world.
The Nation Whose God is the Lord
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (Psa 33:10-12)
“The nations” here in v. 10 refers to kingdoms of men. This includes all of them. Today, there is no earthly nation that can lay claim to being “the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.”
The “nation whose God is the LORD” refers to God’s chosen people, not a nation of the world. Before Christ, this was Israel. With Christ, it is God’s people who come from “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev 5:9).
In other words, the nation whose God is the Lord, who are chosen as his heritage, would apply to what we read here: “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” (1 Pet 2:9).
If you are a Christian, you are part of that nation whose God is the Lord, no matter where you live, what language you speak, what your physical heritage is, or any other outward indicator. God’s nation transcends the boundaries of earthly nations. In Him we are one.
In this we can rejoice, for the kingdom of God “shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever” (Dan 2:44-45).
I take great comfort in this truth.
The Good Fruits from Wisdom
“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (Jas 3:17).
“First pure” reminds us to love God first. “Then Peaceable” reminds us to love others.
In other words, the good fruits from this passage flow out of our love for God and others. The wisdom of God should be a key motivator in how we act, the decisions we make, how we treat others, and what we pursue. God’s wisdom is in direct contrast to the worldly wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and demonic (v. 15). That wisdom is displayed through bitterness, jealousy, and selfish ambition, which makes it arrogant and against all that stands for the Lord.
Whose wisdom will we be showing today?