Monday in the Eighth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Peter 2:13-17

Be Subject for Christ’s Sake

The fact that the Christian is considered a sojourner and exile in this world as we discussed yesterday also points to the truth that he must live in this world.  He must live a holy life and not allow the world to hinder his growth in grace but instead employ its trials and temptations to propel him further therein.  In the meantime, he must “get along” in it as best he can and do so for the glory of God.

Turning to the first matter of this “getting along” is being subject to the governing institutions.  (Paul says the same in Romans 13:1-7.)  And Peter is clear that this means from the highest authority to the lowest and all those in between.  We would say in America: federal, state, and local.  And why is this?  Well one obvious reason is that, man being so wicked, human government is established by God to punish the evil-doer and praise the good-doer; in other words, to keep law and order.  We must have authority over us.  And one of the greatest blessings of living in America is that we have just that; there are many countries that do not, which is one big reason so many risk life and limb to come here. 

But there is even a more important reason than law and order that the Christian is to submit and obey the law and governing authorities, namely, “that by doing good [we] should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.”  In other words, it’s about our witness.  Christians were cruelly slandered in the ancient world as incestuous (the brothers and sisters loved one another), cannibals (they partook of the body and the blood), antisocial (they would not attend gladiatorial games or share their wives), and atheists (they would not worship the gods).  It was blind hatred that drove the pagans to burn them alive, among other tortures.  But Christians were to be sure that they lived in such a way that these charges were false.

And more than that, as servants of God, Christians are to go beyond the law.  Keeping the law is a given as long as it does not conflict with the faith (e.g., meeting for worship or preaching Christ).  Christians are to go about doing good to everyone they meet.  Christians were set free from law and sin to serve God and others; they were released from bondage to become slaves to God, not to themselves (NICNT, 102).  And within this context, we can honor everyone, and even pray for a persecuting emperor.  We have much to be thankful for in America.  Let us spend our blessings well by being a blessing to others and praying for the relief of our brethren elsewhere.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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