1st PETER (…..continued)

PART 2:         THE SUBMISSION OF THE BELIEVER          

(Submission: compliance; “To yield, resign, or surrender to power, will, or authority” (from Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.). Submission does not imply subjection – weakness; helplessness; hopelessness; inability or incapacity.
(a)    Submission To The Government                      
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake”; as believers and followers of Christ we are called to resign ourselves to all government authority since all governing authorities are established under God’s sovereignty and when we fail to obey such authority, we are not only guilty in the eyes of their rules and regulations we are also disobeying God, since He has established such authority. However, submission to governing authority must never be in violation of God’s commands .  We are also instructed to do so “for the Lord’s sake” “Because he has required it, and has entrusted this power to civil rulers.” (from Barnes’ Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.); it is God’s requirement and therefore our responsibility to submit. “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.” ; here again we are reminded that our acts of good citizenship will counter the false charges of the enemies of the gospel. “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil” ; the freedom that we have in Christ should never be used to excuse rebellion against the rules and regulations of the governing authorities as long as such rules do not conflict with God’s commands to us. “..live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone” ; God’s servant must be respectable to all other citizens .
(b)   Submission In Business                          
“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.” ; here Peter is speaking to the employees of the various businesses for such they were in those days – slaves. Today we have to raise the bar to what we experience as workers, we are no longer slaves in respect to the physical sense of the word; however, mentally and emotionally we can experience the same hardships as we see those who are obviously cheating and lying getting ahead and the honest workers are left behind, and employers do nothing to level the field or reward the ones who are doing all the work. We are called to “suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.” since this is God’s way of causing our life-style to bear witness to the gospel message. This is respect to the example of Christ who “..committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” , and this demonstrates our worship to God as we acknowledge that His justice will one day prove our worthiness in Christ; “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” which is the basis for our worship and service to God as we endure the hardships in being submissive to our employers.
(c)    Submission In Marriage                        
“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives”; – note “in the same way”. Here the command is to the wives, but that does not exclude the husbands, for Paul in his letter to the Ephesians commands the husbands “…love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” ;“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life” <3:7>, which indicates that there is no “subjection”of one to the other, for the husband to love as Christ loved is far more difficult and important, and Christ’s love does not exhibit subjection.
(d)   Submission In All Of Life                      
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” ; evil for evil and insult for insult is the conduct of unbelievers and should not be the pattern for the followers of Christ; we need to adhere to the example that Christ showed to us   we are taught here to “live in harmony with one another” , and those who enjoy life in Christ must guard our tongue and lips, turn from evil, seek peace and pursue it . This type of behaviour is extremely important to all believers “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” and He does not respect evil in any form, so we need to be loving, sympathetic, compassionate, and humble in all aspects of our life.
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