…having good behavior among the nations, so in that of which they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they see, glorify God in the day of visitation.(1 Peter 2:12, emphasis added)
Peter admonishes believers to “put away all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all slander.” There is not any room in a believer’s heart for anything other than Christ Jesus and the love of God. We are living in the Kingdom of God now. We know, as believers our path to heaven to live a life of eternal peace is assured. He is our Guide and Mentor, we should love as He loves. Reach out to Him for understanding of all situations you face. Seek Him and His direction. Take it in small doses and grow into Him. Better still, let Him grow within you. Being forgiven requires we be forgiving and “…grow up into salvation.”
The Lord our God is good. His Son is good. His Spirit is good. All things come together for the purpose of good especially for those of us who believe. Our Christ is our Bridegroom and we are His. He is building a foundation that cannot be shaken. We are as Peter calls us “a holy priesthood.” We “offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ Jesus.” There is nothing evil in His Bride or in the Temple He builds. He, Christ Jesus, the Cornerstone starting the foundation and becomes the Capstone completing the work He starts in us. We cannot be shamed and He cannot be ashamed of us. It is an “honor for you who believe….” Those who do not or simply will not believe will stumble through their lives. Christ will be a stumbling stone to them.
Those people rejecting Him are known to Christ. He created them after all. He knows those who will love Him and live for Him through Him. He knows those, too, who will not love Him. For us, however, we are to be “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession….” We should never understand this honor to make us greater than those who are not. We “…now are God’s people.” Our lives, our souls, our spirits have been united with Him by the faith that He gives. We “…have received mercy.”
Peter admonishes us “…to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against our souls.” Judging others does not rest in our authority, but in Christ Jesus through the Father. We do not have any right to lay punishment on any other person. Judgment and punishment are His authority. “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable….” Let the light of Christ be in all we do. Let Christ’s Truth be our truth. When we are the victim of another person’s sin, let us forgive and not judge that person. When they speak against us, our conduct will be our testimony and our witness. By our “good deeds” God is glorified.
The doctrine of universal reconciliation teaches that as children of God we should have a lifestyle that brings glory to God. We are to preach to others with words and deeds. We are to bring the Light into dark places. Christ’s Words and His sacrifice save us. His life is Light. He died as atonement for the sins of the world, that is to say, the sins of the whole world.
Universal reconciliation embraces these verses as literal truth. We have no reason to conclude from these verses that unbelievers will suffer eternal conscious torment for having not been chosen by God or for not choosing God. Universal reconciliation teaches that believers have a new life now and should live accordingly. “For this is the will of God, that by well-doing you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God (1 Peter 2:15-16).” This is Impartial Grace.