Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
June 2021 (3)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (4)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (4)
January 2021 (5)
December 2020 (4)
November 2020 (4)
October 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (21)
June 2020 (29)
May 2020 (28)
April 2020 (31)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (5)
November 2019 (3)
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
May 2019 (4)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
February 2019 (6)
January 2019 (4)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

SHOWING FORTH THE PRAISES OF CHRIST
by Philip Owen

We sometimes hear or read some form of the phrase found in the title of this note.  It is taken from Peter’s first epistle:  “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (2:9). These words often introduce the performance of music.  This adaptation of the inspired phrase may be appropriate, but it overlooks the context in which it occurs, a context that defines God’s view of what it means to show forth the praises of the Son of God.  As this note will illustrate, truly praising Christ involves the entire life and being, including all the following.

Purity.  “Abstain from fleshly lusts,” Peter commands (v. 11).  Praise does not begin with the mouth but with the mind, the heart, and the will.  Christ is praised when we make a conscious choice to live a pure life.

Honesty and good works.  Peter parallels the ideas of “honest conversation” and “good works” in the twelfth verse, indicating they are roughly synonymous.  It is not enough to abstain from sinful sexual behavior and thoughts, Christ is to be praised by our positive embracing of good behavior.  Good works never save, but they surely follow salvation.

Obedience to civil law.  Many real believers take a very casual view toward the law.  Yet, we cannot break even man’s law with impunity.  “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake” is Peter’s sobering enjoinder (vv. 13-15).

Liberty, not license.  Christian liberty is never a license to sin.  Don’t use “your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness,” Peter warns (v. 16).  Christ is praised when we exercise our liberty (which is the freedom to please God) “as the servants of God” (v. 16).

Reverence God and respect authority.  Rebellion is hard-wired into our DNA.  Our carnal minds would convince us that doing what we want is an expression of maturity.  But the Lord reminds us that a praiseworthy life “honour[s] all men” and “fear[s] God” (v. 17).  There is no substitute for godly submission.

                Faithful service to employers.  More than anyone else, a believer should be a good employee—even to the point of enduring unjust suffering. If we are bosses, we should be kind and just to employees.  But if we are employees, employees’ rights are not as important to God as are right employees (vv. 18, 19).

                Patient suffering for doing right.  It is our nature to think (or at least to hope) that doing right will be rewarded with measurable blessing.  Peter reminds us that sometimes doing right provokes trials and that we should not become hurt or indignant by such a result.  Rather, taking such abuse “is acceptable with God” (v. 20).

                Following Christ’s example.  Part of the believer’s calling is to “follow his steps,” particularly in the area of suffering (vv. 21-23).  We should not seek martyrdom or invite abuse by carnal behavior.  But our heritage includes the promise of godly suffering.  No mature believer escapes this life unscathed.  If everything always works out, evidence suggests you are not saved.

                Being dead to sin and alive to righteousness.  Because of Christ, believers are “dead to sins”; in other words, they are no longer slaves to sin.  We have the power to refuse to sin.  And because we are “alive to righteousness,” we have the power in Christ to do what is right (v. 24).

                Living under Christ’s authority and care.  Finally, Peter rejoices that we have “returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop” of our souls (v. 25).  Both terms speak of One who provides faithful and loving oversight.  We are not our own but belong to the One who called us “out of darkness into his marvellous light” (v. 9).

Yes, there is a form of praise that involves our vocal cords, mouths, and lips.  But praise that honors God is constitutional.  It begins on the inside—the mind and heart.  It affects the will.  And ultimately, it includes all that we do and refuse to do.  Lip praise may be superficial, insincere, even hypocritical.  But the praise Peter invokes is genuine and results in God being glorified.  Do we think that praise begins with the opening of a hymnal and ends with its closing?  Are we showing forth His praise?

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page