Summary: 1) The Command (1 Peter 2:13a), 2) Motive (1 Peter 2:13b), 3) Extent (1 Peter 2:13c-14), 4) Reason (1 Peter 2:15), 5) Attitude (1 Peter 2:16), and 6) The Application of Submission (1 Peter 2:17).

1 Peter 2:13-17 [13] Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, [14] or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good [15] For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. [16] Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God [17] Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (ESV)

In this province, we have finally seen people reach the breaking point. We now see mass protests and the disregarding of governmental directives from individuals and businesses. Up to this point there has been relative patience and general compliance. Although there are several reasons for the breakdown, one author put it like this: “At the core of every society is a contract between the governed and the governing. The essence of the contract is a bargain between the two groups. On the part of the governed, it is a willingness to give to the governing group the resources — human, economic, cultural — that they require to lead and shape the society as a whole. In turn, the governing group is expected to provide the requisite security and prosperity that encourages human flourishing in its broadest sense… As a third wave breaks over the country leaving death and misery in its wake, it is becoming starkly evident that we have failed just about every major public health test of the pandemic. We have come up short everywhere from timely vaccine procurement to mass rapid testing and contact tracing to protecting long term care homes to keeping schools and business open to effective border controls to efficient mass inoculations to surging ICU capacity. We also, to our enduring shame, subjected some of our most vulnerable communities to the full brunt of virus forcing them to bear disproportionally the human costs of sustaining a locked-down Canada… As the demonstrations in Montreal yesterday reflect, more and more Canadians are questioning why they should settle for less freedom, less opportunity, more collectivism when they are demonstrably not being protected by the state from this once-in-a-generation risk?”

For the audience of 1 Peter, allegiance to the sovereign seemed absurd. Peter wrote his epistle in the last few years of Emperor Nero’s wicked rule. Nero came to power in 54 A.D. at the age of seventeen and committed suicide fourteen years later. During the reign of this emperor, Nero blamed the Christians for burning Rome, so he could make way for his civic redesign plan; he fed Christians to lions in the Coliseum for sport, and dipped them in pitch, impaled them on poles, and lit them ablaze to illuminate his garden parties. Peter himself met martyrdom at his hand, outside Rome.

Right now, what is your attitude to those in authority? Today, we are rife with distain for authority. From teachers to police officers, from politicians to pastors, we exist in a time of increasing cynicism, distain and mocking of anyone in authority. As a result, teachers face death threats and assaults, we require more and more police to manage violence, politicians face open mocking, and pastors are often just regarded as ultimate hypocrites. Isn’t it interesting that the distain flows downward. Children see parents mock and ridicule those in authority and then those same parents find that their children fail to listen to them.

In 1 Peter 2:13-17, a passage full of imperatives, six elements of Christian submission to authority emerge: 1) The Command for Submission (1 Peter 2:13a) , 2) The Motive for Submission (1 Peter 2:13b), 3) The Extent of Submission (1 Peter 2:13c-14), 4) The Reason for Submission (1 Peter 2:15), 5) The Attitude of submission (1 Peter 2:16), and 6) The Application of s Submission (1 Peter 2:17).

Godly Submission entails understanding:


1 Peter 2:13a [13] Be subject (for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme), (ESV)

The command here to “be subject/submit yourselves” (hupotasso) is a military expression literally meaning “to arrange in formation under the commander, or “Sub”, under the mission. In a general directive, the writer of proverbs in chapter 24 said: [21] My son, fear the LORD and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise, [22] for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?. Generally, submission to rulers is right because God appoints them; therefore there is no place for supporting rebels who might seek to overthrow the government. Submission does not imply inequality, for Jesus is described by this term. It is an attitude of service under authority. In Eph. 5:21 it is one of the five characteristics of the Spirit-filled life (even to have mutual submission to one another in Christ). (Utley, R. J. D. (2000). The Gospel according to Peter: Mark and I & II Peter (Vol. Volume 2, p. 231). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.)

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion