Summary: This message reminds us of basic Christian duties, like being in subjection to governmental powers...
1 Peter 2:13-17 Dutiful Christians
Introduction: Do you like to go to masquerade parties? Let me tell you about a party that occurred a long time ago. On December 16, 1773 Samuel Adams was speaking and in his closing comments, he gave a prearranged verbal signal. He said, "This meeting can do nothing more to save the country". On hearing these words, a group of men disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians let out a war whoop and rushed for the wharves. The "Indians" boarded three ships, chopped open 342 chests of tea with hatchets. The "Indians" threw away the tea into the Massachusetts Bay. This bold defiance of the British Government was done in protest against George III’s tax on the colonies. The people did this to show that they were against "taxation without representation". Remember the Boston Tea Party? If you lived then would you have participated? Would you have fought in the War for Independence? What should have been the position of a Christian living in those times? These are interesting things to think about.
Last week we saw that every Christian should be Non-stick Teflon Coated. How
we can become that sort of Christians according to Peter is by:
1. Properly understanding our relation ship to this world; we are strangers and pilgrims.
2. Realizing that we are engaged in a difficult battle, a war against ours souls and the
enemy is fleshly lusts.
3. Modifying our behavior so that our lives are characterized by consistently
A. Abstaining from fleshly lusts
B. Actively doing right (Having Honest Conduct)
Peter ended verses 11-12 telling us to abstain from fleshly lust but saying at the same time we should be doing “good works”. He now illustrates what this may look like in real life. In fact, Peter trying to apply what he has just told us, inserts a lengthy section from 2:13 to 3:12. This section consists of a series of short duties depending on how you might be grouped (citizen, slave, wife, husband or whatever).
The theme of this section (2:13-3:12) is submission/subjection. It is mentioned specifically in 2:13, 2:18, 3:1, 3:5 and it is underlying what Peter says in 3:7-9.
Remember, what teaching Peter is applying (abstaining from fleshly lusts and doing
right). Therefore, what he is about to say will not be easy for us.
Our flesh will not like this section.
Proposition: Every Christian must do their duty.
What is our duty? Peter now tells us some areas of our duty…
I. It is the Christians’ duty to be in subjection to government (13).
To submit/subject literally means "to arrange under". It is a military term meaning "to
arrange in military fashion under the commander". It has the idea of rank and subordination.
There may be many times we may not want to obey our Government (taxes, war, stupid
laws…), but me must obey in EVERY way that we possibly can (unless it violates something
God has said, Act 5:29). We can and should obey our civil leaders. Why? Because:
A. Government was instituted by God, Himself – “ktisis” in the Bible always has the thought of God as the creator behind it. Peter is saying that human government, the state and civil authorities are ordained by God.
B. Government serves God’s twofold purposes (14)
1. To punish evil doers (no hint of trying to reform, it says to punish). It is governments job to punish not the individual Christians.
2. To praise those that do good (encourage good citizenship, thus benfitting the state/society as a whole.
Paul expressed this same thought in Romans 13:1-7 (Read).
Remember the setting in which Peter says all of this. Nero is the emperor and he is a rascal..
We have to obey regardless if we like our leader or not; regardless if we like the law or not.
C. Obeying Government will help us to gain favor with God (15a).
To obey Government is God’s clearly expressed will for every Christian.
We don’t have to pray about it…. We don’t even have to want to/feel like it…
D. Obeying Government will help us to gain favor with society (15b).
1. We will be seen as people who do right.
2. Governors will see us a people who “do well”.
3. It will silence ignorant talk (groundless accusations).
4. It may to prevent persecutions (If 1-3 are true).
Obeying Government doesn’t mean we can not criticize it when we feel it is wrong, or strive
to get laws changed or enacted…
II. It is the Christians’ duty to remember who their master is (16).
A. God liberated us from past sin and from fleshly lusts. “Free”
God has broken the power of sin over us when we got saved. Thus we ought to be able to
obey God and be submissive even when we might not want to.