Silence the World with Good Deeds

1 Peter 2:11–12, Part 2

Many Christians today cannot stand being maligned, and so they cave to what the world wants. In this lab, John Piper helps us win the world by living differently.

Many Christians today cannot stand being maligned by the world, and so they cave to what the world wants. They ignore the Bible and do whatever society does. In this lab, John Piper helps us win the world by living differently. He explains how our changed lives are one of the most powerful witnesses to the worth of Jesus Christ.

Principle for Bible Reading

When you read commands or arguments in the Bible, like in 1 Peter 2:12, think of the ways that command or argument might be abused by someone. How might it be taken out of context or warped to serve another purpose? Then develop a way to answer or correct that wrong interpretation or application with support from elsewhere in the Bible.

Study Questions

  1. Look back at 1 Peter 1:14, and explain how it relates to 1 Peter 2:11–12. What are the relationships, according to Peter, between our knowledge, our desires, and our behavior?
  2. What is the ultimate purpose of 1 Peter 2:12? How do the other parts of these two verses relate to or support that one main purpose?
  3. Can you think of your own example for what this might look like? How might 1 Peter 2:12 really happen, how might we win the world, without compromising our Christian faith and convictions?
Piper: “Live in conformity with Christ’s beauty so that people see his beauty and worth.”

Introduction/Prayer (00:00–02:22)

Made New with Truth (02:22–03:55)

  • Ignorance produces sinful passions and desires. (1 Peter 1:14)
  • And those sinful passions lead to conformity to sin.
  • Peter is striving to replace their ignorance with new truth, that will change their desires, and eventually their behavior.
  • Peter must have that process in mind here again in 1 Peter 2:11.

The Power of a Changed Life (03:55–06:39)

  • The call is to keep your conduct honorable or beautiful in the world. (1 Peter 2:12)
  • Peter wants these Christians’ lives to make Christ look beautiful.
  • The purpose is to confront and end slander from nonbelievers. (1 Peter 2:12)
  • How do we silence slander from our opponents in the world?
  • We silence them by doing good deeds. (1 Peter 2:12)

Win the World, Don’t Let the World Win (06:39–08:52)

  • This does mean that we do whatever it takes not to be maligned by the world.
  • We are not going to continue to do what the world wants us to do, no matter what they say. (1 Peter 4:3–4)
  • 1 Peter 4:4 says the world will be surprised when you stop acting like them, and they will malign you. It does not say go ahead and do what the world wants.
  • 1 Peter 2:12 suggests there are certain good deeds that even some in the world will recognize, respect, and admire.

An Example: The Pro-Life Movement (08:52–11:01)

Piper: We don’t give in to the world to win the world. We overwhelm the world with changed lives.