August 8, 2017
The Christian and Government – Part 2
1Peter 2:13-17 – Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 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. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
This is one of those passages that can cause some confusion and anxiety, yet, this is something that is both practical and, as God’s people, something that we are commanded to make a permanent part of our lives.
To put this into context, in 1Peter 2:9 the writer is telling us that Christians are different people. Are you different than other people around you? God says that you’d better be! We are to be different because God made us different as we have a different relationship with Him! And that different relationship means that I need to have a different conduct than everyone else around me.
So when it comes to the Christian and his relationship to the Government guess what….we are to behave differently! We are to act differently and not like so many others around us are acting. We are to behave in the way that God has told us to behave! But this passage is just not about the Christian and his relationship with the Government, but is about the Christian and his relationship with God! So this passage is about the Christian and his relationship with the Government in the eyes of God! We are to submit ourselves to the Government not for my sake, but what does it say in verse 13….we are to do it for the Lord’s sake!
Think about the first century church. Peter is writing to Christians who are being persecuted because of their faith. It was not just that they were being persecuted by the Jews, but now it is the Romans also doing the persecuting! It was the Roman government and leadership that were persecuting Christians because of their belief in Jesus Christ. So what am I to do with the people who are persecuting me because of my faith???? That is the concept of the passage that we are looking at tonight! And if this applied to Christians who were being persecuted by their Government, does it not also apply to us who are not suffering the kind of persecution that they were?!
So what are we supposed to do in our relationship with our Government for “the Lord’s sake”? We will look at this question next week!
Have a Blessed Week –