Today we will be talking about how we have been called by God from the darkness into light. This scripture not only talking about slaves and masters, that it is also a call for Christians in their personal relationship to others. It is also their personal relationship to emulate Christ who bear a suffering with patience, that Christ without bitterness and desire to revenge, but still doing good, because this pleases God.
When I said so, I realised that it is the calling that is very contradictory to what the world teaches. Still doing good despite being unfairly treated, but to be grateful instead that we do not repay evil for evil, we do not respond to insults with insults. The question is that whether it is also contradictory to our lives and to our true inclinations.
The word of God wants to teach us on how we can live with the spirit that is contradictory with the spirit of the world and often contradictory to our lives, that there are still sins inside us. We need to understand the true nature or essence in God’s calling to us as the Christians and children of God. God’s calling on when we are doing good, the Bible confirms that means we can suffer, we can be criticized, we can be misunderstood. If you do any of those, however we need to realise that it is God’s will to us, God’s calling to us and that is pleasing to God. When you are experiencing difficulty and suffering because of the truth, that is pleasing to God. How many of us believing this? Most of us probably will feel broken hearted, disappointed and self-pity, as well as to avenge, which they are the nature of our sins.
Today, we want to see how Christ works become our example. This is the example that Christ given to us (verse 22 and 23), “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth”. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. This means that He experienced injustice, but He entrusted himself to him who judges justly. How can this happen? We need to understand that the death of Christ, and the suffering of Christ not only becoming an example to us, He left us his example that we need to follow, but the nature of Christ’s suffering is for all of us.
This strengthens us because He has suffered and died for us. Verse 21 stated that “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps”. Verse 24 explained on what is the meaning of Jesus suffered for us? “He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross. Christ’ suffering was to bore our sins, but not for His own sin. In other words, if we understand, that we are supposed to be punished for our sins, we are supposed to receive the wrath of God, and the wrath of sins located inside of our body of sins. Our sufferings at this time is not God’s punishment to our sins, but it has been paid by Christ.
But if we were to suffer today because of doing good, taking examples from Christ, this is not because we are carrying our sins, not because of God’s wrath to us, not because of God no longer loving us, not because of God no longer caring us, but if God allows this suffering to happen, that it is as purification to our faith so that we can be like the Christ and to follow His examples.
As a conclusion, there are two practical applications in our lives:
- 1. When our good deeds not being appreciated. How can we respond in this kind of situation? Once again, we can respond this by coming to God.
- 2. When our good deeds getting rejected, getting misunderstood and even our motivation being questioned. How can we respond in this kind of situation? Romans 12: 19 & 20 stated that “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Once again, the key in this passage is to come to God and to see everything that we do from God’s perspective with the realization of God’s presence that we submit to God that He knows the truest of the truth. This is because there is nothing to hide from Him and He will judge with fairness, something that we cannot see.
But I only care of what God thinks of me, this is Christianity. I only care of what God wants, of what God thinks of me, what becomes God’s will to my life. This is the life that is pleasing to God and if we’re doing it and we live in it, there will be peace and prosperous, there will be love and there will be goods because we only care on what God wants and today, we listened to what God wants. May we walk on it, we live in it, we hold to God’s commands, God’s promises. We are grateful of God’s examples that when we were insulted that we don’t avenge it by trading insults, and when we were hurt that we don’t avenge it by hurting them back, but to submit to God who will judge fairly and even to pray “God, please forgive them because they did not know on what they’ve done.” May we become the children of God who hold, believe and to live in God’s words because of His blessing and His mercifulness.