Bible Studies for Life
February 18 2017
1 Peter 2:11-17 (HCSB)
My 4-year-old granddaughter just learned to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Her reciting it reminded me that I have a dual citizenship. This is not my home. I am just passing through. As believers our permanent home is in heaven. We are to be good citizens here but we should live in a way that reflects our citizenship in heaven.
How do we do this?
We should abstain from sin and do good works that point to Christ. Our relationship with Christ should motivate us to live godly lives. Paul told us why we should do this “they will by observing your good works glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:12). Many interpret this visitation as the day when Christ returns but it is speaking about when God visits lost sinners and saves them. When they trust Christ they will glorify God and give thanks because a Christian witnessed to them even when they made life difficult for believers.
We should submit to those whom God has placed over us (2 Pet. 2:13).
It is possible for a Christian to submit to government and still disobey the laws. We must never allow the law to make us violate our conscience and disobey the higher law God’s law.
Paul said in doing this “You silence the ignorance of foolish people” (1 Pet. 2:15). We silence critics by doing good not by opposing authority.
We should use our freedom in Christ to show love and to honor others. Peter was not talking about political freedom but spiritual freedom. Christian freedom is always conditioned by Christian responsibility. We may have to set aside some rights and privileges and even suffer to do what the Lord has called us to do.
We should “fear God” (1 Pet. 2:17). This is reverent fear that leads to obedience. We can honor the king but not fear him. Our ultimate authority and fear rest in God.
Our citizenship here is temporal. We are just passing through to our permanent home.