Search word: Retrieve verses, illustrations, etc
Studies, Devotionals, Sermons, Illustrations
Old and New Testament.
yourselves for the
whether to a
king as the one
Amplified: Be submissive to every human institution and
authority for the sake of the Lord, whether it be to the emperor as
Bible - Lockman)
yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it
be to the king, as supreme;
Obey every man-made authority for the Lord's sake - whether it is the
emperor, as the supreme ruler, (Phillips:
Wuest: Put yourselves in the attitude of submission to, thus giving
yourselves to the implicit obedience of, every human regulation for
the sake of the Lord, whether to a king as one who is super eminent,
Young's Literal: Be
subject, then, to every human creation, because of the Lord, whether
to a king, as the highest,
YOURSELVES FOR THE LORD'S SAKE: hepotagete (2PAPM) pase anthropine
ktisei dia ton kurion: (Pr
17:11; 24:21; Je 29:7; Mt 22:21; Mk 12:17; Lk 20:25; Ro 13:1, 2, 3, 4,
5, 6, 7; Eph 5:21; 1Ti 2:1,2; Titus 3:1; 2Pe 2:10; Jude 8, 9, 10)
FOR THE LORD'S SAKE
1 Peter 2:13-3:9
of our Actions
Submit to human institutions
Silence ignorance of foolish
Servants submit to masters (2:18)
Finds favor with God
Wives submit to husbands (3:1)
Might win unbelieving husband
Husbands be understanding
toward and grant wives honor (3:7)
Prayers will not be hindered
Harmonious, etc, giving
blessing not returning evil (3:8-3:9)
To inherit a blessing (3:9)
We are to obey kings, and
governors, and magistrates, even when they may not be all that we wish
them to be
True Christians give no trouble in
the State they are not law-breakers, but they strive to do that which
is honest and upright. Where the laws are not righteous, they may
cause trouble to bad law-givers and lawmakers; but when rulers ordain
that which is just and righteous, they find that Christians are their
In Peter’s day, the king was a poor
creature, and something worse than that. Indeed, I might say of the
bulk of the Emperors of Rome, who were the chief “kings” of that day,
that they were monsters of iniquity; yet the office was to be
respected even when the man who occupied it could not be much more
should it be respected when the occupant is what a true “king” should
Peter 2 Commentary)
Submit yourselves for the Lord's
sake - As indicated in the chart above, Peter now focuses on
submission through verse 9 of chapter 3. Remember that submission in
simple terms involves not seeking one's own interests but rather
assuming a voluntary commitment of service to others. If one studies
Paul's exhortation for believers to "be subject to one another in the
fear of Christ" (see note
it becomes apparent from the context that submission is the fruit of
one who is filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit, for Paul had
just commanded the believers to...
not get drunk with wine, for that
is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit (see note
Submission to others be they
believers or not believers (as is often the case in Peter's "every
human institution") is not our natural reaction, but is the
supernatural reaction of one who allows the Spirit to control their
attitudes and actions.
In Peter's day there were groups of
zealous Jews who recognized no king but God and paid taxes to no one
but God. Believers by contrast are to be model citizens, submitting to
human governments realizing that they are ordained by God. As Daniel
declared when God answered his request to reveal the dream of King
it is He (God in heaven) Who
changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes
kings. He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of
understanding. (Daniel 2:21)
hupó = under + tássō = arrange in orderly
for word study on hupotasso) means literally to place under in an orderly fashion. In the
active voice hupotássō
means to subject,
bring under firm control, subordinate as used in (Ro 8.20-note)
for more on "hupotasso").
means to submit (to
yield to governance or authority), to place in subjection. It is
important to note that many of the NT uses are in the passive
voice with a middle sense which signifies the
voluntary subjection of oneself to the will of another.
Husbands and wives both need to understand the voluntary nature
of the submission called for in the marital relationship lest it be
misapplied. The idea is to put oneself in an attitude of submission.
was a military term
meaning to draw up in order of battle, to form, array, marshal, both
troops or ships.
meant that troop divisions were
to be arranged in a military fashion under the command of the leader.
In this state of subordination they were now subject to the orders of
their commander. Thus, it speaks of the subjection of one individual
under or to another.
was also used to describe the
arrangement of military implements on a battlefield in order that one
might carry out effective warfare!
described a voluntary
attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, or
carrying a burden.
Peter commands (aorist
imperative) believers to submit. As citizens in the world and under civil
law and authority, God’s people are to live in a humble, submissive
way in the midst of any hostile, godless, slandering society.
Submission involves not seeking one's own interests but rather
assuming a voluntary commitment of service to others.
The main idea of
submission is that of relinquishing one’s rights to another person.
How is it possible to submit or surrender one's rights to another
whether they are rulers or others? Paul gives us the answer In
Ephesians writing that believers should
not get drunk with wine, for that
is dissipation, but be (continually) filled with (controlled by) the
note Ephesians 5:18).
controlled husbands and wives are then called first to
be subject to (hupotássō - present
tense = our habit, as our lifestyle, continually to) one another in
the fear (reverential awe) of Christ (Eph 5:21
“As we are otherwise to be filled,
otherwise to sing and rejoice, so also we are otherwise to behave—not
blustering nor letting our voices rise in selfish vaunting, as such
men do,—but subject to one another.” (Alford's Greek Testament)
self to another is the opposite of self assertion, the opposite of an
independent, autocratic spirit. It is the desire to get along with one
another, being satisfied with less than one’s due, a sweet
reasonableness of attitude.
The ultimate Christian answer to persecution, detractors
and critics is that of a blameless life, conduct beyond reproach and
good citizenship. In particular ... submission is a supremely
Wuest renders it
"put yourselves in the attitude of submission thus giving
yourselves to the implicit obedience of"
We submit to the right of government to limit our right to choose in
hundreds of areas, especially when the good of others is at stake. We
understand that governments exist to limit the right to choose and we
submit to that.
Nothing is further from the thought of the New Testament that any
kind of anarchy. Jesus clearly taught,
"Render therefore to Caesar the
things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's"
LORD'S SAKE: dia ton kurion: "because of the Lord":
(kurios from kúros = might, power in turn from kuróo = give authority,
confirm) describes One who has absolute ownership and uncontrolled
power. Kurios signifies sovereign power and authority. In the NT, Jesus
is referred to some ten times as Savior and some 700 times as
Lord. When the two titles are mentioned together, Lord
always precedes Savior.
Beloved, is He your kurios?
Greek, kurios was used of gods and was found on inscriptions
applied to different gods such as Hermes, Zeus, etc. Secular Greek
also used kurios to describe the head of the family, the one who is
"lord" of wife and children (although that does not give him the right
to "lord" it over them!)
citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a
Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Php 3:20-note)
we still must
live as an obedient citizen in this world so that God will be honored
and glorified. Rebellious conduct by a Christian brings dishonor on
The most important thing this text does is put all of our social and
political life into relation to God. The Bible is not a book about how
to get along in the world. It is a book inspired by God about how to
live to (for) God. Paul wrote that
through the Law I died to the Law, that
I might live to God." (Gal
The aim of our
life should be to live to God. This means that we live with God in view
under His authority. He is our life (Col 3:4-note)
As believers we are to let our
light shine before men in such a way that they may see (our) good
works, and glorify (our) Father Who is in heaven. (see note
Why does Peter introduce
this subject here? Recall that he has just taught who we are and
"whose" we are. We as those who have been born again are now a chosen race, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation and a (KJV = peculiar) people for
God's own possession and our purpose is to proclaim the
excellencies of Him Who has called (us) out of darkness into His
marvelous light" (1Pe 2:19-note)
In 1Pe 2:10
Peter calls us the
people of God. In 1Pe 2:11
he said that we are to live as aliens and strangers in this
present world (cf those who reside as aliens in 1Pe 1:1-[note]).
Given this status as "other worldly" beings, one might ask whether we
even have any allegiance to the institutions of this world at all,
especially considering the fact that the whole world lies in the power
of the evil one (1 John 5:19)?
in this section that a believer's submission to the institutions of
this world is an act of tribute to God's authority over the
institutions of the world. The idea is that can look a king or a
governor (or an IRS Agent!) in the eye and say,
"I submit to you, I honor you -- but not for your sake. I honor you
for God's sake. I honor you because God owns you and rules over you
and has sovereignly raised you up for a limited season and given you
the leadership that you have. For his sake and for his glory and
because of his rightful authority over you I honor you."
So in this verse
Peter subordinates all submission on earth to a higher submission to
God when it says, submit for the Lord's sake. Is this
practical? Sure it is. Why do we drive the speed
limit? Ultimately we submit for the Lord's sake, not out
of fear we might get caught. What's the result? The result is that
when we have chosen to submit, even everyday tasks like driving
become an act of worship to our Lord!
Did you speed this morning?
Tomorrow morning submit for the Lord's sake!
HUMAN INSTITUTION: pase
to every human creation (Literal rendering of Greek)
every human regulation (Wuest)
Keep all the laws of men (BBE)
obey all human authorities (CEV)
to every ordinance of man (KJV)
authority instituted among men (NIV)
Titus similar instruction even considering that Crete was not a
Remind them to be subject to
rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good
deed (See note
In his second
epistle Peter described the conduct of false teachers...
who indulge the flesh in its
corrupt desires and despise (view with contempt) authority
(kuriotes - can be civil power but in context angelic power and
authority). Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile
angelic majesties (See note
2 Peter 2:10)
(ktisis from ktízo = create, form or found) means creation, creature (that which has been created)
and refers primarily to
the act of creating or the creative act in process something which
has not existed before. In the present context it means an
institution or human social structure as something which has been
created or an instituted authority, with the implication that such an
authority has been created or formed
Since only God really creates, we
must regard human ordinances as divine ordinances and submit to them
as unto God, unless they contradict God's written Word (Romans 13:1).
Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
As Paul wrote...
Let every person
be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no
authority except from God, and those which exist are established by
God. (See note
Even to "Caesar"
-- Mt 22:21; Ro 13:1-7: every human creation,” denoting either
everything created for mankind or every creature who is human, but
context supports the former. Since only God really creates, we must
regard human ordinances as divine ordinances and submit to them as
unto God, unless they contradict God's written Word, which guided
Peter and John before the Jewish Sanhedrin and led the apostles to
Whether it is right in the sight of
God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge for we
cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:19, 20)
obedient Christian is increasingly becoming a social, political, legal
issue in America so Peter's advice transcends time and is wise counsel
for believers in post-Christian America.
WHETHER TO A
KING AS THE ONE IN AUTHORITY (continually rising above): eite basilei
os huperechonti (PAPMSD):
governments are "created" by God (Ro 13:1-note).
Rulers are God’s servants (Ro 13:4-note).
Even if the rulers are not believers, they are still God’s men
officially. Even if they are dictators and tyrants, their rule is
better than no rule at all. The complete absence of rule is anarchy
note), and no society can
continue under anarchy (Webster's = Latin anarchia <> Greek
anarchos = having no ruler <> an- + archos ruler; cp Proverbs 29:18). So any
government is better than no government at all. Order is better than
chaos (chaos being the confused unorganized state of primordial matter
before the creation of distinct forms!)
If Peter could
command the Christian community to honor the king and the governor,
knowing the wickedness of Nero, then how much more must we honor our
leaders even though they may
endorse and promote acts which we regard as wrong.
GOVERNORS AS SENT BY HIM: eite hegemosin os di autou pempomenois (PPPMPD):
Ryrie observes that...
Christians are to be law-abiding
citizens. If the law of one's government violates the revealed will of
God, then, of course, the believer must obey God, though he may have
to suffer the penalties of that government's laws. (The
Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody
(hegemon from hegéomai = to lead, rule) is literally one
who rules, with the implication of preeminent position. Hegemon was
the Greek equivalent of the Latin term praefectus a person who
ruled over a minor Roman province.
governors translates a Greek word
which generally refers to government officials below the emperor,
including the pro-consuls and legates who governed the provinces of
the Roman Empire, and municipal authorities. But since these officials
are said to have been appointed by the Emperor (him refers to the
Emperor, and not to the Lord), then the specific meaning of governors
is preferred to that of the general sense. (The
United Bible Societies' New Testament Handbook Series
Strong's defines hegemon
1 a leader of any kind, a
guide, ruler, prefect, president, chief, general, commander,
1a a “legatus Caesaris”,
an officer administering a province in the name and with the authority
of the Roman emperor.
1a1 the governor of a province.
1b a procurator, an
officer who was attached to a proconsul or a proprietor and had charge
of the imperial revenues.
1b1 in causes relating to these
revenues he administered justice. In the smaller provinces also, which
were so to speak appendages of the greater, he discharged the
functions of governor of the province; and such was the relation of
the procurator of Judaea to the governor of Syria.
1c first, leading, chief.
1d of a principal town as the
capital of the region
At this time the word
was applied to governors of provinces whether appointed by the emperor
or appointed by the senate (see note below). This is the one verse in the text that
does not mention God. But He is here. When Peter tells us that the
purpose of kings and governors is to punish evil and praise good he is
giving God's purpose for them. We know this from
Romans 13:4 where Paul
says, that civil authority
"is a minister
of God to you for good...[and] it is a minister of God, an avenger
who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil." (see note
Sent by (3992)
(pempo) means to send or dispatch and in the present context
literally reads "sent through him" which means that their power to act
is through the Emperor's mandate.
PUNISHMENT OF EVILDOERS AND THE
PRAISE OF THOSE WHO DO RIGHT: eis ekdikesin kakopoion epainon de agathopoion:
Or to governors as sent by him to
bring vengeance (punishment, justice) to those who do wrong and to
encourage those who do good service." (Ed note: ideally
governors are concerned with the promotion of moral behaviour. That is
to be commended and supported by Christians)
paraphrases this as
For the king has sent them to
punish all who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
(ekdikesis from ekdikeo = that which proceeds from
justice; vindicate from ek = from + dikê = justice)
means to give justice to someone who has been wronged. It means to
repay harm with harm on assumption that initial harm was unjustified
and that retribution is therefore called for.
(kakopoios from kakós = evil + poiéo = to do or make) is one
who behaves in a pernicious, injurious or evil way. Kakopoios
is a strong expressing the idea of a very wicked person who should be
punished. Such a person is worthy of severe, serious punishment. From
the standpoint of ancient pagans kakopoios was a word of abuse or contempt
and in fact was a word they maliciously gave to Christians!
When they called them an evildoer they were abusing them verbally,
showing their contempt. The pagan world commonly abused Christians
verbally as those who were despised, distrusted and hated.
(epainos from epí = upon + aínos = praise) refers
to a commendable thing as that which is worthy of applause,
commendation, praise or approbation. The praise is for those who do
Those who do right (17)
agathos = benevolent, + poiéo
= to make or do) means those who do good works and thus are
virtuous. Such individuals customarily do good which benefits others
and thus describes not just external good works but the character of the one
who performs those works.
MacDonald has an
writing that governors
are authorized by God to punish
offenders and to praise those who keep the law. Actually,
government officials have little time or inclination to do the latter,
but that does not alter the responsibility of the Christian to obey!
The historian Arnold Toynbee observed that
“as long as original sin remains an
element in human nature, Caesar will always have plenty to do.”
Of course, there are exceptions.
There is a time when obedience is not required. If a human government
orders a believer to act contrary to the revealed will of God, then
the believer must disobey the government. In that case he has a higher
responsibility; he should obey God rather than men (Acts
5:29). If punishment is
meted out for his disobedience, he should endure it courageously.
Under no circumstances should he rebel or seek to overthrow the
government. Technically, those who smuggle Bibles into closed
countries are breaking the law. But they are obeying a law that has
precedence over any human law —the command to go into all the world
with the gospel. So they cannot be condemned on Scriptural grounds.
Suppose the government orders a Christian into the armed forces. Is he
obligated to obey and to bear arms? If he feels that this is in direct
violation of God’s word, he should first exhaust any options that are
open to him in the status of a non-combatant or a conscientious
objector. If these fail, then he would have to refuse induction and
bear the consequences. Many Christians do not have conscientious
scruples about serving in the military forces. It is a matter in which
each one should be fully convinced in his own mind, and allow liberty
for others to disagree. The questions as to whether a Christian
should vote or engage in politics are of a different order. The
government does not demand these things, so it is not a question of
obedience or disobedience. Each one must act in the light of the
principles of conduct and citizenship found in the Bible. Here too we
must allow liberty for differing viewpoints and not insist that others
see eye to eye with us. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
The righteous punishment expressed by the verb ekdikeo is not
necessarily what Nero and his provincial governors aimed to do. It
expresses the ideal situation and is what God designed government for.
Nero, in contrast punished the "good doers", having Paul beheaded and
Peter crucified upside down according to secular reports.
The proper aim of government is to minimize evil of fallen men so that anarchy
does not result. To be sure, no governments brings about salvation of
one's soul, but God does use the order produced by human governments
(in contrast to the chaos of anarchy) so that the gospel can can
go out to the unsaved. Paul
desired that the Gospel not be hindered by revolutions and rebellion,
so that more
people might be saved. It was in that context that he urged Timothy to pray for
first of all, then, I urge that
entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf
of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we
may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This
is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all
men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1Ti
FOR SUCH IS
THE WILL OF GOD THAT BY
DOING RIGHT YOU MAY
IGNORANCE OF FOOLISH
MEN: hoti outos estin (3SPAI) to thelema tou theou agathopoiountas (PAPMPA) phimoun (PAN) ten ton aphronon anthropon agnosian:
(Ep 6:6,7 1Th 4:3; 5:18) (1Pe 2:12; Job 5:16; Ps 107:42; Titus 2:8)
(1Ti 1:13; 2Pe 2:12; Jude 10) (Foolish - Dt 32:6; Job 2:10; Ps 5:5; Pr
9:6; Jer 4:22; Mt 7:26; 25:2; Ro 1:21; Gal 3:1; Titus 3:3)
We are to get our bearings in a pagan culture from the will of God
as Peter writes later describing those who have decided to stop
"to live the rest of the time in
the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God" (1Peter
from thelo = to will with
the "-ma" suffix indicating the result of the will = "a thing
willed") generally speaks of the result of what one has decided. One sees
this root word in the feminine name "Thelma." In its most basic form,
thelema refers to a wish, a strong desire, and the willing of some
event. (Note: See also the discussion of the preceding word
for comments relating to thelema).
says that thelema is the...
Will, not to be conceived as a
demand, but as an expression or inclination of pleasure towards that
which is liked, that which pleases and creates joy. When it denotes
God's will, it signifies His gracious disposition toward something.
Used to designate what God Himself does of His own good pleasure.
S. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. AMG
Thelema has both an objective meaning (“what one wishes to
happen”) and a subjective connotation (“the act of willing or
desiring”). The word conveys the idea of desire, even a heart’s
desire, for the word primarily expresses emotion instead of volition.
Thus God’s will is not so much God’s intention, as it is His heart’s
desire. Thelema then refers to the will not as a
demand but an inclination of pleasure towards that which is liked,
which pleases and creates joy. God’s will signifies His gracious
disposition toward something, what God Himself does of His own good
62x in 58v - Mt 6:10; 7:21; 12:50; 18:14; 21:31; 26:42; Mark 3:35; Luke
12:47; 22:42; 23:25; Jn 1:13; 4:34; 5:30; 6:38, 39, 40; 7:17; 9:31;
Acts 13:22; 21:14; 22:14; Ro 1:10-note;
1Cor 1:1; 7:37; 16:12; 2Cor 1:1; 8:5; Gal 1:4; Ep 1:1-note,
Ep 6:6-note; Col
Col 4:12-note; 1Th 4:3-note;
1Th 5:18-note; 2Ti 1:1-note;
2Ti 2:26-note; He 10:7-note,
He 13:21-note; 1Pe 2:15-note;
1Pe 4:19-note; 2Pe 1:21-note; 1Jn 2:17; 5:14; Rev
4:11-note. NAS = desire(1), desires(1), will(57).
Will of God
God's Word equates with His will and tells us what is right and what is wrong.
In context it is God's will that we should live so
honorably and above reproach that the unconverted watching world will
have no legitimate basis for accusation.
Doing right (15)
= benevolent + poiéo = to make or do) means to do good to others.
(phimoo from phimós = a muzzle for a beast's mouth)
means to close the mouth with a muzzle, to gag one's moth, or to restrain
Phimoo is used often to speak of muzzling an animal (an ox in 1 Ti
figuratively of reducing an adversary to silence or as it were, taking
the very accusation out of his mouth. The idea is to stop
one's mouth so as to silence them, to make them speechless or to
reduce them to silence.
uses phimoo of our Lord putting the Sadducees to silence...
But when the Pharisees heard that
He had put the Sadducees to silence, they
gathered themselves together. (Mt 22:34)
phimoo of stilling the storm on the Sea of Galilee
And being aroused, He rebuked the
wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and
it became perfectly calm. (Mark 4:39)
Here are the
other 5 uses of phimoo (of a total of 7) in the NT...
Matthew 22:12 and he said to
him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And
he was speechless.
Mark 1:25 And Jesus rebuked
him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!"
Luke 4:35 And Jesus rebuked
him, saying, "Be quiet and come out of him!" And when the demon had
thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him without doing him
KJV 1 Corinthians 9:9 For it
is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the
ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? (Note that
NAS manuscript does not use phimoo but kemoo, from kemos = a muzzle).
1 Timothy 5:18 For the
Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is
threshing," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages." (Paul quotes the
only OT use of phimoo in the
translation of Deut 25:4)
Phimoo a vigorous
verb, so vigorous that it is the one Jesus chose speak to the demons! Picture the
critics as being muzzled like oxen and demons! That's what
doing right can do.
Now aren't you more motivated to do good and right (filled with the
Spirit, enabled by grace)?
Here is the
purpose for our submission to authority, in order that we should avoid
condemnation and win commendation that shuts the mouth of those
obstinately set against the faith and who are continually looking for reasons to
Peter's aim for
us is that we live such Spirit filled lives of goodness that
the slander of Christianity will be silenced.
(agnosia from a = without + gnosis = knowledge;
English = agnostic)
is literally without knowledge and in secular Greek meant not being acquainted with
something. It speaks of want of knowledge, not in the sense of want of
acquaintance, but want of understanding.
As used in the NT agnosia
describes especially a lack of knowledge of God and of spiritual
discernment. It is a willful ignorance or blindness of God and
spiritual matters and as such suggests culpable ignorance rather than
mere lack of knowledge.
writes that agnosia is
directly opposed to gnosis,
which signifies “knowledge” as a result of observation and experience
to agnosia as "disgraceful ignorance" here and in the only other NT
Become sober-minded as you ought,
and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge (agnosia) of God. I speak this to
In classical Greek (agnosia) is an
ignorance arising from not coming into contact with the person or
thing to be known.
Agnosia is the source of our
English agnostic which describes an individual who holds the
view that human beings cannot know the ultimate questions of the
existence of God or the nature and destiny of the human soul. For the
agnostic such questions must be left open and unanswered. An
agnostic is not to be confused with an atheist, who
completely denies the reality of God. Stated another way an agnostic
is one who neither affirms belief in God (theist) nor denies the
existence of God (atheist). In a sense then when believers doing
right, agnostics are muzzled!
(aphron from a = without + phren = understanding)
describes one not employing their understanding particularly in
practical matters. They are senseless, unwise,
inconsiderate and foolish. Such men lack prudence or good judgment and
thus often act rashly.
Ignorance, you see, is a noisy
thing. An empty drum makes a loud noise when it is beaten; and empty
men, like empty vessels, often make the most sound. How then are we to
silence this noisy ignorance? By argument? No, for it is not amenable
to argument. Ignorance is to be silenced “by well doing.” Holy living
is the best reply to infidel talking.
Peter 2 Commentary)
Ignorance of foolish men describes people who are willfully
ignorant of God's truth, foolishly disobedient to God's Word and are
criticizers or critics of Christians. Those who speak against
Christianity are ignorant and foolish. They take a foolish and
ignorant position and attack the truth.
Peter says believers silence them not by what they say but by what you
do. Not so much by our lips as by our life -- by letting our actions
of "doing right" speak louder than our words. One of the greatest
evangelistic tools is how you live, especially by "doing right". It's
true that they don't care how much you know until they see how much
you care! Such a lifestyle will silence the critics. The effect is
similar to what Peter has already written in
1 Peter 2:12...
Be careful how you live among your
unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they
will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor
to God when he comes to judge the world. (NLT, see note
1 Peter 2:12)
has been put in the form of a poem....
writing a "gospel," a chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do, by the words that you say;
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true,
Say, what is the "gospel" according to you? —Gilbert
We live in a society today not unlike that of Peter with many people
who are critical of Christians and Christianity. Peter's point is that
our conduct can be our greatest weapon against critics but can also be
our greatest vulnerability and point of greatest accusation. When
Christians (or so-called Christians) are exposed as evildoers, this
just serves to fuel the fire of the non-believing world. Witness their
reaction to the exposure of the Jim and Tammy Bakers, the Jimmy
Swaggarts, and an ever growing list of well known Christians who have
fallen into heinous sins. Only lives of purity, godliness, virtue and
righteousness will silence their critical tongues.
Commentator Robert Layton (1853) wrote that
When a Christian walks irreprovably, or free from
need to be reproved, his enemies have nowhere to fasten their teeth on
him, but are forced to gnaw on their own malignant tongues. As it secures the godly thus to stop
the lying mouths of foolish men, so it is as painful to them to be
thus stopped as muzzling is to beasts and it punishes their malice.
And this is a wise Christian's way instead of impatiently fretting at
the mistakes or willful miscensures of men to keep still on his calm
temper of mind and upright course of life and silent innocence. This
like a rock breaks the waves into foam that roar about it.
Rather than fret at the censures of secular popular criticism,
believers need to calmly pursue the righteous course of life Peter's
exhorts us to pursue.
Alexander Maclaren the great Scottish preacher wrote,
"The world takes
its notions of God most of all from the people who say that they
belong to God's family. They read us a great deal more than they read
the Bible. In fact, they see us, they only hear about Jesus Christ."
The bottom line then in evangelism is not what we say, it is what we
do. Someone has said that
"Some of us speak so loud by
what we DO
that no one can hear what we SAY."
Jesus summed up this principle of lifestyle evangelism in His sermon
on the Mount, commanding us to
"Let your light shine before men in
such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father
who is in heaven." (see note
Peter's readers were being tested and needed motivation to carry on
living the Christian life in the midst of a difficult time of trials
Barnes writes that
One of the best ways of meeting the
accusations of our enemies is to lead a life of strict integrity. It
is not easy for the wicked to reply to this argument. (Barnes'
Notes on the NT)
Guzik sums this verse up
Peter knows that our conduct is a
way to defend the gospel. He knows that those who never read the Bible
will read our lives, so it is by doing good that we put to silence the
ignorance of foolish men. (1 Peter 2)
John MacArthur tells the following story illustrating Peter's
"I remember when Sam Ericcson was in our church before he went to
Washington to be involved in the Christian Legal Society. One day
Sam...prior...to the time he was a part of our church staff (he) was
working for a law firm in Los Angeles... he was having lunch with a group of attorneys in the city
of Los Angeles. He was very active as an elder at our church already
and it was his custom...to invite men to come to the church
and hear the Word of God. And he said to one attorney...
"I would like you to come to my church with me, I'd like to you be my
And the man said,
"What church do you go to?"
"I go to Grace Community Church out in the San Fernando Valley."
And the man hesitated for a moment and looked a bit shocked and then
"I would never go to that church under any circumstances."
And Sam said to him,
"Well what makes you say that, have you been there?"
"I've never been there and I will never go."
And Sam said,
"Well how can you make that kind of judgment about the church?"
"It's very simple, the most crooked attorney I know of in this city
goes to that church."
And I remember when Sam told me that how distressed I was. So the
following Sunday I got in the pulpit, told the story and said,
"I don't know which one of you attorneys is that one, but I wish you'd
get your act together or quit saying you belong to this church because
the character of your life is making evangelism impossible."
We lay a platform of credibility...that speaks of the validity of our
faith when we do what is right, when we live a righteous life. So
Peter is calling us to that righteous life in a hostile environment.
He calls us to that in v11-20 and then in v21-25 he gives us the
perfect example of it who is Christ. In v21-25 he shows us how Christ
lived a perfect life in the midst of a hostile environment. But before
he gets to the example of Christ, he talks about what we are to be...
And by the way we live we will either feed the fires of criticism or
we will extinguish them. We will either affirm disbelief or we will
confirm the validity of faith....So we are to live whether in the
home, in the school, on the job, in the neighborhood in our
recreational environment, wherever, in such a way that we may without
a word by the behavior of our lives demonstrate the viability of the
Christian gospel and put to silence the attacks of Christianity's
2:16 Act as
men, and do not
freedom as a
evil, but use it as
Amplified: [Live] as free people, [yet] without
employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all
times] as servants of God. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of
maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
free men you should never use your freedom as an excuse for doing
something that is wrong, for you are at all times the servants of God.
Wuest: doing all this as those who have their liberty, and not as
those who are holding their liberty as a cloak of wickedness, but as
those who are God’s bondmen. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: as
free, and not having the freedom as the cloak of the evil, but as
servants of God;
AS FREE MEN: os eleutheroi: (John 8:32, 33, 34, 35, 36; Romans
6:18,22; 1Corinthians 7:22; Galatians 5:1,13; James 1:25; 2:12; 2Peter
In his second letter Peter specifically warns about false teachers who
promise their hearers...
freedom while they themselves are
slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is
enslaved. (see notes on
2 Peter 2:19)
Free in yourselves, free in your
conscience, free in your mind and heart.
Peter 2 Commentary)
Free men (1658)
(eleutheros - see word studies on the cognate noun eleutheria
eleutheroo) means free, emancipated (as slaves would be set
free), capable of movement, unfettered. True liberty is living as we
should not as we please. In no NT passage does this concept refer to
political freedom nor to the Stoic's fallacious idea of freedom of the
flesh from emotion and desire. Freedom does not equate with license to
sin as we please. In the NT, freedom does not include independence, or
release from restriction. Instead, real freedom is to be found only in
willingly choosing to submit to our new Master, to Christ. We are His
by right of blood purchase and yet we need to make the daily choice to
obey Christ, and prove what the will of God is, good, acceptable,
perfect. Freedom in Christ allows us the privilege of entering into
that wonderful will of His Father, that place of true rest and perfect
is used 23 times in the NT - Matt. 17:26; Jn. 8:33, 36; Rom. 6:20;
7:3; 1 Co. 7:21, 22, 39; 9:1, 19; 12:13; Gal. 3:28; 4:22, 23, 26, 30,
31; Eph. 6:8; Col. 3:11; 1 Pet. 2:16; Rev. 6:15; 13:16; 19:18
enslavement to Christ be true freedom?
(1). Only by submitting to Jesus and living
by His words are we free to experience Truth. Only then are guided away
from what hurts to what is truly beneficial.
(2). Only by submitting
to Jesus can we experience the immense power for true goodness that is
provided for us in the Holy Spirit. What we could never do in our own
strength, the Spirit can enable us to do. In a real sense, freedom is
freedom to achieve exceeding abundantly more than we could ever ask or
even think possible.
(3). The kind of freedom that would release us
from all restraint could never free us from the consequences of our
actions. The Christian knows that the consequences of his actions
carry over even into eternity. Any freedom that is meaningful must
release us from actions that lead to tragedy or judgment. A commitment
to serve Jesus promises us holiness, and the consequences of a holy
life are blessings, now and forever. The blessing that enslavement to
Jesus produces helps us realize that servitude provides the most real
and wonderful freedom there can be. Finally, we human beings have been shaped by God to love
Him and to enjoy Him
forever. Only by choosing to serve God can we become the people we
were created to be. This freedom to experience our destiny is the most
wonderful freedom indeed.
therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide
in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine and you shall know
the truth, and the truth shall make you free (eleutheroo)...If therefore
the Son shall make you free (verb form
eleutheroo), you shall be
free (eleutheros) indeed." (John 8:31-32, 36)
In Romans Paul
taught the same principle writing that..
"having been freed
(eleutheroo) from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (see
Writing to the
saints at Corinth Paul said (NLT)...
if you were a slave when the Lord called you, the Lord has now set you
free (apeleutheros = a freedman, an emancipated slave) from the awful power of sin. And if you were free
(eleutheros) when the Lord
called you, you are now a slave of Christ. (1Cor
To describe the ideal life in terms of
freedom meant much for the ancient world because of its clear
distinction between the slave and the free man. In Plato's Gorgias,
the question is asked
"How can a man be happy who is the servant of anything?"
had no concept of the liberating truth of enslavement to Christ. The
more relevant question, and the one Plato really intended, is how can
any unregenerate man be happy? He is born into bondage to the power of
sin and under the power of Satan, the most horrible bondage a human
Christians are free because they are slaves of Christ Jesus, a loving
And so our Christian freedom does not mean we are free to do as we like,
but that we now are free to do as we ought.
Foretold -Isaiah 42:7; 61:1
By God -Colossians 1:13
By Christ -Galatians 4:3, 4, 5; 5:1
By the Holy Spirit -Romans 8:15; 2 Corinthians 3:17
Through the gospel -John 8:32
Confirmed by Christ -John 8:36
Proclaimed by Christ -Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18
The service of Christ is -1 Corinthians 7:22
IS FREEDOM FROM
The law -Romans 7:6; 8:2
The curse of the law -Galatians 3:13
The fear of death -Hebrews 2:15
Sin -Romans 6:7,18
Corruption -Romans 8:21
Bondage of man -1 Corinthians 9:19
Jewish ordinances -Galatians 4:3; Colossians 2:20
Called the glorious liberty of the children of God -Romans 8:21
Saints are called to -Galatians 5:13
Praise God for -Psalms 116:16,17
Assert -1 Corinthians 10:29
Walk in -Psalms 119:45
Stand fast in -Galatians 2:5; 5:1
Not abuse -Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16
Not offend others by -1 Corinthians 8:9; 10:29,32
The gospel is the law of -James 1:25; 2:12
Promise, to others -2 Peter 2:19
Abuse -Jude 1:4
Try to destroy -Galatians 2:4
The wicked, devoid of -John 8:34; Romans 6:20
Typified -Lv 25:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; Galatians 4:22, 23,
24, 25, 26,31
AND DO NOT
USE YOUR FREEDOM AS A COVERING
(pretext) FOR EVIL: kai me os
epikalumma echontes (PAPMPN) tes kakias ten eleutherian:
(Mt 23:14; Jn15:22; 1Th 2:5)
and not using your liberty for a
cloke of maliciousness (KJV)
You possess a freedom which others
claim, but do not know. You feel that you are no man’s slave, yet you
do not use your liberty for evil, or to the injury of others.
For there are no others under
heaven so free as God’s servants are —
Peter 2 Commentary)
(epikaluma from epikalúpto = to conceal in turn derived
from epí = over + kalúpto = cover) is literally a
covering or a veil. Figuratively epikaluma is a "cloak" or pretext
idea is using Christian freedom as a mask for ungodly license (cp Jude
Don't use your
freedom in Christ as a pretext.
Peter warns his
readers not to use their freedom as a “pretext” for doing wrong, an
excuse for wickedness or a reason to justify your wrong deeds.
Instead, we use our liberty in Jesus to show the kind of love and
respect that Peter calls for.
pretext as "a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance
assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs"
adding that this word "suggests subterfuge and the offering of false
reasons or motives in excuse or explanation."
writes that epikaluma is found only here in the NT and is
a veil. The idea is that of using
Christian freedom as a mask for ungodly license. Paul uses the kindred
verb (epikalupto - to conceal, hide, cover over and figuratively to
forgive. See note
of the covering of sins. On the sentiment, compare Gal. 5:13.
word epikaluma is not found in Jude 4, his description of
the "certain persons" depicts their use of a spiritual "cloak"...
persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked
out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our
God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus
Believers are to
be different. We are the Lord's freedmen. In the Greco-Roman world a
freedman still owed some continuing duties to his or her former
master even though they were legally free. The former master remained
a patron, who would help the freedman out financially and
politically. The freedman remained a client, who would also
look out for the former master’s interests and reputation. Freedmen
were still considered part of their former master’s household. The
upshot is that yes as those redeemed by Christ's precious blood as of
a lamb are free indeed, we are not free to sin. Liberty does not
convey license. Our freedom does not include the right to live
lawlessly. Sinful disobedience cannot and should not be justified by
pseudo spiritual excuses ("covering").
The cause of Christ is never
advanced by evil masquerading in religious clothes. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
In light of the truth
we have been redeemed from bondage to sin, we must understand that our freedom in Christ does not
give us the right to do as
we please. Jesus clearly warned against such licentiousness and
continuance in sin declaring...
Truly, truly (Amen, Amen - this is a firm truth) I say to you,
everyone who commits (present
tense) sin is the
slave of sin. (John
The apostle has reference to an
abuse of freedom, which has often occurred. The pretence of those who
have acted in this manner has been, that the freedom of the gospel
implied deliverance from all kinds of restraint; that they were under
no yoke, and bound by no laws; that, being the children of God, they
had a right to all kinds of enjoyment and indulgence; that even the
moral law ceased to bind them, and that they had a right to make the
most of liberty in all respects. Hence they have given themselves up
to all sorts of sensual indulgence, claiming exemption from the
restraints of morality as well as of civil law, and sinking into the
deepest abyss of vice. Not a few have done this who have professed to
be Christians; and, occasionally, a fanatical sect now appears who
make the freedom which they say Christianity confers a pretext for
indulgence in the most base and degrading vices. The apostles saw this
tendency in human nature, and in nothing are they more careful than to
guard against this abuse. (Barnes'
Notes on the NT)
BUT USE IT
AS BONDSLAVES OF GOD: all os theou douloi: (Eph 6:6; Col 3:24)
deo = to
word study on
additional notes on
doulos) was an individual bound to
another in servitude and conveys the idea of the slave's close,
binding ties with his master, belonging to him, obligated to and
desiring to do his will and in a permanent relation of servitude. In
sum, the will of the doulos is consumed in the will of the
This word provides an incredible
word picture of those who are bound to their Lord Jesus Christ, Who
bought them with a price to be His own possession (cf 1Cor 6:20, Acts
20:28, Gal 3:13, Heb 9:12-note,
A bondservant is one who
surrendered wholly to another’s will and thus devoted to another to
the disregard of his own interest. Paul and Timothy were not their own
but had been bought with the price of the blood of Christ. They were
now the property of our Lord Jesus Christ and were His slaves
exclusively. No man can serve two masters (Mt 6:24-note).
Paul and Timothy had been slaves of Sin (see note on
by their birth into Adam's likeness, but now they are slaves of Christ
by their new, second birth. They had no will of their own, no business
of their own, no time of their own and were acting for their Master,
Christ; dependent upon Him and obedient to Him.
the convicting poem
He Had No Rights
written by Mabel Williamson a missionary to China.
In the Greek
culture doulos usually referred to the involuntary, permanent
service of a slave, but the use in the epistles of Paul and Peter
elevates the meaning of doulos to the Hebrew sense which
describes a servant who willingly commits himself to serve a master he
loves and respects (cp Ex 21:5, 6 Dt 15:12, 13, 14, 15, 16 ). By
Roman times, slavery was so extensive that in the early Christian
period one out of every two people was a slave! From at least 3000BC
captives in war were the primary source of slaves.
speaks of submission to one's master The doulos had no life of
his own, no will of his own, no purpose of his own and no plan of his
own. All was subject to his master. The bondservant's every thought,
breath, and effort was subject to the will of his master. In sum, the
picture of a bondservant is one who is absolutely surrendered
and totally devoted to his master.
God the Father
has "delivered us from the domain (the authority and power Satan has
over all unregenerate men and women) of darkness, and transferred us
to the kingdom of His beloved Son" (Col 1:13, 14 - see notes 1:13;
14) so that we have passed from death
to life. Now for a short time (relative to eternity) we are to be our
Master's representatives, not as we were once - slaves to sin and
the whims of this godless world system and its rotting institutions --
but as freedmen, as aliens and strangers who march to an eternal
heavenly drumbeat, who live by holy values, righteous standards, God
glorifying goals and eternal, timeless priorities. Yes, as bondslaves
of God, we do submit. But we submit freely, not cowering before human
authorities, but from loving obedience to our one true King now and
There is no such thing as absolute
freedom (personal freedom), for that is anarchy. (Then he alludes to
But now having been freed from sin
and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit (fruit), resulting
in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (see note
As Paul exhorted
the saints at Colossae
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than
for men knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the
inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (see notes
And to the bondslaves in Ephesus Paul said
"Slaves, be obedient to those who
are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in
the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ not by way of eyeservice, as
men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the
heart." (See notes
Our whole disposition of freedom and joy and fearlessness and radical
otherness from this world is rooted in our belonging to God -- which
in one sense is slavery because His authority over us is absolute
but in another sense is glorious freedom because He changes our
hearts so that we love doing what He gives us to do.
As Martin Luther said in his wonderful little treatise called The
Freedom of a Christian
A Christian is a perfectly free
lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful
servant of all, subject to all. The key to that paradox is God.
Freed by God from slavery to all human institutions; and sent by God
freely and submissively into those institutions -- for his sake!
rightly said that...
The highest honour of the greatest
apostle, and most eminent ministers, is to be the servants of Jesus
Christ; not the masters of the churches, but the servants of Christ.
Paradoxically a bondservant of the
Most High God is one of the most privileged, noblest professions in
the world. Little wonder that notable men of God in the have always
been called the servants of God. The list of names includes (use
to see Scriptures in context in the version you prefer)
Moses (Dt 34:5 Ps 105:26 Mal
3:18 Ps 78:70)
Paul (Ro 1:1-note;
Peter (2Pe 1:1-note)
James (James 1:1-note)
3:7; Jer 7:25).
Ideally believers (Acts
2:18; 1Co 7:22; Ep 6:6-note;
><> ><> ><>
We don't have to
look far in our society to find things we don't like. God has a
standard of right and wrong, and it contrasts greatly with the crime,
sexual immorality, and declining standards of decency that seem to be
It would be easy to do nothing but point out the wrongs in our world
and spend a lifetime denouncing them. But if we did, people would tire
of listening to us and eventually write us off as complainers.
A newsletter called "Communication Briefings" suggests a more positive
approach: Instead of being "against" a social ill, be "for" its
remedy. As an example, the newsletter suggests, "Instead of being
against illiteracy, be FOR literacy -- and you will help improve
So how does this apply to us? The apostle Peter said that by doing
good we will silence those who criticize us (1 Peter 2:15). For
instance, instead of just speaking out against immoral programming on
TV, be in favor of positive change -- and then work with local
stations to make it happen. Instead of being against poverty, make a
tangible contribution in the life of someone who needs help.
Let's be known as people who are for the good, not just against the
bad. - J D Brannon (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
While we may want
Our sick society,
We should instead do what is good
To change the bad we see.-- Sper
example can have a big influence.
Show respect for all men [treat them honorably]. Love the brotherhood
(the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God.
Honor the emperor. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
Phillips: You should have respect for everyone, you should love our
brotherhood, fear God and honor the emperor.. (Phillips:
Wuest: Pay honor to all, be loving the brotherhood, be fearing God, be
paying honor to the king. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: to
all give ye honour; the brotherhood love ye; God fear ye; the king
MEN; pantas timesate (2PAAM): (1Pe
5:5; Ex 20:12; Lev 19:32; 1Sa 15:30; Ro 12:10; 13:7; Phil 2:3; 1Ti
Spurgeon comments on slandering believers...
Honor even the poorest of men.
Remember that they are men. Even though they are sunken in vice or
crime, honor the manhood that is in them, however much you may detest
their crimes. “Honor all men.”
Peter 2 Commentary)
These four commands show us what
submission looks like in practical terms. Some people are not
honorable. Honor them anyway. Some people are not loveable. Love them
anyway. There is no escape clause attached to this verse. These
commands show us that submission is first and foremost a matter of the
heart. How much honor have you really given if you obey someone but
only through clenched teeth? We are to submit graciously, to obey
willingly, and to honor always ("all men", all the brethren, all
kings). We don’t have the right to pick and choose when we will submit
(timao from time = honor, prize, value) means to
attribute worth to or merit in some person or thing. Show all men the
respect which is due to them according to their worth as those made in
the image of God.
Timao is in the
calling for urgent action.
Believers are to consider all men to be of worth. This action
refers not just to an obedient duty but an inner respect empowered by
a new heart and a new Spirit.
To us this may seem hardly needing to be said; but when Peter wrote
this letter it was something quite new. There were by some estimates
as many as 60,000,000 slaves
in the Roman Empire, every one of whom was considered by law to be, not
a person, but a thing, with no rights whatsoever. In effect, Peter is
saying, "Remember the rights of human personality and the dignity of
every man." It is still possible to treat people as "things". An
employer may treat his employees as so many human machines for
producing so much work. Believers are not to behave in this
manner but to esteem others.
BROTHERHOOD: ten adelphoteta agapate (2PPAM): (1Peter
1:22; John 13:35; Hebrews 13:1; Zechariah 11:14)
Since you have in obedience to the
truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren,
fervently love one another from the heart (see note
1 Peter 1:22)
In keeping with
the idea of silencing foolish men Jesus spoke of the effect of
By this all men will know that you
are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)
agape) means to love
unconditionally, sacrificially like God Himself loves. This love is
not sentimental or emotional (not based on impulse or feelings) but
obedient as act of one's will desiring another's highest good. Since
it is unconditional, it is dispensed even if it's not received or
returned! Agapao means to love not based on one's affection but based
on a decision of the will. It is not run with the natural inclinations
of the fallen sin nature, but is love which loves the unlovely and
is in the
calls for Spirit controlled believers to manifest His love in His
power as our lifestyle. Keep on doing it.
(adelphotes from a = denoting unity + delphús =
womb and thus those born from same womb) defines a brotherly or sisterly relationship
and in this case speaks OF the whole fraternity of Christians,
regarded as a band of brothers and sisters.
As the people of
God, believers have obligations to God which involve earthly
relationships. Not the least of these is to love other brothers and
sisters. As with honor, showing agape (selfless, unconditional) love is a
reflection of a new heart attitude of Spirit filled submission to God in all things.
ton theon phobeisthe (2PPPM): (Ge
20:11; 22:12; 42:18; Ps 111:10; Pr 1:7; 23:17; 24:21; Eccl 8:2; Mt
22:21; Ro 13:7; 2Co 7:1; Eph 5:21)
(phobeo from phobos = fear, reverence) means to revere
and is in the
indicating a command
to make this the habit of your life.
Fear does not mean terror
to the believer but conveys a sense of awe and reverence. Reverence
is the combination of admiration and fear, awe and dread, wonder and
terror. It's an emotion that we were made to experience. It is only when God is
given his proper place in the center of our heart and spirit and mind
and strength that all other things take their proper place.
The word fear, when used to express
our duty to God, means that we are to reverence and honour him.
Religion, in one aspect, is described as the fear of God; in another,
as the love of God; in another, as submission to his will, etc. A holy
veneration or fear is always an elementary principle of religion. It
is the fear, not so much of punishment as of his disapprobation; not
so much the dread of suffering at the dread of doing wrong. (Barnes'
Notes on the NT)
God is the object of -Isaiah 8:13
God is the author of -Jeremiah 32:39,40
Searching the Scriptures gives the understanding of -Proverbs 2:3, 4,
Hatred of evil -Proverbs 8:13
Wisdom -Job 28:28; Psalms 111:10
A treasure to saints -Proverbs 15:16; Isaiah 33:6
A fountain of life -Proverbs 14:27
Sanctifying -Psalms 19:9
Filial and reverential -Hebrews 12:9,28
Commanded -Deuteronomy 13:4; Psalms 22:23; Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1 Peter
The holiness of God -Revelation 15:4
The greatness of God -Deuteronomy 10:12,17
The goodness of God -1 Samuel 12:24
The forgiveness of God -Psalms 130:4
Wondrous works of God -Joshua 4:23,24
Judgments of God -Revelation 14:7
A characteristic of saints Malachi 3:16
Should accompany the joy of saints -Psalms 2:11
The worship of God -Psalms 5:7; 89:7
The service of God -Psalms 2:11; Hebrews 12:28
Avoiding of sin -Exodus 20:20
Righteous government -2 Samuel 23:3
Impartial administration of justice -2 Chronicles 19:6-9
Perfecting holiness -2 Corinthians 7:1
THOSE WHO HAVE
Afford pleasure to God -Psalms 147:11
Are pitied by God -Psalms 103:13
Are accepted of God -Acts 10:35
Receive mercy from God -Psalms 103:11,17; Luke 1:50
Are blessed -Psalms 112:1; 115:13
Confide in God -Psalms 115:11; Proverbs 14:26
Depart from evil -Proverbs 16:6
Converse together of holy things -Malachi 3:16
Should not fear man -Isaiah 8:12,13; Matthew 10:28
Desires of, fulfilled by God -Psalms 145:19
Days of, prolonged -Proverbs 10:27
Prayed for -Psalms 86:11
Exhibited in our callings -Colossians 3:22
Exhibited in giving a reason for our hope -1 Peter 3:15
Constantly maintained -Deuteronomy 14:23; Joshua 4:24; Proverbs 23:17
Taught to others -Psalms 34:11
Advantages of -Proverbs 15:16; 19:23; Ecclesiastes 8:12,13
The wicked destitute of -Psalms 36:1; Proverbs 1:29; Jeremiah 2:19;
Abraham -Genesis 22:12
Joseph -Genesis 39:9; 42:18
Obadiah -1 Kings 18:12
Nehemiah -Nehemiah 5:15
Job -Job 1:1,8
Christians -Acts 9:31
Cornelius -Acts 10:2
Noah -Hebrews 11:7
KING: ton basilea timate (2PPAM):
(1Sa 15:30; 1Chr 29:20; Pr 24:21)
A great deal of stress is sometimes
laid upon that last precept, and I would lay just as much emphasis
upon it as the Scripture does; but recollect the earlier command also:
“Honor all men.”
“A man’s a man for a that.”
Whatever his condition may he,
honor the manhood that is in him. Do not despise him because he is
poor, or because his coat is not so fashionably cut as yours is; for,
perhaps, he may be a better man than you are: “Honor all men. Love the
brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
Peter 2 Commentary)
(timao from time = honor, prize, value) means to
attribute worth to or merit in some person or thing. Timao is in the
is in the
indicating a command
to make this the habit of your life.
Of the four injunctions of this
verse this is the most amazing, for, if it was really Peter who wrote
this letter, the king refers primarily to the Roman sovereign
who at this time is none other than incredibly evil Emperor Nero. It is the
teaching of the New Testament that even a ruler like Nero is sent by
God to preserve order among men and that he must be respected!
Ray Pritchard summarizes this
section with some wise and practical words...
Submission is first and foremost an
attitude of the heart. Submission is not blind obedience. Because it
is an attitude of the heart, sometimes we will disagree and will make
our disagreement known forcefully. Submission doesn’t mean we don’t
work to make the situation better. And it doesn’t mean you have to
stay where you are indefinitely. You’re not morally obligated to work
for a foolish boss forever. If you can change jobs and improve your
situation, go ahead and do it. Sometimes we must speak out against
those things that we know are wrong. I do believe there are times when
as a last resort, laws may have to be broken. That’s a subject for
another sermon, but it helps to remember that during the Civil Rights
crisis in the ’60s, the protestors who broke the “Jim Crow” laws in
the South did so openly and took the punishment that was meted out. If
our Christian commitment causes to us protest an unjust law, we cannot
turn around and claim divine exemption from punishment. Accepting
punishment is part of the attitude of humble submission to authority,
even authority we disagree with.
My Rebel Heart - Let me wrap up on a personal note. As I survey my own
rebel heart, I find that I don’t like submission any more than anyone
else. Even after preaching this sermon, I know that deep inside, there
is a part of me that says, “Forget about the rules. Do whatever you
want.” I definitely haven’t arrived in this area. But I have learned
several things over the years:
1) Living under authority is the
greatest freedom of all. It provides protection, direction and
2) Rebellion leads to anarchy and
destruction. This touches the point that submission is an attitude
first and foremost, and so is rebellion. If we must disobey, we are
still to honor the king. That means obeying when and where we can, and
not disobeying just for personal gain or personal convenience. These
are difficult issues because they touch the heart, not just our
Two questions arise at this point:
1) What do you do if those over you seem to be fools or worse? Pray
for them. Support them. Work for change. Obey them as much as you can.
Don’t speak evil of them. Show them honor in how you treat them.
2) What if you are told to do
wrong? Don’t do it! Submission is not an excuse for violating God’s
commandments. But just make sure it’s God’s commandments that are
being violated, not your personal preferences.
Above all, avoid a rebellious spirit. These are the warning signs to
1) Talking too much.
2) Trying to pick and choose which orders you will follow.
It’s Not About You - Our text mentions God four times in five
verses. Why did he feel the need to do that? The answer is simple:
It’s not about you. It’s not about you boss. It’s not about your
teacher. It’s not about anyone in authority over you. It’s all about
Submission is about God. Until we grasp that, we will continue to
struggle in this area. Here are two questions to ask yourself:
Do I believe God is in control of my life down to the tiniest details?
Do I believe God has me where he wants me to be right now?
If you can answer yes to those two questions, you can learn to submit
to authority in your life. And until you can answer yes, you will
struggle with this area. Here is the bottom line of all that I have
said: Live for God. Show the world that true freedom comes from
submitting to God. This week I read that Oswald Chambers, author of My
Utmost for His Highest, often included a three-word phrase near the
end of every letter he wrote. This little phrase summed up his whole
life: “Be absolutely his.” And that’s really all that Peter is saying.
Be absolutely his at home. Not yours, but his.
Be absolutely his at church. Not yours, but his.
Be absolutely his on the job. Not yours, but his.
Be absolutely his in the classroom. Not yours, but his.
Be absolutely his in every relationship. Not yours, but his.
In the end submission is not about you obeying someone else, or about
you following a set of rules. Submission is a spiritual issue between
you and God. It touches every part of life because behind every human
authority stands the Lord himself. And rebellion is like the sin of
witchcraft (I Samuel 15:23 NLT). A rebellious spirit against authority
is actually a form of rebellion against God. And that’s why this is
the hardest doctrine to obey in the Bible. It runs counter to fallen
You may ask, “Is there anyone who ever lived this way?” Yes, there is.
His name is Jesus. Peter mentions him a few verses later in I Peter 2.
We are called to follow in his steps.
Though he was insulted, he did not retaliate in kind.
Though he was sinned against, he never sinned in response.
Though he was humiliated, he never threatened to get even.
Instead, he entrusted himself to his Heavenly Father. His submission
led to his crucifixion, and his crucifixion brought salvation to the
Peter says, “Follow in his steps.”
And so we are driven back to the cross of Christ. Without the cross,
this sermon makes no sense. But in the power of the cross, we can do
what Jesus did. This is our Christian calling, our privilege, and our
greatest challenge. Amen. (1
Peter 2:13-17 Serving God in an Unbelieving World)
for free. It is an easy
to install and simple to use Bible Verse pop up tool that allows you to
read cross references
in context and in the
Version you prefer. Only the KJV is free with this download but
you can also download a free copy of
which in turn offers
that work with
including the excellent, literal translation, the English Standard
Version (ESV). Other popular versions are available for purchase.
When you hold the mouse pointer over a Scripture reference anywhere on
the Web (as well as offline in Word for Windows, email, etc) the passage
pops up immediately.
can be disabled if the
popups become distractive. This utility really does work and makes it
easy to read the actual passage in context and not just the chapter and