The Bible says that some will be saved through the witness of our faithfulness. But how does that happen? What makes our living in line with the gospel compelling to nonbelievers? In this lab, John Piper explains how our good deeds win others to Christ.
Principle for Bible Reading
Often the biblical authors create or mention a series of steps for the Christian to learn and practice. When you come to a series of actions, stop and think about the differences between the steps, what order they should be in, and any relevant relationships between the steps.
- Look at 1 Peter 2:12 and separate the different steps Peter mentions (John sees four steps). Put the steps in order, and explain how they relate to each other.
- How does someone go from seeing our good deeds to glorifying God? What moves them from observing our good deeds to worship? Look at 1 Peter 2:15 and 3:16 for help. What massive thing has to happen before anything else (mentioned in the first verses of the letter)?
- Peter says they will glorify God on “the day of visitation.” What do you think that means and why? Where in the Bible would you go to support your answer?
A Path to Glory (01:20–03:34)
- First, we are slandered. (1 Peter 2:12)
- Therefore, we should do good deeds — positive, proactive engagement for the good of the world. (1 Peter 2:12)
- Then, the world sees your good works. (1 Peter 2:12)
- Finally, having seen, they glorify God. (1 Peter 2:12)
Awakening an Unbeliever (03:34–05:59)
- How does the world go from seeing our good works to worshipping God?
- One way is that the good works might silence their unfair criticism or slander. (1 Peter 2:15)
- Another way is that they might be put to shame and repent. (1 Peter 3:16)
- However God chooses to do it, he must cause them to be born again. (1 Peter 1:3)
The Day of Visitation (05:59–08:55)
- Peter says some in the world will glorify God because of your good works “on the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11). When is that day?
- It might the day of the second coming, or it could be the day that God causes them to be born again and believe.
- God “visits” the Gentiles to save them through faith. (Acts 15:14)
- Again, God “visits and redeems” his people in the coming of Jesus (the first time). (Luke 1:68)
- Therefore, Peter probably is not thinking mainly of the second coming, but of their conversion through the witness of your good deeds.