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1 Peter 2:13-17 Sermon

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13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,

14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

15 For asuch is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.

17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

18 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.

19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.

20 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.

1 Peter 2:13–17 NASB95
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

Main Idea

Main Idea: Submit for the Lord’s sake and act like free men!

Submit for the Lord’s sake, act like free men and honor all people.

Introduction

What comes to mind when we hear the word submission?
Some can easily hear subjugation.
Subjugation means to make submissive. Or the action of bringing someone or something under domination or control.
But that is not what submission means biblically.
Submission biblically is motivated primarily from a love for God.
We submit to one another because of love. A love for God and a love for one another.
It is the greatest commandment given to us by God.
Love is not forced or coerced. But love is given willingly because love is true and good.
This is what submission is. It is an act of God’s love that compels us to submit.
With this love driving us to submit we must not walk as if we are not free.
Submission brings with it a freedom. When we have turned to God and submitted ourselves to Him we have found freedom from the bondage of sin!
The Christian faith is not about what we can’t do anymore but what we can do now.
We went from a bondage to sin which brings forth death to no longer being bound by sin and being given eternal life.
We went from drugs and alcohol to true joy in Christ.
We went from fornication and adultery to fidelity and faithfulness in marriage
The Christian faith is about what we are no longer bound to. Which means that it is about what we are free to do!
Free to worship
Free to ask for forgiveness
Free to go to God in prayer
Free to be ourselves even at the feet of God
Free to be broken
The Christian life should look like a celebration of freedom that comes from a submission to God and His word.
This freedom should produce a desire to Honor all people, a love for the brotherhood, a fear of God, and honor for the king.
This is the Christian life. Even when faced with terrible and hard circumstances in life!

Outline

Outline

1: Submission
2: Act free (according to freedom)
3: Honor

1:Submission

14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

Verse 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority

16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
Submit [ yourselves ] for the Lord’s sake.
The actual translation does not have yourselves.
17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
It actually reads, “Submit because of the Lord.”
The NRSV reads,
1 Peter 2:13 NRSV
13 For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme,
The call to submission does not begin with the human institution but with God.
Peter begins here to deal with the motivation of our submission to earthly authority.
And the motivation is he writes is “for the Lord’s sake.”
Paul also addressed this in his letter to the Romans.
Romans 13:1 NASB95
1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
Question: What is a human institution?
Answer: Human is meant to tell us that this man made. And institution is meant to communicate an agency that is administrative and governed by humans.
Peter is calling believer’s to submit to agencies that are administrated by men and is meant to govern people and the motivation is the Lord’s sake.
We live in a highly charged political atmosphere.
What is happening more in the church is this question of how to submit given the current environment.
Human institutions have worsened.
Human institutions are showing to be immoral and divisive.
Human institutions are anti Christ and antagonistic to the gospel.
Regardless of the issues in the world and its institutions, we have a command and that command is what motivates us!
The command is not dependent on the human institution but on God.
Question: How does this look like?
Question: What we are asking is what does our citizenship here look like?
Jesus was asked the question about this in .
They asked him in verse 17, “ what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?”
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), .
He replied in verse 21, “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”
Matthew 22:21 NASB95
21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”
When engaging with the world we see here an interaction where we give to the human institution what belongs to them.
We pay taxes.
We abide by the laws. So long as they do not violate God’s law.
We contribute to our society for the betterment of it.
We are citizens who abide by the laws and ordinances of the country we live in.
So yes, we must abide by what the human institution establishes but our true and primary citizenship is in heaven.
Philippians 3:20 NASB95
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
Philippians
Hebrews 13:14 NASB95
14 For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
So our submission to earthly, human institutions is motivated by our citizenship that is in heaven.
Our citizenship here is an extension of our citizenship in heaven.
We do so in hopes to gain praise from those around us.
Not praise in the sense of getting glory from them. But praise in the sense that they will see God in the way we live.

Verse 13 -14 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.

Here it refers to governors sent by the king “for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.”
Like in , God establishes leaders in human institutions which are supposed to punish evil doers and praise those who do right.
I know what some might be thinking.
Question: What about human institutions that punish unjustly?
Answer: Is our submission dependent on the human institution or on God?
This does not mean that if the human institution demands us to do something sinful. We would have to appeal to our heavenly citizenship.
But as far as submission? We are to act in humility regardless.
Matthew 5:44 NASB95
44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Matthew 5:44–47 NASB95
44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Matthew 5:44-
Our submission is meant to be set apart from the world.
It is meant to gain praise so that those around us would see Christ.
Which is also a reason why Peter exhorts believers here to submit.
Submit so that there can be praise of the right being done. Which is a call to be a godly example to the world.

Verse 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
It is the will of God to submit to every human institution.
God is the reason why we submit to human institutions and it is His will to submit to them.
God is the motivator and it is His will that we submit.
The result shows us why God wants this from us.
It is to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Peter said in 1 Peter 2:12,

The Greek word for “ignorance” suggests not simply lack of information, but a lack of desire to get correct information, and an unwillingness to accept the truth.

1 Peter 2:12 NASB95
12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1 Peter
He also said in 1 Peter 3:8-17,
1 Peter 3:8–17 NASB95
8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 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. 10 For, The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 11 He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. 12 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.” 13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
The ignorance in our text refers to the desire not to get correct information.
It refers to being slandered.
The word silence literally means to muzzle. This referred to a device on an animal that prevented it from opening its mouth.
to silence ⇔ muzzle v. — to silence, conceived of as fitting a device on an animal’s snout or mouth to prevent it from opening.
Our submission to human institution should silence the mouth of slanderers.
Question: What happens if they continue to slander and accuse even when found without fault?
Answer: "keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.”
We are to again, appeal to our heavenly citizenship.
We are to be solely concerned with our citizenship in heaven.
Remember that “We do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.”
Our submission is not dependent on human institutions but on God.
And our freedom is not dependent on human institutions either.
Our freedom comes from our being slaves to Christ!

2: Act free (according to freedom)

Verse 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.

In our submission to human institutions we are to act free.
Some might have questions about the relationship between submission and freedom.
Many cannot see how the two can actually coexist.
Lets define the two.
1: Submission: means to become inclined or willing to submit to orders or wishes of others or showing such inclination.
to be submissive v. — to be or become inclined or willing to submit to orders or wishes of others or showing such inclination.
2: Free: means to no longer being under the ownership, authority, or servitude of another.
Question: How do these two coexist?
The one thing we have to keep in mind is that these two will always exist.
There is no such thing as someone who is not submissive to something.
We all submit to some law or someone.
But not all are free.
For the Christian, our freedom is tethered to our submission to Christ.

It may be difficult in some languages to speak of “using one’s freedom,” especially in connection with covering up evil. One may, however, recast the second clause of verse 16 as “do not think that because you are not slaves that you can hide evil” or “… cause people not to see the evil which you might do.” In some instances to cover up any evil may also be rendered as “to sin and to get away with it” or “to sin and not be found out.”

And
The verse speaks of not using our freedom as a covering for sin.
There can be difficulty in understanding this.
A covering for evil can be understood as a cover up, a pretext, a cloak.
This coming from different translations.
The word pretext helps with understanding what is meant here.
A pretext: an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention.
Peter is dealing with the issue of using the Christian faith to hide an ungodly life.
This can be read as “do not think that because you are not slaves that you can hide evil” or “… cause people not to see the evil which you might do.” In some instances to cover up any evil may also be rendered as “to sin and to get away with it” or “to sin and not be found out.”
The concern here is the integrity of our freedom.
To live not only outwardly as God’s people, but to have a sincerity and genuineness to our submission and freedom.
Which goes back to what I stated earlier, For the Christian, our freedom is tethered to our submission to Christ.
Peter shows a concern of this through out this letter and his second letter.
One of the examples is found in .
1 Peter 2:20 NASB95
20 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.
2 Peter 2:20 NASB95
20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
The Christian has escaped the defilements of the world.
Meaning that the Christian is free from the defilements of the world.
By becoming a slave to God we become free from sin.
No one can serve both sin and God.
Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 6:24.
Matthew 6:24 NASB95
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Wealth here literally meant Mammon which alludes to an object of worship.
So now that we are free we must act accordingly to that freedom. Not just outwardly but from within.
Anything less is hypocrisy.
The Christian must concern themselves with their freedom not just for the sake of their testimony but for the sake of integrity before God.
This is how we can become genuine and effective citizens. It must come from a sincere desire to glorify God.
It is the way we can best honor others.

3: Honor

Verse 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

Submission to God produces an desire to honor all people.
To honor means to: to respect (honor) v. — to show esteem or honor towards.
We are to show esteem to all people.
To love means to: to love (Christian) v. — to have a strong, non-sexual affection and love for a person and their good as understood by God’s moral character; especially characterized by a willing forfeiture of rights or privileges in another person’s behalf.
Love and submission go hand in hand.
Loving the brotherhood means to love the church (universal) ⇔ brotherhood n. — the church across the world understood as those in a kinship relation between brothers and sisters in God’s family.
church (universal) ⇔ brotherhood n. — the church across the world understood as those in a kinship relation between brothers and sisters in God’s family.
Esteem all. Love the church which one cannot love the church if they are not in submission to the church.
Fear God. Fear means to: to fear (reverence) v. — to regard with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of.
Be in awe and wonder at God!
Honor the king which means to respect and honor those in authority.
This is the Christian life. It is a life of honor and love towards others. It is a fear of God that is the beginning of wisdom.
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