Identify as Citizens

1 Peter 2:13-17

By Stewart McCarter, April 30, 2023

(1 Peter 2:13-17) God calls us to civil obedience and civil disobedience


    1. The Spirit of Submission
      1. Be subject (submit) means obedience, but only if it does not breaks God’s commandment.
      2. God is not telling us to submit to every human authority, but to every human creature. Every earthly government ruler is first a creation of God. Therefore they and we operate on the premise of acting “for the Lords sake”
    2. The Scope of Submission
      1. For the Lord’s sake
        1. National
        2. Local
    3. Why God gives governments
      1. The real job of government is to punish evil and reward those who do right. When they fail and require us to disobey God’s commands, we are not required to obey. We answer to God, not men. You can be punished if you disobey

    1. The will of God
      1. The will of God is for us to demonstrate we are good citizens.
      2. The purpose to eliminate accusations. By obeying the government, we can silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. They are foolish because they do not acknowledge and obey God.
    2. Living free
      1. We are free to disobey (when the law says to disobey God)
      2. We should not sin in any disobedience
      3. We operate in submission this way:
        1. Submit as free people (we are free!)
        2. Do not use freedom as an excuse to indulge sin
        3. As slaves of God (we are not free!) (Freedom is the ability to obey, those who sin are slaves of sin) Genuine freedom is only experienced by the slaves of God)
      4. Governments do not have unlimited authority (we belong to God first, He is the priority of authority)

  1. Four commands
    1. Honor everyone
      1. Treat everyone with respect and dignity
      2. Even if they are sinners
      3. The same honor afforded the emperor is to be given to everyone
    2. Love the brotherhood
      1. Love is given to “the brotherhood” (only instance of this phrase in the New Testament or the greek Old Testament)
      2. In the times of persecution, we need to be reminded to love each other
    3. Fear God
      1. Only God deserves our fear
      2. We are not to fear other humans, even if they are the emperor.
      3. An allusion to emperor worship
      4. Only God determines existence and non-existence
    4. Honor the emperor
      1. Again, we should respect the civil authority

What about you?

  1. Pray for legal authorities and their salvation
  2. You dishonor God when you disrespect the government unjustly.
  3. Be in right relationship with God, men, christians, and the government