1 Peter Chapter 2 Continued
1 Peter 2:13 “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;”
“Submit yourselves”: “Submit” is a military term meaning “to arrange in military fashion under the commander,” “to put oneself in an attitude of submission.” 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 (21-21; Jer. 29:4-14; Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:1; 1 Timothy 2:1; Hebrews 10:32-34).
“The ordinance of man” here, is speaking of laws passed by the local, regional, or national government. “Submit yourselves” in this instance, means to keep the laws of the land. We have discussed before, the only time it is correct not to keep the law of the land, is when it is in opposition to the higher laws of God.
“For the Lord’s sake”: Though the Christian’s true citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), he 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 Christ.
We keep the laws of the land because God told us to. It is also, so God will not be ridiculed for the actions of His people. God is the one who makes someone ruler or king. When we go against those in authority, we are actually questioning the judgment of God.
1 Peter 2:14 “Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”
There is no law against doing good. God orders all things in heaven and in earth. In that sense, God put the governor in office. These ruling authorities have within their power to punish those who do evil. The only thing that could come from doing well is praise.
“Governors”: Christians are to live in obedience to every institution of civil and social order on earth. This includes obedience to the national government (verse 13, “king”), the state government, the police, and judges. Only when the government tries to force a Christian to do what is against the law of God explicitly stated in Scripture, should he refuse to submit (Acts 4:18-20; 5:28-29; Titus 1:6; 3:1-2).
1 Peter 2:15 “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:”
“Silence … foolish men”: 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 that are looking for reasons to criticize believers.
Christians are instructed of God to not take vengeance on their enemies. In fact, they are to do good to those who persecute them. We see in the following Scripture, in Jesus’ own words, just what we are to do.
Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
The argument will stop, if the Christian refuses to speak evil or take vengeance.
Romans 12:20 “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”
Foolish men have no way to continue, when you refuse to answer back.
1 Peter 2:16 “As free, and not using [your] liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.”
Believers should enjoy their freedom in Christ, but ought not to put on a veil or mask of freedom to cover what really is wickedness. Christian freedom is never to be an excuse for self-indulgence or license. (1 Cor. 7:22; 8:9-13; 2 Thess. 3:7-9).
“Maliciousness” means badness, depravity, malignity, or trouble. The “liberty”, spoken of above, is the fact that the sin of the Christian died on the cross. We should not use that to mistreat others. If we are servants of God, we will do the will of God and not our own will.
1 Peter 2:17 “Honor all [men]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
“Honor”: Highly esteem is the idea and it refers not just too obedient duty but inner respect.
Christians must not be elevated up because of the knowledge that the Holy Spirit of God has given them. Honor all men, just means that because someone is not a Christian, you should not be disrespectful to him.
Notice the difference in the brotherhood. Brothers in Christ are all part of the family of God, the church. They are to love each other as members of a family. The message changes even more speaking of God. We are not only to love God as the Father, but to have reverent fear of Him, as well.
Honor is to be shown for the office of the king. All who are in office are not to our liking, but we are commanded of God to honor the office.
1 Peter 2:18 “Servants, [be] subject to [your] masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.”
“Servants, be subject”: One’s Christianity does not give the right to rebel against one’s superior in the social structure, no matter how unfair or harsh he may be.
Servants in the verse above, actually means household servants and is not speaking of slaves that the master owns. The master, in this case, would be the employer. It seems from this, even if the boss is not a good boss, you still must do what he asks, without grumbling, if you continue to work for him.
Your option would be to get another job, if you could not live with the requirements. There would never be a time when it would be right to be disloyal to the boss. Every job we do, even a lowly one, must be done the best we can as unto the Lord, if we are Christians.
Verses 19-20 “Acceptable with God”: Favor with God is found when an employee, treated unjustly, accepts his poor treatment with faith in God’s sovereign care, rather than responding in anger, hostility, discontent, pride, or rebellion (Matt. 5:11).
1 Peter 2:19 “For this [is] thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.”
To endure hardship of any kind, in the name of the Lord, is to be praised.
Romans 8:17 “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.”
1 Peter 2:20 “For what glory [is it], if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God.”
“Buffet” here, means to rap with the fist. Whatever the punishment was, if it is for something the servant has done wrong, he should not be glorified for facing the punishment. He deserved whatever it was for his own bad behavior. On the other hand, it is glory to the person receiving the punishment and to God, if the punishment is not for a misdeed, but for the name of the Lord.
Jesus suffered the pain and the humiliation of the cross. He was not guilty of any sin, but took the punishment for our sin. He said it brought glory to the Father and to Himself. We know that many of the early apostles suffered greatly for the name of the Lord. Both men and women were martyred in the name of the Lord. Their reward in heaven will be great.
1 Peter 2:21 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:”
“Were ye called”: The “call,” as always in the New Testament epistles, is the efficacious call to salvation (verse 9; 5:10; Rom. 8:30). Peter’s point is that a person called to salvation will, sometimes at least, have to endure unfair treatment.
Commendable behavior on the part of the believer in the midst of such trails results in the strengthening and perfecting of the Christian on earth (5:10; James 1:2-4), and his increased eternal capacity to glorify God (Matthew 20:21-23; 2 Cor. 4:17-18; 2 Tim. 2:12).
The following is what Jesus said about this very thing.
Luke 9:23-24 “And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”
Not many of us can follow in the steps of Jesus. The road is too difficult.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
“Leaving us an example”, the word “example” literally means “writing under.” It was writing put under a piece of paper on which to trace letters, thus a pattern. Christ is the pattern for Christians to follow in suffering with perfect patience. His death was efficacious, primarily, as an atonement for sin (2 Cor. 5:21); but it was also exemplary, as a model of endurance in unjust suffering.
1 Peter 2:22 “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:”
This was a (quote from Isaiah 53:9). He was the perfect example of patience endurance in unjust suffering because He was sinless, as the prophet said He would be (1:19).
The perfect Lamb of God (Jesus Christ), was totally free from sin. Not only did he not sin by commission, but He did not sin by speaking, as well. He took our sin upon His body on the cross, and clothed us in His righteousness. His Words were Truth. He spoke no evil Words. He is the Word of God.
1 Peter 2:23 “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:”
“Reviled”: To “revile” is to pile up abusive and vile language against someone. Though verbally abused, Christ never retaliated with vicious words and threats (3:9; Matt. 26:57-65; 27:12-14; Luke 3:7-11).
“Committed himself”: This means to hand oneself over to someone to keep. Christ was “delivered” to Pilate (John 9:11); Pilate “handed Him over” to the Jews (John 19:16); Christ “handed over” Himself to God, suffering in surprising silence, because of His perfect confidence in the sovereignty and righteousness of His Father (Isa. 53:7).
Jesus did not look forward to the pain and humiliation of the cross, but submitted to the will of the Father. Look with me at the following Scriptures, where He submits to the will of the Father.
Matthew 26:41-42 “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.” “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”
Jesus did not speak in His own defense. He could have destroyed all of them, with one Word from Him, but He didn’t. He submitted to the cruelty of the cross to save His people.
1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
“Bare our sins”. Christ suffered not simply as the Christian’s pattern (verses 21-23), but far more importantly as the Christians substitute. To bear sins was to be punished for them (Numbers 14:33; Ezek. 18:20). Christ bore the punishment and the penalty for believers, thus satisfying a holy God.
This great doctrine of the substitutionary atonement is the heart of the gospel. Actual atonement, sufficient for the sins of the whole world, was made for all who would ever believe. Namely, the elect. (Lev. 16:17; 23:27-30; John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:19; 1 Timothy. 2:6; 4:10; Titus 2:11; Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 2:2; 4:9-10).
We have been seeing, in the verses above, that we are to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. We are to patiently endure hardships and sufferings that come from following Him. This is where the similarity ends. No Christian, regardless of how good he is, can suffer for the sin of the people. Their blood is not pure, and will not do away with sin.
Jesus had no sin of His own. He was pure in every way. He was the unleavened Bread. He was free from sin, yet He took our sin upon His body on the cross, so that our sin would die. Sin, for the Christians, died on the cross. We are no longer servant to sin. Jesus defeated sin on the cross. We are no longer under the curse of the law.
“Being dead to sins”: This is true by the miracle of being in Christ. We died to sin in the sense that we paid its penalty, death, by being in Christ when He died as our substitute.
“Live unto righteousness”: Not only have we been declared just, the penalty for our sins paid by His death, but we have risen to walk in new life, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
In return, Jesus gave us His righteousness. We are clothed in the white linen garment, washed in the blood of the Lamb. We are righteous in the sight of the Father, because we have taken on the righteousness of Christ. These stripes were much more than just a whipping. The whip used, literally tore the flesh from His body. His suffering was for our healing.
By whose strips ye are healed”: From Isaiah 53:5 (see below), through the wounds of Christ at the cross, believers are healed spiritually from the deadly disease of sin. Physical healing comes at glorification only, when there is no more physical pain, illness, or death (Rev. 21:4).
Isaiah 53:5 “But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
1 Peter 2:25 “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”
“Returned”: Means “to turn toward,” and refers to the repentant faith a person has at salvation.
“Shepherd and Bishop”: Bishop means “Overseer”. Christ is not only the Christian’s standard (verses 21-23), and substitute (verse 24), but He is also the Christian’s Shepherd (5:4; Isa. 53:6; John 10:11). In the Old Testament, the title of “Shepherd” for the Lord was often messianic (Ezek. 34:23-24; 37:24; John 10:1-18).
Beyond that, “Shepherd and Overseer” were the most appropriate descriptions of Christ for Peter to use in order to comfort Christians who were being persecuted and slandered (verse 12). These two terms are also used for human spiritual leaders. “Shepherd” is the word for pastor, and “Overseer” is the word for Bishop (Eph. 4:11, Titus 1:7). Both referring to the same persons who lead the church (Acts 20:28).
The great Shepherd (Jesus Christ), lay down his life for His sheep. He would have done it, if only one had been lost. We remember the parable about the 99 sheep who were still in the fold, and the one lost sheep. The Shepherd left the 99 and went and found the one lost.
Three times Jesus had asked Peter, “Lovest thou me?” Three times, Peter had told Him he did love Him. Three times, He told Peter, “Feed my sheep”. Jesus is the chief Shepherd. All other shepherds are subordinate to Him.
He is the great Bishop (overseer), of our soul. He is our Advocate with the Father. Like any good Shepherd, His first concern is for His sheep. He is the guardian of our soul.
1 Peter Chapter 2 Continued Questions
- Submit yourselves to every _____________.
- What is meant by “ordinance of man”?
- What does, “submit yourselves”, mean?
- When is the only time it is alright to go against government authority?
- When we go against government officials, it is as if we are saying what?
- Who instructed the Christians not to take vengeance on their enemies?
- What does “maliciousness” mean?
- What is the “liberty” of the Christian speaking of?
- Honor all _____.
- Love the _____________.
- Fear ____.
- _________ the king.
- Why is the brotherhood treated differently than all men?
- We may not have respect for the officeholder, but we must respect the ________.
- Which of the masters are the servants to be subject to?
- Every job we do, even a lowly one, is to be done as unto the _______
- What does “buffet” mean?
- Jesus was not _________ of any sin, yet He endured the cross.
- Who were martyred for Christ?
- All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall _________ ____________.
- Who was the Lamb of God?
- Jesus submitted to the will of the _________ for the suffering on the cross.
- Why did He submit to the cruelty of the cross?
- Why can not a good Christian die for your sin?
- What are the Christians clothed in?
- Why are we righteous in the sight of the Father?
- What 2 names is Jesus called by in verse 25?
- What question had Jesus asked Peter 3 times?
- When Peter said yes, what did Jesus tell him to do?
- What is the concern of the good Shepherd?