Submitting to Authority-1 Peter 2:13-17

1 Peter 2:13-17 “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.”

1 Pietro 2:13-17 «Siate sottomessi, per amore del Signore, a ogni umana istituzione: al re, come al sovrano; 14 ai governatori, come mandati da lui per punire i malfattori e per dare lode a quelli che fanno il bene. 15 Perché questa è la volontà di Dio: che, facendo il bene, turiate la bocca all’ignoranza degli uomini stolti. 16 Fate questo come uomini liberi, che non si servono della libertà come di un velo per coprire la malizia, ma come servi di Dio. 17 Onorate tutti. Amate i fratelli. Temete Dio. Onorate il re.»


     During the first century, the Caesars accused the Christians of not obeying the laws although the opposite was actually true. Church history paints a different picture by showing us that they did obey manmade laws. It was only when the Caesars declared themselves as god and king that the Christians refused to bow down. But God’s law supersedes the laws of man; unless man’s law goes contrary to God’s Word, we should submit ourselves to man’s law.

     Peter lists the civil authorities who are charged with the responsibility to punish wrongdoers and commend those who obey. However most of us have probably not had a government authority commend us for being a good citizen! 

     The reason we should submit is not just because it is a command. During Peter’s time, Christians were being slandered. Submitting to authority would help quell “the ignorant talk of foolish men”. The word used for “foolish” in the original language implies rash egotism; these men were foolish because they had no proof but simply chose what they wanted to believe. The believer’s best answer to slanderous abuse is to continue to respond as a good citizen. This is still a valuable lesson for us today; although we can’t stop verbal assaults from the world, we can still live a godly testimony despite persecution from others.

Pray with me: Lord, I have situations in my life where things were intentionally said and done in order to bring about damage to me and my testimony. Help me not to retaliate in my own defense but to continue to live a godly life and allow You to silence my critics.

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