Summary: God wants each of us to exercise biblical authority; but before we can exercise authority we must be UNDER authority.
THE KEY TO EXERCISING BIBLICAL AUTHORITY
Submit. It is a word that is distained by so many people.
No one wants to submit to anybody. Many people treat submission much like the little boy who was told repeatedly by his mother to sit down on the seat in church. When he was threatened to received the hand of knowledge on the seat of learning, little Johnny finally sat down. He crossed his arms and whispered to his mom,
I’m sitting down on the outside, but standing up on the inside.’
It’s no secret, that submission is not a virtue that is held by too many people in Canada or America.
When was the last time you saw a movie where the hero was known for submitting to authority. No, the heros of todays generation, are those who turn their heads to authority. People who display a rebellious attitude are elevated as models to be emulated.
The irony is that even some Christians have the idea that they can exercise authority without submitting to anybody; whether it be to the government, police, teachers, employers, or marriage partners or in the church.
P.P. God wants each of us to exercise biblical authority; but before we can exercise authority we must be UNDER authority.
The central section of Peters letter ( 2:11-3:12) emphasizes SUBMISSION in the life of a believer.
It goes without saying that this is an unpopular subject in our culture. People want authority and the right to exercise authority, but they do not want to be under authority.
God’s word teaches, that this just is not possible.
The key to exercising biblical authority is tied to our willingness to live under the authorities God has placed over our lives.
In this section, Peter applies the theme of submission to the life of a believer as a citizen ( 2:11-17); an employee ( 2:18-25); to marriage ( 3:1-7) and as a member of the body of Christ ( 3:8-12)
Now, let’s be clear about one thing. Submission IS NOT slavery or subjugation.. Warren Weirsbe writes it is
‘Simply the recognition of God’s authority in our lives.’
God’s word shows us how God has established the home, government, and the church and HE has the right to determine how these bodies will operate.
From the beginning of the fall, man has gone to great lengths to avoid this life freeing truth.
Satan’s offer to Adam and Eve was freedom without authority, and it resulted in banishment and death. They lost both their freedom and authority.
The prodigal son thought freedom could be found in leaving the security of his fathers house. When he stepped out from under the authority of his father, the son traded true freedom for poverty, and bondage to sin. Freedom only came when he yielded to His fathers will.
Peter shares three excellent motives for submitting to authority and living dedicated, obedient Christian lives.
1. MY LIFE IS BEING WATCHED ( 2:11-12)
11Beloved, I urge you(A) as sojourners and exiles(B) to abstain from the passions of the flesh,(C) which wage war against your soul. 12(D) Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers,(E) they may see your good deeds and glorify God on(F) the day of visitation.
Peter begins this exhortation by reminding his readers who they are. To begin with they are ‘God’s dearly loved children’. Many versions render this verse, Dearly loved, or friends. In both his letters, Peter reminds his readers of God’s love for them…
1 Peter 4:12 English Standard Version (ESV)
12Beloved, do not be surprised at(A) the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
2 Peter 3:1 English Standard Version (ESV)
1This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved…
2 Peter 3:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and(A)a thousand years as one day.
2 Peter 3:14 English Standard Version (ESV)
14(A) Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him(B) without spot or(C) blemish, and(D) at peace.
2 Peter 3:17 English Standard Version (ESV)
17You therefore, beloved,(A) knowing this beforehand,(B) take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
Peter is reminding the believers that our submission to God first of all stems from our relationship with God. In ourselves there is nothing that God can love; but He loves us because of Jesus Christ. The Bible says in Ephesians 1:6
Ephesians 1:5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)
5(A) he predestined us[a] for(B) adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,(C) according to the purpose of his will, 6(D) to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in(E) the Beloved.