How Should We Then Live
“For the Lord’s Sake” 1 Peter 2:13-17
Old Testament Reading – Daniel 2:1-23
New Testament Reading – Acts 4:1-24
How Should We Then Live
“For the Lord’s Sake”
1 Peter 2:13-17
When the disciples asked Jesus about the signs that would indicate the nearness to the end of this age, the first words out of His mouth were, “Take heed that no one deceives you.” (Matthew 24:4)
- The Apostle Paul echoed those same words in his warnings to Timothy, (1 Timothy 4, 2 Timothy 4) and in his second epistle to the Thessalonians. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12)
- Since deception is the law of the land today, it is imperative that every believer saturate their minds with the truth of God’s Word, and ask God for the spirit of discernment to enable them to know when they are being deceived by Satan’s lies.
- For unless God intervenes, Christians in the West will soon face the same level of deception and persecution as over 340-million of our brothers and sisters in Christ in over 50-countries.
- The Apostle Peter said we are to endure such persecution in such a way that we may “put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
Christians of every century have faced the same three types of persecution:
- Political persecution – ungodly political leaders are threatened by those who amass great followings, especially those who have a greater loyalty to God than to the government.
- Religious persecution – ungodly religious leaders are threatened by those who believe there is only one mediator between God and man, and that is Christ Jesus, not their religious order.
- Personal persecution – ungodly people are threatened by those whose walk with the Lord exposes their ungodliness; convicting them of their sins.
The common denominator among these sources of persecution is their ignorance of God, as evidenced by their rejection of Jesus as the Savior sent from God.
- Such ignorance breeds suspicion, and suspicion breeds false accusation, character assassination, and malicious insults.
- Peter said the only way to silence their persecution is to live as God’s set-apart people, and manifest the life of Christ before them, even if that requires us to suffer in silence for doing it.
- As Christians, we have a totally different worldview. However, the lost people of the world need to see us as citizens, willing to do whatever we are required to do, and even more, if need be, for that is the model the Lord Jesus set before us.
“We are to God the fragrance of Christ among
those who are being saved
and among those who are perishing.
To the one we are the aroma of death
leading to death, and to the other
the aroma of life leading to life.”
2 Corinthians 2:15-16
1. The Command – Vs 13 – “Submit yourselves.”
The English word “submit” is translated from the Greek word, “hupotasso;” a military term calling a unit of soldiers to attention.
- In this context, Peter admonished Christians to put themselves in an attitude of submission – i.e., a willingness to submit.
- To silence our critics, to evidence our submission to Christ, and to prove we are under the control of the Holy Spirit, Christians must willingly submit unto the order God has established in society, including:
- 2:12-14 – to all government institutions
- 2:12-13 – “To silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
- 2:18-20 – to their masters – i.e., their employers
- 2:19-20 – “For such finds favor with God.”
- 3:1 – Christian wives are to submit to their husbands
- 3:1 – “Without a word, [they] may be won by the conduct of their wives.”
- 3:7 – Christian husbands are to be understanding toward their wives, even if they are unbelievers.
- 3:8-9 – “So their prayers be not hindered.”
- 3:8-9 – Christians should try to live harmonious lives; giving blessing to those who do not deserve it, but never returning evil for evil.
- 3:9 – “That we may inherit a blessing.”
2. The Motive – Vs 13 – “For the Lord’s Sake.”
How we conduct ourselves before others can either bring honor or dishonor to Christ.
- In Romans 13, the Apostle Paul said, if Christians are not subject to every God-established authority, we will face God’s wrath.
- In 1 Peter 2:12, the Apostle Peter said, Christians must never do anything to bring a reproach to the name of Christ.
3. The Extent – Vs 13 – “To Every Human Institution.”
A careful study of God’s pattern and progress of redemption reveals how He established human institutions, by which, if followed, would allow all people to live peaceably with one another.
- The family was the first human institution God ordained. God established the husband as the head of the family, with his wife in submission to his leadership, and their children under their authority until they established a family of their own.
- God established the community – a family of families, with a Chief, and a Counsel.
- God established the nation of families with a King, and rulers.
Some might say Peter didn’t live in a world like we live in today!
- Peter lived in a Jewish culture, but under the authority of the Roman Government.
- Peter lived in a society inundated with sexual sins – Nero and many of the Caesars were homosexuals.
- It was under Nero’s reign that Peter was martyred, but it was unto that same Nero that Peter said Christians should submit.
- Ungodly governments legalize activities and behaviors God calls abominations; sins worthy of death, and they rule illegal those activities and behaviors God approves as beneficial to mankind, and may be used as expressions of our worship of Him.
- While it is acceptable for Christians to raise objections to such laws, we cannot do much more about them, except to pray.
- However, when the government commands us to do that which God has commanded us not to do, or forbids us from doing what God has commanded us to do, we have no choice but to obey God and prepare to accept the consequences of our disobedience.
4. The Reason – Vs 15 – “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
Peter gave two reasons for our unconditional submission:
- “For such is the will of God.”
- The will of God is not in question – submit to every human institution.
- The will of man is in question – have we fully submitted ourselves unto the Lord?
- “To put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
- The word “silence” means to “gag”- to stop their mouths from speaking.
- Our submission to every human institution removes any and all justification for their persecution.
- In James 1:20, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus wrote: “The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”
In verses 16-17, Peter explained how Christians can live as free people:
- By showing respect for all men – we treat every person with the same respect, regardless of their station, or position in life.
- By loving the brotherhood – we long to be with the family of God, and we openly express our love to one another.
- By reverencing God – a healthy fear of a holy God will prompt us to never say or do anything that would diminish His holiness in the lives of others.
- By honoring the emperor – showing respect for those in positions of authority, whether we like them or not, or whether we agree with them or not, for such submission is the will of God.
- Christians are to live humbly in the midst of an ungodly, sin-sick society that doesn’t want to be healed.