I Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
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.
15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
In these verses Peter was directed by God to deal with some practical responses to the fact that saints are a royal priesthood, etc. True saints are not rebels. They preach the Word. They give people the truth.
Peter stated that we are to submit ourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake. This command is not given in isolation. It is connected to a context. Our submission to man’s ordinances is in accordance with the Lord’s will. Christians have a higher calling than that of human government. Our first priority is to the Lord. We are His servants. Thus, if the government tells us to murder unborn children, we must say no. If the government tells us we cannot meet together to worship and serve the Lord we must say no.
Peter and John demonstrated this in Acts 4. They were commanded not to speak in Jesus’ name any longer. They gave the same answer we must give:
Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Peter was not contradicting what he was told to write in our text. He was writing under the inspiration of God. Our submission to every ordinance of man is in the context of “the Lord’s sake”. We honour God first and foremost. There are many laws that our country has that we can obey.
Peter went on to speak of the king, as supreme. We do not have a king in Canada. We have a man who believes he is higher than a king. He is a dictator and he has been able to bully his party and even the senate to bow to him. He also has most of the media and the judges on his side. It is interesting to note how money hungry and power hungry those around him are. They are willing to agree to ungodly demands just to keep the money rolling in and to keep their power.
In verse 14 we are to submit to governors. Notice here that the governors are to be sent by the king to punish evildoers. The governors are not supposed to be the evildoers. They are to uphold godly laws. We do not have that in our country today. The governors are to praise those that do well. Today we see evil being praised. It is sad to see the rise of anti-semitism in our country. Pro Hamas people are calling for violence against Jews and nothing is being done about it. The mayor of Calgary stated publicly that she will not attend the lighting of the Menorah this year because it has become too political. The Menorah is a Jewish symbol. The lighting of the Menorah is a Jewish tradition. It is not a Biblical command, but it is a Jewish tradition. Of course it will be political. I do not recall her making any fuss about the Muslim Ramadan. For a public figure to blatantly reject appearing at a Jewish event that is not in defiance of God, speaks volumes of where she stands and what she believes.
Governors are to praise the good and punish the evil. We are living in a perverted time now. We know that Jesus Christ faced similar perversion. Pilate was the governor of Judea. He punished the good and promoted the evil. Barabbas went home a free man, physically. Jesus Christ was condemned to death by crucifixion. Jesus had done good His entire time on earth. He was a free man spiritually, and He would rise again the third day, demonstrating His power over death. He is the life giver. His death was not an accident. It was the will of God for Him to go to the cross and shed His blood and die there. He was buried and rose again the third day. Death could not defeat the eternal Son of God.
In verse 15 we see that it is God’s will that we do good. Jesus Christ put the Jewish leaders to shame. They succeeded in having Him crucified. They were not in charge of keeping Him from rising again. They tried to stop the preaching of the Gospel during the days of the apostles, but they did not succeed. God overruled their wickedness and the Gospel went forth in power and the apostles were accused of turning their world upside-down.
God reminded us that those who oppose Him are foolish.
In verse 16 we are reminded that in Christ we are free. We are not under bondage to sin. Thus we can serve God faithfully and we can endure persecution, knowing that we have a Father Who loves us and will take us to His heavenly home soon. We do not use our liberty in Christ as a cloke of maliciousness. The Greek word translated as “maliciousness” means “badness” or “depravity”. We have talked before about how we would lose our testimony if we were to join in with the protestors who go to Parliament Hill or to the Legislative assembly to make noise and curse and swear and other foolish things. We need to be careful that our voices can be heard for the good we are saved to do.
We are servants of God. Paul was directed to write:
Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
The Greek word translated as “conversation” means our “community” or our “citizenship” is in heaven. Those who are truly born again are just as Peter addressed the saints — we are strangers. We are just passing through. During the short time we have here, we have work to do, but we are not building an empire here. We need housing and vehicles and a few other things, but we are going to leave that all behind very soon. While we need them we want to look after them, but once we take our last breath, that stuff all stays behind and someone else will take over. They might ruin it, but that will not matter to us.
Knowing that I am a servant of God makes my time on this earth worthwhile. If I was just living for things, it would be quite hopeless. I am old enough to know that earthly things wear out and they rot and they get broken, etc. I read an article recently that the modern computerized vehicles are designed to start to fail after a certain amount of time. It does not matter how carefully you handle that expensive car, it is pre-programmed to start to malfunction after a certain amount of time. Personally, I tend to believe that. A term that used to be used was “preplanned obsolescence.”
We know that our system enacts laws to try to get older vehicles off the road, not because they are unsafe, but because they want us to be bound by electronics that fail and are quite expensive to maintain.
However, for those who are saved, we are waiting for the trumpet sound. No electronics there. No need for amplification either. The Trump of God will be loud and clear for all those who are saved. We do not know if the lost will hear it or not. We know that the antichrist will come on the scene and begin to lie to those left behind. Most of them will believe his lies. He will do lying signs and wonders as well. The lost will not have anything to refute his lies with since they have rejected the truth.
The time to know the true God is now. It is a good thing to be His servant, rather than be a servant of sin.
Peter was directed to remind those who are saved of how we need to conduct ourselves and why we need to conduct ourselves in a certain way. God enables His children to be able to do His will. He also blesses His children when they obey His will.