11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:11-12
It must be possible as born again people to be lured by and act out on the lusts of the flesh. I’m just stating the obvious in this verse, having tested this hypothesis practically “in the field,” as they say.
How do we walk the straight and narrow as aliens and strangers? By walking the straight and narrow. Easier said than done.
It takes willpower to abstain from fleshly lusts, but the source of this power can’t be ours, or we’ll eventually fail. It has to be from God.
Recognize that the old manner of life has been crucified with Christ on the cross (Gal. 2:20, Rom. 6:6). His spirit then empowers us to make no provision for these lusts to gain a foothold (Ro. 13:14). These are the daily skirmishes that must be won to walk by the spirit (Gal 5:16).
But what awaits the believer walking by the power of the spirit? The same fate that met Jesus. Despite our good deeds, that are spawned by a life unfettered by constant backsliding, we will be slandered. This fact is also obvious here. But how we react will be witnessed by others, and the love and sincerity that is hopefully demonstrated will be undeniable, because of the circumstances.
Like Jesus bearing up on under the anguish of the cross, they will give glory to God as they see us bear up, just as the centurion did when the earth shook (Matt. 15:39, Luke 23:47).
By the way, our actions in response to the prodding of the spirit will also rock the world, at least somebody’s!