Summary: We are called by God’s Word to be good citizens for God has placed those in authority over us!
Date Written: September 21, 2007
Date Preached: September 23, 2007
Where Preached: OZHBC (PM)
Sermon Series: A Study in 1 Peter
Sermon Title: Living Out Our Faith Thru Citizenship!
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 2:13-17
13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Over the past several weeks in our study here in 1 Peter I have stressed the importance of living our faith out loud in the world around us… tonight I want us to look at living out loud our faith… through our being good citizens!
What is a Christian? In a letter that dates back to the second century A.D., an anonymous writer describes these certain strange people who are in the world but not of the world. This writer describes Christians like this…
“Christians are not differentiated from other people by country, language, or customs; you see, they do not live in cities of their own, or speak some strange dialect. . . They live in both Greek and foreign cities, wherever chance has put them. They follow local customs in clothing, food, and other aspects of life. But at the same time, they demonstrate to us the unusual form of their own citizenship.
“They live in their own native lands, but as aliens. . . Every foreign country is to them as their native country, and every native land as a foreign country.
“They marry and have children just like everyone else, but they do not kill unwanted babies. They offer a shared table, but not a shared bed. They are passing their days on earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey the appointed laws and go beyond the laws in their own lives.
“They love everyone, but are persecuted by all. They are put to death and gain life. They are poor and yet make many rich.
They are dishonored and yet gain glory through dishonor. Their names are blackened and yet they are cleared. They are mocked and bless in return. They are treated outrageously and behave respectfully to others.
“When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; when punished, they rejoice as if being given new life. They are attacked by Jews as aliens and are persecuted by Greeks; yet those who hate them cannot give any reason for their hostility.”
Beginning in v.13 Peter begins a charge to the believers of his day to be the best citizens possible, and this is something that we need to carry on today, we need to be the best possible citizen… for it will bring glory and honor to the One we serve… Jesus Christ!
13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme…
Here we find Peter being rather forceful in his instruction to the believers of Rome and to all believers who read this letter. He instructs them to voluntarily submit to the governing authorities. Peter does NOT make submission a matter of personal conviction or choice, but it is a matter of fact… as a believer we are to submit to the governing authorities.
Peter teaches that it is our OBLIGATION to submit to every ordinance of man: now when we look at that particular phrase it suggests submission by the believer extends far beyond the civil authorities…
But here Peter is instructing believers that this instruction or command extends to all kinds of rules that Christians encounter, this includes rules at work and the instruction of the household…
Now I want us to understand what Peter is NOT saying here… Peter is NOT telling the believers to agree with all the rules and laws of man and agree with all the authorities, but that we are to submit to them!
We are free to disagree and show our disagreement, but we are to do so in a ‘submissive’ manner! If we believe something to be wrong, we can civilly and honorably disagree and work for change, but we are called to be submissive in our approach!
14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good…
Here in v.14 we find Peter speaking about governors, now we must understand that this term means something entirely different from what we know it today. A governor today is elected by the people in a free vote, but a governor in Peter’s day was any person placed in authority by the supreme ruler of the land… sometimes this is translated as king with a small ‘k’… ruler over a small parcel of the kingdom.