Hope for Hard Times
Christian Citizens: Conduct Outside of the Church
1 Peter 2:13-25
In light of verse 12--How to live in the humanly, secularly, governed sector of society.
The Need for Authority
“Democracy is the best form of government, not because everybody is equally intelligent or equally qualified to have an equal say, but because everybody is equally sinful and we all need to keep an eye on each other.” C.S. Lewis
“The law of liberty” (Jas. 1:25)—unrestrained sin and evil war against the law of liberty
The Scope of Authority
- Gen. 9:6—God established government to protect life.
- Rom. 13:1f –God appoints the governments that are HIS SERVANTS to encourage what is right, protect people from the wicked and to punish the wicked/ wrong-doers.
- 1 Tim. 2:4,5—God calls for prayer for authorities that God’s people might be permitted to live godly lives and promote salvation truth.
The Purpose for Submission
- “for the Lord’s sake—to silence the ignorant talk of foolish men” Christians are not to be lawless like those who are rebellious and reject/ resent authority.
- Faith is predicated on obedience to God’s authority—how the Christian culture is shaped and nurtured
The Limits of Submission—it’s redirection!
- Rom 13:1f; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:13f – Obey the governmental authorities
- Heb 13:17 – Obey the (spiritual) leaders over you
- 1 Peter 3:5,6 – Wives submit to husband; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham
- Eph 6:1—Children obey your parents
- Eph. 6:5—Slaves obey your masters
- Acts 5:29—We must obey God
Did the ancient people of God ever disobey the government?
- Ex. 1:16,17—Hebrew Midwives
- Dan. 3:15-18--Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego
- Acts 5:29—Peter and John and the Sanhedrin (Jewish Supreme Court)
Handling the Conflict - Live as Free Men
Freedom comes from liberation to sin, what governments are to promote, and Lordship to Christ, to whom governments must bow.
Live as Servants of God (how free men enslave themselves)
- Proper honour to everyone—all image-bearers
- Love the brothers—hunt for grace-sightings in everyone
- Fear God—don’t be afraid of him
- Honour the Prime Minister—official servants of God
Mistreatment vs. Defying the Will and Word of God
God often uses mistreatment to accomplish his will; he never condones being forced to defy/ disobey his will.
Anything, including our own lives, that is more important than Christ, or interferes with our obedience to Christ, is an idol.