Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles… 1 Peter 1:1
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles… 1 Peter 2:11
Included in the New Testament is a letter that Peter addressed to Christians that reside North of the Taurus mountain range in Asia minor (modern day Turkey). He refers to the Christians as “exiles & sojourners”. Peter is writing to remind them of the glorious new life found in Christ and that they are members of a better kingdom. Their King has caused them to be born again into His great kingdom and has provided them with an eternal inheritance. This rebirth isn’t simply a reset or clean slate, but an entrance into this perfect kingdom. This rebirth is so unique and mysterious that even angels long to behold it unfold.
Over the next 10 weeks we will be studying through this letter as a church. We will examine the notion that Christians are exiles & sojourners.
When we realize that WE are exiles it changes the way we see every area of life. We are not ordinary exiles….downtrodden and hopeless. We are exiles that have been born into a living hope….a hope that one day our great King will return and we will be exiles no more. Until that day we walk on. We live in confident assertion that our inheritance is secure and that we bear good news of a better kingdom coming.
It is this allegiance and perspective of a better kingdom that affects the way they live, walk, suffer, love, fight, honor, and serve as Exiles.
These are no ordinary exiles….
These exiles are fiercely loyal to their King and eagerly await His return.
The conduct of the exiles illustrates the nature of the kingdom that they contend is better than the current kingdom within which they dwell. They are model citizens, they feed the needy, clothe the naked, restore the broken & honor the emperor. They are good neighbors, concerned for the poor and helpless. They are steadfast and kind and confident. They love the brotherhood, fear God, rejoice with perspective and invite others to join them. They proclaim the excellencies of the King that pardoned their debts, forgave their sins and declared them righteous in His sight. These exiles are unwavering in the face of ridicule and torment. They are outsiders that embrace their lot and dream of the days ahead….the day their King will return andthey will be exiles no more.
These exiles don’t bemoan their exile….on the contrary, they embrace it & live in light of their better kingdom and glorious King.
We are exiles…outsiders that don’t fit into the culture around us…citizens of a better kingdom. A kingdom where things are as they were intended to be.
We look, live & think differently because we are citizens of this kingdom.
We view money, sex, possessions, conflict, brokenness & humanity differently because we are members of this better kingdom.
We are exiles with our own code, ethic, allegiance & perspective.
We are exiles…until the day our King returns and we will be exiled no longer.
Join us over the next couple of months as we reorient ourselves around the reality that we are Exiles….citizens of a better kingdom.