Christ Our Example
1 Peter 2:13-3:12
1 Peter 2:13-3:12
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. “He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. “For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Submission, just that word alone raises the hair on the back of your neck. It something everyone hates to do, when I joined the Army the first week of basic training was called hell week, because they continually beat in to you that you must submit to every command, every order! That goes to show you how hard it is to submit to authority, it is in the very root of our sin, of our rebellion toward God! We do not want to submit to His sovereign rule!
I remember a time while I was deployed, I had a sergeant who was an atheist and also my squad leader. He knew that I was a christian and because of it he was always trying to make me question what I believed, always tying to break me. So he gave me the worst details, the worst jobs, and most of the time the worst treatment.
One time He placed me in charge of building shelving units for our living quarters for the entire platoon. He assigned four other guys to work with me and we began to build, when we finished the very last one my sergeant inspected it and found the most minuscule flaw and command us to fix it. So we did. He came back, found another, told us to fix it, and we did again. He continued to do this for hours. Until finally, He told us the entire shelving unit wasn’t level and to tear it apart and start over. As he left this time, he ordered us to have it fixed in 30 minutes and if it is not done we will all be punished, smoked, have a very extreme PT session!
I looked at the other guys and I knew he was doing this because of me. I had enough, I refused to do it again, and refused to follow his orders. So I told the guys that we wasn’t going to do it, for one - the shelf was perfect, two - we been doing this for hours already, and three - I didn’t want too. So I told two of them to grab some scrap wood and start cutting it to sound like we were cutting new pieces for the shelf, then I told them to start hammering on the boards to sound like we were fixing the shelf. By the time my sergeant came back he looked at the old shelf like it was a new one. He inspected it and finally gave us the ok! We looked at each other and smiled, because it showed what he was doing, we didn’t fix a single thing, only acted like we followed his orders and did what he said for us to do.
Let me ask you, what would you have done if you were in my situation? Would you have done something different?
I think most of you would have agreed with what I did and maybe some of you would have just told him, “No, I am not doing it”.
If your answer is nothing less than following his command, submitting to his authority, to tear that shelf apart and start over again, then you are as wrong as I was for not doing it. I am here to confess that I should have submitted! It was my duty as a soldier to submit, to follow every lawful command he gave! Not only that, but according to Peter Christians are called for that purpose to submit! It wasn’t unlawful nor was it sinful! My pride said I was better than this, my dignity said I was worth more than this, and my dislike of authority said my way is better! Instead of trusting in God for justice, I trusted in my own self worth and my own authority.
Don’t we often find it hard to bow to someone’s wishes, wants, or ways. We don’t want anyone to tell us what to do. We want to do it our own way, with our first response is “I don’t have to do what you say”.
But Peter tells us submission is part of a christian life, that believers were called to experience their final reward through enduring suffering and submission.
At the end of Ch. 2 & the beginning of Ch. 3 Peter explains our relationships in this life. He urges Christians in V.11 as sojourners & exiles on earth away from their home in heaven to suffer unjust persecution and slander in V.12 in a way that wins unbelievers to faith in God.
Then Peter gives us five relationships and urging us to be submissive in them. The first is in V.13 “ Submit yourselves for the lords sake to every human institution,...” The next one is in V.18 “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect,...” for us today we could say “Employee, be submissive to your bosses with all respect,...” Then in Ch.3 V.1 Peter turns to marriage and tells us “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to you own husbands...” In V. 7 “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way,...” And finally in V. 8 Peter deals within the church saying, “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;..”
Why does Peter urges us to be submissive?
Right in the center of these Passages, we have the purpose. Just like a center of wheel with five spokes attached to it, without the center the spokes losses their strength and the wheel will collapse. Peter tells us that Jesus is the ultimate example of submission, of enduring suffering, and we are to follow in His steps, to copy Him, without us submitting to Him and His example, we will fail every time.
The Priority of Submission
The Priority of Submission
So there is a priority in submission and it must be first, to submit your life to Christ! Jesus said this in Luke 14:26-28
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
Jesus tells US to consider the cost and sacrifice required in following Him, and He demands that He be first priority. The message of Jesus is that you must be submissive to Him to follow Him.
In Deitrich Bonhoeffer book, The Cost of Discipleship he begins it with this two sentences: "Cheap Grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly-grace" It is true today as it was true then in the 1930’s. Peter tells us if we call ourselves christians then we are called to submission.
What does cheap grace and costly grace mean?Bonhoeffer explains what he means by this in his book: “Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner.”
“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession,… Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
“Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has… It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows Him.”
“Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it call us to follow Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner.”
“Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; It is grace because Jesus says: ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light.’”
Have you submitted your life to Christ? because Peter tells us if we call ourselves Christians then we are called to submission! This must be the center of our wheel so that the spokes of our wheel can withstand the trials of life.
The Example of Submission
The Example of Submission
But how do we live submissive lives? Peter defines a submissive life by the example of Jesus. Look at 1 Peter 2:21-23
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
According to Peter, submission is not retaliating for wrongs suffered. It is not saying one thing but doing something else. Submission is not vowing to get even or threatening to return suffering. Jesus commited no sin on His way to the cross, when Jesus was treated badly and unfairly, He did not respond with the same, He did not demand His own way.
How do we find the power to respond like Christ? Jesus could have came down off that cross and killed everyone, and it would have been perfect justice, but he didn’t in order to bear our sin and set us example. So Jesus entrusted Himself and His cause to His Creator. We must surrender justice and vengeance to God. Romans 12:19-20 says
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
How does that strengths the spokes of our wheel?
When we submit to every human institution, we don’t have and attitude "get them before they get you, and make sure you take care of number one." No we submit and humble ourselves because our hope is fixed on God’s grace, we submit because of the Lordship of Christ, because we know that they were placed there by God, “for punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right”, but when they are unreasonable and sinful, For such is the will of God by doing right we may silence the ignorance of foolish men, as we bear witness to the truth, and give glory to God.
When we submit to our masters, to our bosses, we don’t only submit and respect the ones who are good and agreeable, but also to the ones who are unreasonable, to the ones who commands you to rebuild a perfect shelf just because they want to make you suffer. We submit because our hope is fixed on God and his grace, his favor. We entrust ourselves to God 1 Peter 2:19-20
For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
What if my sergeant came out and saw that we was not following his order, I would have been in the wrong, I commited the sin and if I endured it, what credit would there have been? But what if I did what was right, what if I submitted to his order, and endured the suffering from it, it would have shown the gospel to him and the guys around, it would have glorified God, it would have found favor with God!
Wives, be submissive to your own husbands, not because of merely external reason, that reflect what your husbands desires or wants, but because your hope is fixed on God’s grace, and His desires. Just like the holy women in former times hoped in God and adorn themselves by being submissive to their own husbands, not because they were freighted by fear, but because they knew God established marriage to be such and they hoped in what God ordained! And if your husband is disobedient to the word, that he has no faith in the gospel or have submitted to it than, they may be won without a word by your behavior, as they observe your modest and respectful behavior. It is the hidden persons of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God sight!
Since God has placed you in authority over your wive, submit to the Lordship of Christ, Submit to the example He has set forth. Live together with your wives informed by the knowledge of God’s will. Understand that yes she is weaker in terms of strength but she has the same eternal worth as you, she is equally made in God’s image, equal access to salvation, and is equal in all aspects of the grace of life given by God, because she is a fellow heir. Ephesians 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
Church be submissive, be harmonious, fervently love one another, and be humble. Consider others more important than yourself. 1 Peter 3:9,12
not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
“For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
The purpose of Submission
The purpose of Submission
Why should we submit? Why should we submit to those who make us suffer and mistreat us? Because it is unfair! That is the very thing the guys told me as we fixed and fixed the shelf, “This isn’t fair” and the very thing I said.
Haven’t we all said that “This isn’t fair”. This is the very motto of the world we live in “This isn’t fair” But it was not fair for God's Son to die for my sins, either. He did nothing wrong. I did. Look at V.24
Christ suffered for you and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the Cross. When we cry “This is not fair” for me to be treated this way, for my husband not loving me the way I want, for my wife not to respect me the way she should, for this church member to in charge instead of me.
I bet you never said that when you got something you didn’t deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve, grace is getting what you do not deserve, and both are not fair. But we don't complain when we receive God's grace or mercy.Christ suffered for you! HE suffered for you! “This is not fair”!
Jesus suffered for us and bore our sins on the cross because he could do what we are unable to do submit to Gods authority, to follow Gods law.
Jesus had to die for us, he had to bear our sins in His body on the cross. Why? so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, for by His wounds you were healed. God substituted us with Christ, He gave Jesus our punishment and He gave us Jesus’s righteousness. He healed our relationship with God. 1 Peter 3:18 says
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
The purpose of His death was so that believers will live a new kind of life.
Why? because we were continually straying like sheep, but now we have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls! We our born again by God’s great mercy to a living Hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!
I do not serve God so that I can be guaranteed fair treatment. I am not a Christian because I want be able to get even with someone. I follow Jesus because God made me realize that His love for me is so great that He died for me, and that without Him I would be eternally lost. He called me out of darkness into His marvelous light and the greatest gift I ever received was an unfair gift that cost Jesus His life.
You see, our submission is not to others, it is to God so that He can use our lives to touch the lives of others. Because Jesus submitted, you and I have salvation. If you and I submit, We can proclaim his excellencies and God can work through us to change governments, workplaces, homes, and churches.
Submission it is an awful word for us and hard to do, specially when it is towards those who wrong you. But once we see the submission of Christ and realize we are called to live like that, submission goes from awful to filling us with awe. Because of the submissive example of Christ, my life and your life will never be the same. Have you experienced God’s grace? Have you seen and accepted the unfair gift of Jesus, that He would die in your place? I ask you today to come, come to the altar and repent if you have not been submissive, come to Christ!