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1 Peter 2:11-25

Talks for Growing Christians

Submitting to Authorities that God Has Ordained

1 Peter 2:11-25

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Lesson Number 5

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers should submit to authority in the area of government. (1 Peter 2:13-17)
  2. Believers should submit to authority in the area of labor. (1 Peter 2:18-20)

Practical Application

  1. Let’s follow in the steps of Jesus. (1 Peter 2:21-25)

Questions

  1. Believers are sojourners and pilgrims. What does this mean?
  2. In what kind of warfare is the Christian involved?
  3. Why are Christians to abstain from earthly lusts?
  4. How can Christians close the fault-finding mouths of unbelievers?
  5. When is a Christian justified in disobeying a civil authority?

Answers

  1. As believers, we are to live as sojourners and pilgrims here on this earth, abstaining from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, and not becoming entangled in the affairs of this world.
  2. Christians are involved in a spiritual war, where Satan has many attractions that appeal to our fleshly lusts.
  3. For their own spiritual well-being, and also to be a testimony to unbelievers.
  4. By their honorable conduct and good works. They may be the means God uses to convict them of their sins and bring them to salvation.
  5. Only when that governing authority asks us to do something that is directly contrary to the word of God. Then we are to obey the higher authority. See Acts 5:29.

Discuss/Consider

  1. When Peter wrote this letter, the Roman Emperor Nero was in power. And it was at this time that Christians were greatly persecuted and Christianity became illegal in the Roman Empire. And yet Peter wrote to the believers to submit to authority in the area of government. Believers should submit to authority in the area of government at all levels – national, state and local. If this was possible in Nero’s day, is it not possible today? Are you submitting or chafing under governmental authority?
  2. In the first century slavery was practiced in the Roman Empire and Christian slaves were told not to revolt or to run away, but to submit to their masters, even when they were harsh and demanding. We don’t have slavery in America today, but we can apply these verses (1 Peter 2:18-20) to the relationship between employers and employees. What do you do in a job situation where the authority above you is unfair and unreasonable? You are to submit and be patient. You are not to complain, but go about doing good under such circumstances. If this seems hard, remember what Christ suffered for you.

Challenge

  1. Let’s follow in the steps of Jesus. What a supreme example. Jesus submitted to authority structures and suffered to the point of death. He did not complain or criticize, but committed everything to the Father. Are you following in the steps of Jesus?

Key Verses

  • “Beloved…as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable, as a witness to the unsaved, that by your good works which they observe, they will glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:11-12
  • “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake…for this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2:13, 15
  • “…when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” 1 Peter 2:20
  • “…to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

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