The Beloved Walk With God

Photo by egil sjøholt:

Please turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Peter 2:11. We read:

1 Peter 2:11-12 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

God Calls His Children “Dearly Beloved”

Word Study: God uses three words to describe the believer in Christ and, by extension, the Church. The first word is dearly beloved or the Greek ἀγαπητός agapētos, which means “Those who are cherished, those worthy of love”. This is not the only place where dearly beloved is used. We see it used twice in:

Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved (agapētos) and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved (agapētos).

And in 2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved (agapētos), let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Why would God call us who are Christians “dearly beloved (agapētos)”? It all stems back to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the second Member of the Godhead, the Incarnate Son of God. Jesus Himself is God in the flesh, “God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). While Jesus was on this earth the Father often spoke from Heaven, saying “This is my beloved (agapētos) Son in whom I am well pleased” (see Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22).Jesus Christ is thedearly beloved (agapētos) Son of God. When we repent of our sins and “call upon the name of the Lord” for salvation, God applies the sacrifice, death, and resurrection of Christ to our own lives. Righteousness is “imputed” or placed on our lives by our act of faith. The Scripture declares,

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Jesus is, according to the Father, (Matthew 12:18) “My Beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon Him, and He shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.”Because we have received Jesus as Lord and Savior, as He is Beloved of God, we are Beloved of God. At the Mount of Transfiguration God the Father told those there:

Luke 9:35 … This is my beloved (agapētos) Son: hear Him.

We are Beloved for Jesus’ sake, with a love that will never diminish nor die. We are Beloved because we are “in Christ” by faith. We are told in Ephesians 1:6, “{God} hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” As my commentary noted:

All those adopted into God’s family through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ are beloved by the Father (John 1:12; Romans 8:15). It is an amazing, lavish love: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1). Because God has shed His love on us, we are free to apply the words of Song of Solomon 6:3 to our relationship with Christ: “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.”

Oh, how God loves us! See His love on that Cross! The nails that tore through His skin, pressing through nerve and bone. The crown of thorns upon His head. Hear Him on that Cross as He hung bleeding, suffering. “No one takes My life – I lay it down for you. Not My will, but My Father’s will be done”. Jesus bled and died on that lonely tree for you and I, to bring us peace with God. He died for our sins, to free us from sin’s mastery. He rose again to lead us into life everlasting. We are Beloved because we are in Christ, and Christ is in us.

Beloved Of God, We Are Not Beloved Of The World

Word Study: We are not justBeloved, but we areStrangers (πάροικος paroikos, foreigners, without citizenship) on this earth.Though we may have temporary homes on this earth, and temporarily be citizens of earthly kingdoms (like the United States), our actual citizenship is in Heaven. We are citizens of the Kingdom of God. Jesus preached the Kingdom of God. He said:

Mark 1:15 The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

The Kingdom of God is AT HAND. Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, came to this earth proclaiming God’s Kingdom. We who are saved are citizens of God’s Kingdom. Our actual inheritance is not on this earth, but with our God.

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

We who are Christians have a home waiting for us in Heaven. God left us on this earth after we were “born again of the Spirit of God” (John 3:3-6) so that we could represent Him and lead others into His kingdom. Though we show Biblical Love toward those around us, we never become “friends” of darkness. The Bible tells us that:

James 4:4 … know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

We are called of God to love all, to do good toward even our enemies (Galatians 6:10; Hebrews 13:16). Yet we are never to compromise with the darkness of sin. Sin is destructive. Sin is against God. Sin leads to death. The Bible tells us:

Ephesians 5:8, 11 ye were {once] darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: … 11 … have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Word Study: We are strangers, the Greek πάροικος pároikos, {pronounced par’-oy-kos}, meaning foreigners, people from another country. The Bible also calls us pilgrimsto remind us that our life is TRANSITIONAL on this earth. The word pilgrims is is the Greek παρεπίδημος parepídēmos, {pronounced par-ep-id’-ay-mos}, which means someone from another land passing through. The Christian is to be distinctly different in both BEHAVIOR as well as CITIZENSHIP. We are not like the lost world.

The Beloved Reject Fleshly Lusts That Destroy The Soul

Illustrate: I can never remember what poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac look like, though I remember that old poem,

Leaves of three, let them be ..

Poison Ivy has three broad, tear shaped leaves growing from a vine. Poison Oak, however, has three or more oak shaped leaves growing from a vine or shrub. And Poison Sumac has seven to thirteen leaves per stem. So the little rhyme doesn’t always hold true. But what the Bible says next always holds true. We read:

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul

The Bible says in 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. Fleshly lusts war against the soul. They take us captive, and draw us away from God. Fleshly lusts destroy the body. We are told in:

Romans 8:13 (NKJV) … if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live

When God tells us not to be involved in something, it is not because He wants to rob us of joy. When God says “don’t do it”, it is because He loves us with an infinite love, and does not want us to hurt ourselves. The darkened world follows after fleshly lusts. We are not of this world, but are of Christ. The Scripture says:

Romans 13:11-14 (ESV) the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

What are “fleshly lusts”? The Apostle called these things “the works of the flesh”, and gave us a clear description of these things in:

Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV) Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 18 (ESV) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. … 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

Fleshly lusts “WAR” against the soul. This is the Greek strateuo which means “act as a soldier, to attack or sneak up on so as to destroy another”.

One way that “fleshly lusts” attack the soul is by direct conflict. Perhaps you have noticed how network television has been pushing heterosexual sin (adultery, fornication) and homosexual sin for years. It is because Satan knows that these fleshly lusts war against the soul.

They scar the psyche of the one exposed to them.
Children are presenting with gender dysphoria.
People are confused as to their Divine Design.
A disregard for the value of life is prevalent in America.

Is it any wonder that we have so many heinous school shootings and killing of innocents in our country? When you watch blood and gore on television and in the movies, and see women undergo abortions while celebrating that on social media, life is marred and lessened. Beloved, the problem is not the guns. Cain killed his brother Abel, and to this day we don’t know how he did it! The problem is not a thing or a tool. The problem is that several generations of people – as children and now adults – have been exposed to fleshly lusts. Televisions reek with blood letting. The movies produce things like the Final Destination franchise where people are brutally and horrendously slaughtered. Children who are now adults have played games like Call of Duty™ , Soldier of Fortune™ , Mortal Kombat™ , Manhunt 2™ , Splatterhouse™ , Dead Space™ , God of War™ , Bulletstorm™ , Grand Theft Auto™ …. I could go on and on. Children have grown up watching women raped on Game of Thrones© . When I was a child we had to steal my friend Benny’s dad’s Playboy©. Today young people go online and type what they’re looking for in a search engine. You can see anything you want – no one need tell you about the birds and the bees. And if all else fails, go to a local Library where a table will be set up to “celebrate diversity”.

As citizens of the Kingdom of God, we must monitor ourselves and abstain from fleshly lusts. We put away sin, put away those things which are dishonoring to our God.

Many have wondered why there is such widespread debauchery throughout American Society today as opposed to yesteryear. It is because Satan has masterfully introduced concepts that are destructive to the human soul. Like poison ivy, we have played amongst its leaves, and its infection has spread like wildfire. As believers we need to be careful to limit ourselves to that which God says is evil. We should not only not do it – we should not watch it done.

The Beloved Must Watch Out For Sneak Attacks

But there is another way that fleshly lusts war against the soul. Just as the soldier uses direct, frontal attack, the warrior also uses subterfuge and sneakiness. Some men are killed on the battlefield by the machine gunner, but others are killed by snipers hidden in the bushes. We read a little further …

1 Peter 2:11-12 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles …

Here is where the enemy sneaks up. Though we as Christians are to avoid fleshly lusts, we must ALSO avoid Phariseeism and self righteousness.

Word Study: We are told to have our conversation honest among the Gentiles. The word translated CONVERSATIONis the Greek ἀναστροφή anastrophḗ, (pronounced an-as-trof-ay’) which literally means “your manner of life. your walk, behavior, or conduct.” Your manner of living is to be “HONEST” (καλός kalós, {pronounced kal-os’}) which means “genuine, good, approved, comforting and confirming”. What does this mean? It means simply what it says. BE HONEST in your life.

The Pharisees were Jesus’ greatest attackers. They constantly hounded our Lord. Why? Because they thought that they themselves were sinless, and that Jesus – if He were the Messiah – wouldn’t be hanging out with sinners! The Bible says:

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus Christ did not come to save us because we have it all together. He came to save us because NONE of us have it all together. We do not pursue things that our God tells us not to pursue. But on the other hand, we do not act all “holier than thou”, as if we ourselves are perfect. I read this the other day, and really liked it:

Some people are REAL. Some people are GOOD. Some people are FAKE. And some people are REAL GOOD at being FAKE!”

As followers of Christ Jesus, we sometimes (and may I say, oftentimes) get off course. Let us not be like the Pharisees. How did the Pharisees act?

  • They gave people laws to follow that they themselves would not do. (Matthew 23:4)
  • When they obeyed a law, they did it so they could brag about it. (Matthew 23:5-7)
  • They made salvation inhumanely impossible. (Matthew 23:13)
  • They created a “holier than thou” club few could join (Matthew 23:14)
  • They twisted the law when it suited them. (Matthew 23:23-24)
  • They looked good outwardly, but inwardly had no relationship with God (Matthew 23:25-26)

What is interesting is that Peter himself had often failed God – even after the resurrection of Christ. The Apostle Paul at one time had to correct Peter because when the Jewish Christians were around, he would not associate with the Gentile Christians (see Galatians 2:9-14). Peter dipped into Phariseeism.

As believers in Christ, our way of life is to be honest among the Gentiles. We are not to put on airs, or pretend that we are better than the lost. We are followers of Christ. We are not perfect. We fail God at times. But we live our lives honestly and sincerely, relying upon Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit for our salvation. The Bible tells us that salvation is a free gift from God:

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by Grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any one should boast.

But once we are saved, we become the workmanship of God.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

A Christ is saved by faith in Christ. Because we have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God has imputed His righteousness to our lives. What does the Scripture say?

Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Because Jesus bore your sins on the Cross of Calvary, God has sent His Holy Spirit to indwell you (John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Titus 3:5; 2 Peter 1:4). You become “born again” (John 3:3, 7; 1 Peter 1:23), adopted into the Family of God (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). You are moved from the kingdom of darkness “into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). You are a “new creature in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). But Beloved,

you are NOT PERFECT.

The Beloved Apostle John wrote:

1 John 1:5-10 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I know of no better way to say this. As Christians, we are saved FROM SIN. We do not wallow in sin. We hate sin. We know that God does not dwell in sin, so we PURSUE THE LIGHT, striving to do what our Father through the Spirit tells us to do. We know and believe that the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. And yet, there are times we sin. There are times we fall short. There are times that we – like Peter who was chastised of Paul – get off course. When we do, we remember that it is the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. What do we do? We confess our sins, we do not hide our sins. We believe that upon confession of our sins to God he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

When we sin, we confess our sins. Then we get back to the light, and start doing good for our God.

The Beloved Do Good, Imitating The Beloved Son

1 Peter 2:11-12 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

The lost world will speak against you as evildoers. The world is going to call us names. It’s going to attack us for believing in God’s Bible. And yet, we are told to do good works. We see this throughout the Scripture. God tells us in …

Titus 3:1-7 … to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

We are not to be part of the noise and the anarchy, but we are to – as much as is possible – do good to others. There is a lot of evil in the world. The Scripture says:

Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Jesus told us very plainly:

Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. …

Those who are saved by faith in Christ are not only to be good citizens of the Kingdom of God, but good citizens of the kingdoms that we are passing through as strangers and foreigners.

Our Lord Jesus gave us an example as to how we should live in this present world. As Jesus did, let us do. Let us close with these words:

1 Peter 2:21-24 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile {deceit} found in his mouth: 23 Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.

Jesus surrendered Himself to the Father. We are to do the same. As Jesus did, so must we so. For His glory, and the glory of God forever. Let us approach the Lord’s Table with clear hearts, confessing our sins, and committing ourselves to live for the glory of Christ’s Kingdom. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in 1 Peter, Sermons Preached and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.