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A CHRISTIAN VIEW OF INJUSTICE

Epistle of 1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Our submission to authority is exemplified by Christ and his submission to the cross

Notes & Transcripts
1 Peter 2:18–25 ESV
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude To Receive a Reward (2:18–20)

Peter began by exhorting believers to submit to the government (2:13–17). Now he turns to the responsibility of slaves. People became slaves by being captured in wars, kidnapped, or born into a slave household. Those facing economic hardships might choose to sell themselves into slavery in order to survive. Many slaves lived miserably, particularly those who served in the mines. Other slaves, however, served as doctors, teachers, managers, musicians, artisans, and could even own other slaves. It would not be unusual for a slave to be better educated than the master. Those who are familiar with slavery from the history of the United States must beware of imposing our historical experience on New Testament times since slavery in the Greco-Roman world was not based on race and American slave owners discouraged education of slaves. Still, slaves in the Greco-Roman world were under the control of their masters, and hence they had no independent existence.

Peter began by exhorting believers to submit to the government (2:13–17). Now he turns to the responsibility of slaves. People became slaves by being captured in wars, kidnapped, or born into a slave household. Those facing economic hardships might choose to sell themselves into slavery in order to survive. Many slaves lived miserably, particularly those who served in the mines. Other slaves, however, served as doctors, teachers, managers, musicians, artisans, and could even own other slaves. It would not be unusual for a slave to be better educated than the master. Those who are familiar with slavery from the history of the United States must beware of imposing our historical experience on New Testament times since slavery in the Greco-Roman world was not based on race and American slave owners discouraged education of slaves. Still, slaves in the Greco-Roman world were under the control of their masters, and hence they had no independent existence.
As we begin, there are two very important points I want to make:
1. We must make clear that New Testament writers were not social revolutionaries.
Peter began by exhorting believers to submit to the government (2:13–17). Now he turns to the responsibility of slaves. People became slaves by being captured in wars, kidnapped, or born into a slave household. Those facing economic hardships might choose to sell themselves into slavery in order to survive. Many slaves lived miserably, particularly those who served in the mines. Other slaves, however, served as doctors, teachers, managers, musicians, artisans, and could even own other slaves. It would not be unusual for a slave to be better educated than the master. Those who are familiar with slavery from the history of the United States must beware of imposing our historical experience on New Testament times since slavery in the Greco-Roman world was not based on race and American slave owners discouraged education of slaves. Still, slaves in the Greco-Roman world were under the control of their masters, and hence they had no independent existence.
New Testament writers were not social revolutionaries (cf. ). They did not believe that overhauling social structures would transform culture. Their concern was the relationship of individuals to God, and they focused on the sin and rebellion of individuals against their Creator.
They did not believe that overhauling social structures would transform culture. Their concern was the relationship of individuals to God, and they focused on the sin and rebellion of individuals against their Creator.
2. It is crucial to note that the New Testament nowhere commends slavery as a social structure.
It is crucial to note that the New Testament nowhere commends slavery as a social structure. It nowhere roots it in the created order, as if slavery is an institution ordained by God. The contrast with marriage is remarkable at this very point. God ordained the institution of marriage, but slavery was invented by human beings. The New Testament regulates the institution of slavery as it exists in society, but it does not commend it per se. Hence, Peter’s words on slavery should not be interpreted as an endorsement for the system, even if he does not denounce the institution.
It nowhere roots it in the created order, as if slavery is an institution ordained by God. The contrast with marriage is remarkable at this very point. God ordained the institution of marriage, but slavery was invented by human beings. The New Testament regulates the institution of slavery as it exists in society, but it does not commend it per se. Hence, Peter’s words on slavery should not be interpreted as an endorsement for the system, even if he does not denounce the institution.
This is a passage in which Peter is stating some very important things. Notice with me what the text before us is teaching today:

BELIEVERS ARE TO SUBMIT TO EARTHLY MASTERS OF ALL TYPES

1 Peter 2:18 ESV
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.
Servant is οἰκέτης = house slave or servant (different than doulos)
Submit is ὑποτάσσω= to be subject or subordinate.
The verb is a Present, Passive, Participle. This is a participle with imperative force. Peter is expressing a command and making a strong declaration and that is to be submissive!
Submit not just to the gentle and good masters, but also to the...
σκολιοῖς=harsh or crooked (master) BDAG=being morally bent or twisted, crooked, unscrupulous, dishonest

BELIEVERS REACT DIFFERENTLY THAN THE DISHONEST MASTER

1 Peter 2:19 ESV
For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.
Mindful=συνείδησιν meaning conscience
Mindful=συνείδησιν meaning conscience
What is a conscience?
conscience n. — the psychological faculty that distinguishes between right and wrong; either afflicts or comforts the person depending upon their actions.

BELIEVERS ENDURE WITH COURAGE

1 Peter 3:19 ESV
in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison,
Endure=ὑποφέρει meaning, to continually face and withstand with courage. (Present Active Indicative)

HE ENDURES SORROW

Sorrow=λύπας meaning, emotional pain experienced when one is very sorrowful or unhappy.

HE ENDURES HARM AND EMOTIONAL PAIN

suffering=πάσχων meaning, continual harm or emotional pain

HE ENDURES UNJUST SORROWS AND HURTS

unjustly=ἀδίκως meaning something done in an unfair manner or something that is marked by injustice.

A CHRIST-LIKE RESPONSE TO INJUSTICE IS SUPERNATURAL

1 Peter 2:20 ESV
For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
"this is a gracious thing..." χάρις (Grace)
This outworking grace is the resulting activity that is a necessary consequence of genuine, beneficent goodwill; especially used of the outworking of God’s goodwill.
This follows the example of Christ and all that He did for us:
1 Peter 2:21–25 ESV
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
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