We’ve now come to the final article in our study of 1 Peter 2:13-17. Continue reading . . .
We’ve now come to the final article in our study of 1 Peter 2:13-17. Here Peter says to us:
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:13-17).
We are now ready for the fourth and final observation on this passage.
(4) My fourth observation is simply to take note of Peter’s concluding four-fold exhortation in v. 17.
First, honor everyone (v. 17a). We are to treat every human being with dignity and respect and honor. All are created in God’s image. The emperor isn’t the only one deserving of our honor. Of course, how we honor everyone will differ. We do not honor an immoral scoundrel the same way we honor Mother Theresa!
Second, love the brotherhood (v. 17b). Although we are to love and care for all mankind, we have a special responsibility to the family of faith.
Third, fear God (v. 17c). Although we honor the emperor, we are never told to fear him. Although we are to love other Christians, our deepest and most passionate affection and our most reverential awe is due unto God alone.
Fourth, honor the emperor (v. 17d). You shouldn’t fear him the way you do God nor do you have to love him the way you do Christians in the family of faith which we call the church.