Monday, January 26, 2009
Who is Watching You
Please read I Peter 2:11-25 The central section of Peter's letter emphasizes submission in the life of a believer. This is certainly not a popular topic in this day of lawlessness and the quest for "personal fulfillment," but it is an important one. God wants each of us to exercise authority: but before we can exercise authority we must be under authority. Satan's offer to our first parents was freedom without authority, but they ended up losing both freedom and authority. Peter shares three excellent motives for submitting to authority and thus living dedicated, obedient Christian lives. First we must be obedient for the sake of the lost. As Christians, we must constantly remind ourselves who we are. We are God's dearly beloved children. We are resident aliens who have our citizenship in another country. We are soldiers involved in a spiritual battle. Our real battle is not with people around us, but with passions within us. War means a military campaign. We are witnesses to the lost around us. Second we must be obedient for the Lord's sake. It is our responsibility to advertise God's virtues. This is especially true when it comes to our relationship to government and people in authority. As Christian citizens, we should submit to the authority vested in human government. The word ordinance simply means creation or institution. We must respect the office even when we cannot respect the man or woman in the office. Peter named the offices we are to respect. The king, means the emperor or president. God's church has been able to live and grow in all kinds of political systems. Two phrases are important. The will of God and the servants of God. God has willed that we silence the critics by doing good, not by opposing the authority. Silence is literally muzzle, as though the pagan critics were like a pack of yelping, snapping dogs. Third we must be obedient for our own sake. What Peter wrote has application to employees. Sometimes a Christian employee may be wronged by an unbelieving co-worker or supervisor. For conscience sake he must take it, even though he is not in the wrong. A Christian's relationship to God is far more important than his relationship to men (see Matthew 5:10-12). Peter encouraged these suffering slaves by presenting three pictures of Jesus Christ. He is our example in His life. He is our substitute in His death. He is our watchful Shepherd in heaven. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.