Submission to Government

SAN JOSE, CA-It is not nice, and definitely illegal, to spit on a cop-even if he’s a horse. That was the lesson learned by Carl Vikstrom, 43, who allegedly did the deed to “Sport,” a horse ridden by police officer Will Smoke in downtown San Jose. Sgt. Greg Trapp sai … More

Respect

 

Peter says it is the will of God that Christians should be subject to their governments. In New Testament days the government was authoritarian and it was the duty of citizens to follow the rulers in absolute obedience (vv. 13-17). If Peter could urge believers to submit to the authority of a ruler like Nero, certainly Christians should submit to government officials today.

The word “ordinance” (v. 13) does not refer to individual law but to the institutions that make and enforce the laws. It is possible to submit to the institutions and still disobey the laws. An example of this would have been Daniel and his three friends who refused to follow the king’s dietary regulations. They definitely disobeyed the law but the way they did it proved that they honored and respected the king (Daniel 1). We may not agree with the policies and practices of those over us but we must respect their position.

Peter makes a four point summary of Christian duty (v. 17) :

  1. Honor all men” - This means to never take them for granted.
  2. Love the brotherhood” - Evidence of a Christian is his  love for  the brethren (I John 3:14).
  3. Fear God“- Does not  mean terror but awe and reverence. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).
  4. Honor the King” - Rulers are sent by God and must be respected.

Application

 

Discuss with my family things that the government may ask us to do that we as Christians cannot do. Then talk about how we must handle these situations in light of the Scripture we have just read.

 

I Peter 2:13-17 (English Standard Version)


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