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A CHRISTIAN VIEW OF GOVERNMENT

EPISTLE OF 1 PETER  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We are to submit to governing authorities because of our relationship to God, for in obeying the government we carry out God’s will.

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1 Peter 2:11–17 ESV
11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

INTRODUCTION:

Expository preaching means that you preach the text as the text dictates and when it dictates
This paragraph is written to Christians in the United States, Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea…to Christians everywhere in the world
We don’t get to pick and choose what we preach OR what we obey…regardless of circumstances
The believers to whom Peter was writing were facing terrible persecution and hardship.
This is Peter’s (God’s) words of encouragement to them…SUBMIT!!
Notice what the text before us teaches us about how a Christian is to view government:

1) BELIEVERS MUST SUBMIT TO GOVERNMENT (13-15)

1 Peter 2:13–15 ESV
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

A. This is what God commands (13)

B. This is the gospel response (4-10; Spiritual Privileges)

C. This is to be done for the Lord’s Sake (13)

D. This means submission to all of government (13-14)

E. Submission to government is the will of God for Believers (15)

F. Submission to government in this way will silence the persecutors (15)

2) GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR GOVERNMENT (14) ()

1 Peter 2:14 ESV
14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.
1 Peter 2:

A. Government punishes those that do what is wrong

B. Government rewards those that do what is right

Romans 13:1–7 ESV
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Romans 13:1–7 ESV
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Romans 13:1-

3) FREEDOM COMES THROUGH SUBMISSION (16)

1 Peter 2:16 ESV
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

A. Believers are free in Christ

B. Believers cannot do whatever they want as a result of that freedom

C. The Believer’s freedom means that he is free to serve

4) BELIEVERS SUBMIT WITH PRIORITIES (17)

1 Peter 2:17 ESV
Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

A. Believers must always honor God before they honor government

B. Believers honor God by honoring the government

C. Government must be honored in such a way that love for the brotherhood and the fear of God is never hindered.

5) QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE:

A. Is Government forcing me to dishonor God?

B. Is Government forcing me to disobey God’s clear commands?

C. What is the best way for me to honor God in this situation?

D. What is the best way for me to silence my government persecutors?

CONCLUSION:

(Illustration of the Milwaukee Abortion Protests in the early 1990’s)
In closing, remember...
Governments are human institutions that are run by sinful human beings.
Governments are not always friendly to Christians, and they were not friendly to them at the time in which Peter wrote this letter to these persecuted Christians.
BUT, there is a right way and a wrong way to protest the government and believers must always er on the side of caution and on the side of godliness when it comes to protesting.
Christians ought never break laws, cause violence, or hurt others in order to prove their point!
Disobedience to the government ought to come as a last resort and only after all options have been exhausted and when the only thing left is to be faithful to God and His commands rather than to the laws and commands of men.
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