Summary: Jesus was our suffering servant, and as Peter draws comparisons between Isaiah 53 and our lifestyles, we need to follow and focus on Jesus, keeping our hearts right with Him despite any wrongful persecution.
"Showing Honor in Spite of Persecution"
Glorious King Jesus Christian Church
Pastor: Sterling Christian Franklin
See CrossAllegiance on YouTube for a link to the recorded webcast for this sermon
Text: 1 Peter 2:13-25
Matthew Henry: "The duty required is submission"
Jesus was our Suffering Servant.
We need to follow and focus on Jesus, and in the process, we may be persecuted and suffer wrongly for even the good we do.
"For the Lord's sake"
- Sent for punishment
- // Executive branch
- Punishes: Evildoers
- Rewards: Well-doers
Silence ignorance of foolish men
HOW? By well-doing!
// Be kind to those who are cruel to you -- heap coals of fire on their head
Romans 12:20 - Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the LORD will reward you.
Heaping coals of fire - Not a means of cursing your enemy -- you aren't calling down fire and brimstone from the heavens on them. In doing kindness to your enemy, you are putting a lingering sting on their conscience about how they've treated you. God is pleased, and perhaps the enemy will repent of being your nemesis, but at the very least, they will be convicted of their standing.
// Bless and do not curse
Jesus supported Peter's idea of well-doing, even to those we deem least deserving of it...
43 " You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
We are FREE
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM (or "Liberty")!
But we need to use our freedom in proper ways, not to give us excuse for doing wrong or disobeying.
Exception here, which is worth elaborating: We are never to forsake our true King. If we have allegiance to God's Kingdom, we are to be faithful to Him first.
Did the Disciples follow this? YES!
Peter wrote this book around 63 AD, Nero was the emperor. Peter would in a few years be hung on a cross upside down. Why? Because he was faithful to Jesus, even to death! He was persecuted, as many others were under Nero's reign, for being a Christian. The man who denied him three times on that grim night was forgiven and his life was a full success in the eyes of God.
Peter is not saying, "Obey rulers unconditionally, even if they conflict with the commands that the Lord has given you." We are ALWAYS to obey Jesus first.
But we are not to use our freedom in this world to offend others in any other way than 'being a Christian', including those in charge over you.
What Peter notes is that you CAN misuse your God-given freedom.
"Cloak of maliciousness"
Covering for evil
Excuse for evil
"As servants of God"
We are children of Light and sons of the Kingdom. We need to represent Him well by living an exemplary life of holiness in the midst of corruption.
HONOR: All men
Memory verse for Upward: "Show proper respect to everyone." As believers, we are to submit to one another. As citizens in the midst of persecution, we are to respect those around us, even if they are mistreating us.
LOVE: The Brotherhood (All Saints)
The bond of unity = love, and we are called as a community of believers to love one another and esteem others as more important than we are in our own eyes.
Reverence of God -- a holy understanding of His importance and Sovereignty ('weightiness'/glory)
HONOR: The king
Those in rule over you.
In both cases of honor, the root 'tima,w' refers to esteeming them as having a high value (or being 'highly valued').
In whatever state you're in, you are to live in proper subjection for the purpose of the glory of God. We see this in the next segment of Peter's discussion --
Servants - be subject to your master...
...Regardless of whether the master is good or not!