Tuesday, September 17, 2013

1 Peter 2:11-25 -- Living Lives that Demand an Explanation

LINK: 1 Peter 2


BACKGROUND


From 2:11-3:7, Peter issued several "command verbs" to suggest ways believers could "declare His praises/proclaim His excellencies" before the world (2:9). He challenged believers to live a life that is different from the world around them by standing against sin, keeping excellent behavior, submitting to governmental authority, and submitting to masters who treated them harshly.


REFLECTION 
Peter's audience lived under harsh authority. This created a natural question: Should Christians obey these authorities? For Peter's original audience that question is even more understandable since the Roman authorities clashed with Christians over the issue of loyalty. Peter's answer was simple: All authority is from God, so we must obey the authorities that are over us. The Lord Jesus himself gave us the perfect example of how to submit to authority. When we reject those over us, we are ultimately rejecting God's hand on our life. When we obey, we affirm the fact that God oversees our life. Your life too is being overseen by authorities that God has put in place. 
(1 & 2 Peter and Jude Life Application Bible Studies (NIV), p.42) 
I homeschooled my kids, and there are many people in the homeschool movement that believe that they do not need to comply with the laws of their state when it comes to schooling their children. I always go back to what the Bible says in 1 Peter 2:13 and Romans 13. Of course, we should not submit to a government that is asking us to compromise our faith (Acts 5:29), but there are many laws that do not; and when we obey these laws, we are "living good lives among the pagans" who will "see our good deeds and glorify God' (1 Peter 2:12).   

When my kids turned sixteen, I put them under the authority of a school district that paid for all their college tuition for two years. They never went to the high school but went full-time to the local community college. We had to submit to the state rules for public school kids by taking their standardized achievement tests. It did not conflict with my beliefs so I had no problem submitting to the state statutes! (Although the tests were pretty ridiculous, but that is another story.) 

Many Christian kids have done really well in this state run program, and it has been a testimony to the administrators of the program!  


I wish believers would get MORE involved with things run by non-believers and even work alongside them! We need to not cloister but get out and be a light to the world! 


APPLICATION 


Do you rebel against authority?

Why should you submit to governing authorities?
Can you make a commitment to submit to authorities?
Who are you going to tell about this commitment?

Can you get involved with the community? Sometimes there are regulations involved with federal, state, or locally run programs, but they are a great opportunity to work alongside non-believers!


Here is a great book that addresses this subject called 
The Externally Focused Church:


Maybe you can spearhead discussion for your church to get involved with your community! 


PRAYER


Lord, work through us so that we might live to honor You and proclaim You to a watching world. Help us to live lives that demand an explanation. We pray this so that the name of Jesus may be lifted high. Amen. 
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