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|Posted on September 19, 2016 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
Session 4 - 1 Peter 2:18-20 – Living as Strangers – Day 3
1 Peter 2:18 (HCSB) Household slaves, submit with all fear to your masters, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel. 19 For it brings favor if, mindful of God’s will, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if you sin and are punished, and you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God.
It would be easy to submit to a kind master (or in our case – boss), but having to submit to a cruel, unscrupulous, or crooked one would be very hard! Why should these slaves/servants have to do that?
The MacArthur Bible Commentary
One’s Christianity does not give him the right to rebel against his superior in the social structure no matter how unfair or harsh he may be.
These days there are usually proper channels to go through if one has a valid complaint about a supervisor. We need to do that without violence, disrespect, or causing a scene. When we respect authority, it is a positive witness to other workers. These slaves/workers are actually submitting not to the unscrupulous man or woman over them but to their ultimate Master, God, to bring Him glory through their excellent behavior and service.
Ephesians 6:7-9 (HCSB) Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord. 9 And masters, treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him.
Of course, Christians who owned slaves were commanded to treat them fairly and with respect as brothers or sisters in the Lord.
Colossians 4:1 (HCSB) Masters, supply your slaves with what is right and fair, since you know that you too have a Master in heaven.
Does this apply to supervisors and/or business owners today? It applies today but very few, even among believers, live by it. However, we are pleased to know a few who do. If God has placed you in a position of authority over others, you need to reflect a Christ-like attitude in your servant-leadership. No person is greater than another in God’s economy. Christ is the great equalizer. God does not endorse a caste system.
Galatians 3:28 (HCSB) There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
God sees when we are being mistreated or caused to suffer consequences we do not deserve. If, as a believer, you respond with respect and honor even toward a cruel or insolent boss, God will reward your good attitude. And in our present society, you do have the right to resign your position and seek employment elsewhere. However, that should be done in an orderly and considerate manner, not leaving your coworkers in a lurch.
There is no benefit to enduring punishment that is deserved. However, enduring unjust treatment while maintaining an attitude of respect brings blessings from God. This can be achieved when we remember that God is sovereign and all will ultimately be brought before His justice.
Chew on This: We do not consider ourselves “servants” in this day and age in the USA. However, do we “serve” at our jobs with a good attitude as if Father God were our boss? News flash – HE IS our boss. If you are in a position of authority do you treat your workers fairly? Re-read the cross-reference Ephesians 6:7-9. Whether you are a supervisor, CEO, or the low man on the totem pole, evaluate your work attitudes against this passage. Is there anything you need to change this week by the power of the Holy Spirit living within you?
|Posted on September 19, 2016 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
Session 4 - 1 Peter 2 – Living as Strangers – Day 2
1 Peter 2:13 Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority 14 or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good.
Aren’t they being persecuted by the governing authorities? Why should they submit to them? They and we, by the way, must submit to governing authorities because God is in control, and they would not be in the position of authority if God had not allowed it. God even ordained it to be so.
Romans 13:1 (HCSB) Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.
If we disobey the government officials because obedience to their laws conflicts with obedience to God, we must be willing to suffer the consequences of our civil disobedience. God may or may not choose to deliver us from their hands. If we participate in civil disobedience, it must be because we are committed to answering the higher authority of our Heavenly Father.
Acts 5:27-30 (NASB) When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.
1 Peter 2:15 For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good.
Remember, in the last passage, we brought out that there were many false charges against Christians. Even if the believers were imprisoned, they should still treat their captors with respect. Their good behavior would be a testimony to the Lord and the evidence that any accusations against them were false.
1 Peter 2:16 As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil.
We are no longer enslaved to sin or to the Law which we were never able to completely obey, but we are servants of the Living God. We are free to serve a loving Master who calls us His children. This Master enables us to do what He has commanded us to do. We have been freed from the grip of Satan’s dominion over us; and we now serve a perfect, holy, loving Father.
Reformation Study Bible:
as servants of God. Christian freedom rests not on escape from service but on a change of masters (Rom. 6:22).
We are now set apart for God’s purposes which are always designed to move us toward the ultimate good of being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29)
Romans 6:22 (CJB) However, now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you do get the benefit — it consists in being made holy, set apart for God, and its end result is eternal life.
God frees us from striving to earn salvation and takes on the task of moving us toward holiness Himself. We can only be holy by the power of the Holy Spirit inside us.
Galatians 5:13 (Common English Bible) You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love.
We are free in Christ, but we must not use our freedom as an excuse for rebellion or indulgence. Our freedom enables us to extend the love of Christ to others, to demonstrate Jesus to those around us.
1 Peter 2:17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor.
All people are created in the image of God meaning that every person has immeasurable, intrinsic value given them by God. Even the homeless person on the street was made in the image of God. We must show respect to all people as God’s creation. We must love those who are fellow believers as our brothers and sisters in Christ. Brothers and sisters are family, so when we know they are hurting, we should do our best to minister to them. We are obedient to this entire list because we fear, reverence, and respect God as the ultimate authority. Do we have to honor an emperor or President who is not honoring God? We honor the president by respecting him and not disparaging or slandering him with our words. This does not mean we agree with or support all his policies, especially if they are contrary to God’s commands. God gave them that place of authority; therefore, we must respect the office. The believers Peter admonished to honor the emperor had to walk that fine line of showing respect to him and obeying Roman laws without worshipping the emperor as the Romans did which would be dishonoring God. Remember, this was around the time of Nero who burned Christians as candles in his garden, and burned Rome and put the blame on Christians. But Peter tells them to honor the emperor.
Question: Is it possible to express a strong opinion against a government authority without resorting to attacking his/her character or demeaning them personally? Can we approach challenging a person’s integrity without diminishing our own holiness? Is the “Golden Rule” suspended when it comes to our treatment of politicians? Yes, we are saying, “Ouch!” right now, too.