1 Peter 2:15-16 (NIV)
15 For it is God�s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God�s slaves.

Matthew Henry writes about doing well in the face of those who would do us harm. [1.] The will of God is, to a good man, the strongest reason for any duty. [2.] Obedience to magistrates is a considerable branch of a Christian�s duty: So is the will of God. [3.] A Christian must endeavor, in all relations, to behave himself so as to put to silence the unreasonable reproaches of the most ignorant and foolish men. [4.] Those who speak against religion and religious people are ignorant and foolish. Matthew Henry goes on to explain that we are free in Christ and we should not abuse our freedom. [1.] All the servants of Christ are free men (Jn. 8:36); they are free from Satan�s� dominion, the law�s condemnation, the wrath of God, the uneasiness of duty, and the terrors of death. [2.] The servants of Jesus Christ ought to be very careful not to abuse their Christian liberty; they must not make it a cover or cloak for any wickedness against God or disobedience to superiors.

The daughter of missionaries to the Congo Republic told Pastor Leith Anderson this story: As a little girl, she participated in a daylong rally to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the coming of missionaries to that part of Africa. At the close of a long day of speeches and music, an old, old man stood before the crowd and insisted on speaking. He soon would die, he said, and if he didn�t speak, information that he alone possessed would go with him to his grave. He said that when the missionaries arrived, his people thought them strange and their message dubious. The tribal leaders decided to test the missionaries by slowly poisoning them to death. Over a period of months and years, missionary children died one by one. Then, the old man said, �It was as we watched how they died that we decided we wanted to live as Christians.� Those who died painful, strange deaths never knew why they were dying or what the impact of their lives and deaths would be. But through it all, they didn�t leave. They stayed because they trusted Jesus Christ. [Leith Anderson, �Mystery Martyrs,� Men of Integrity, (January/February 2004)]

My friends live as a Christian should live. The Bible tells us our salvation is not dependent upon our good works, but by our faith and trust in Christ who paid the debts for our sin. We are to repent and turn from sin and live as Christ did although we have the freedom to live sinfully. But living sinfully confuses others as to what Christianity means for we have been freed from sin, so why live in sin. Live instead that your life might be a witness to others. Live that God�s light shines through you and touches the lives of those who don�t know Christ. Live such that even in death others see the life you have been granted. I pray God will keep you faithful to Him and will keep you from wavering in your dedication to live as Christ lived.