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1 Peter 2:11 - Abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul

NIV Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
KJV Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
NASB Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
1 Peter 2:11


Peter called his readers to a righteous life in a hostile world. Christians are foreigners in a secular society because their citizenship is in heaven. In order to have an impact on the world for God, Christians must be disciplined in an inward and private way by avoiding the desires of the fallen nature (cf. Gal. 5:19-21, where "fleshly lusts" include much more than sexual temptations). Fleshly lusts are personified as if they were an army of rebels or guerrillas who incessantly search out and try to destroy the Christian's joy, peace and usefulness.

MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (1 Pe 2:11). Nashville: Word Pub.

abstain - The word translated abstain literally (in this verse) means "to hold away from one's person." In other words, we must distance ourselves from our own self-indulgent urges.

Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson's new illustrated Bible commentary (1 Pe 2:11). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.