1 Peter 2:11-12
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;…
I. IN WHAT RESPECTS THE REAL CHRISTIAN IS A STRANGER IN THE WORLD.
1. The language of the Christian is strange to the world. Take, for instance, those simple words which sum up in one comprehensive sentence so much of the faith and hope of the true Christian, "The God of all grace." This is an expression so rich in its associations to a faithful mind, that the subject can never be exhausted. But how few, if any, ideas does an unfaithful person attach to it? or take the language which a true Christian uses to express his ideas of the corruption of human nature, and the necessity of the new birth. The wondering ignorance displayed by Nicodemus affords an apt illustration of the strangeness of Christian language in every age, to a yet unchristian heart.
2. The manners of the believer are strange to the world. Doth in business and pleasure. "They think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess."
3. The most remarkable and chief difference between the world and the Christian, is to be found in their religion. There is a religion of the world outward and formal. The religion of the believer is promotive of humility and self-distrust.
II. Now so MARKED A DIFFERENCE IN SENTIMENT MUST PERPETUALLY BE MAKING ITSELF MANIFEST IN HIS CONDUCT.
1. He feels himself a stranger only sojourning here for a time, and then passing away. He does not permit himself to be entangled in the affairs of this life, or so engrossed therewith as to find in them his chief happiness.
2. Again, he feels himself a stranger in a land which he believes to be full of danger; and therefore he is one that walks warily.
3. It is another consequence of the believer's strangeness sojourning in a strange land, that he is attracted to all them that love the Lord Jesus in sincerity and truth. There is a common sympathy between them; and no truer test can be given of God's children than that, in spite of their lesser differences, they love one another.
4. But if such be the feeling with which they regard each other, what must be their affection for their native land, and for that special spot within it which is called by the magic name of home? Whatever may be the counteracting force of outward circumstances, the heart still yearns for home!
5. With these expectations as an abiding principle, he can withstand the powerful seductions of the world, sit loosely affected by its most innocent and useful engagements, "waiting" for his summons to return home, "ready to depart and be with Christ, which is far better."
(T. B. Paget, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;