1 Peter 2:13-25
¹³ Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, ¹⁴ or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. ¹⁵ For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. ¹⁶ Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. ¹⁷ Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. ¹⁸ Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. ¹⁹ For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. ²⁰ For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. ²¹ For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. ²² He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. ²³ When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. ²⁴ He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. ²⁵ For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Understanding the text
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ means that He and He alone is Lord. The Father has given Him all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). As Abraham Kuyper famously said, “...there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” This supremacy, which Christ has over all creation, enables Christians to obediently submit to authorities and structures, knowing that all authority is ultimately given by, and therefore consequently under, the sovereign rule of Jesus.
Therefore, Christians can joyfully submit not only to one another, but also authorities and structures, as unto the Lord. This frees Christians up to embrace their role as Christ-mimicking servants. Just as Christ suffered injustice at the hands of the ruling authorities for our wellbeing, so we too can suffer injustice knowing that our suffering is not in vain.
- Romans 13:1
- Ephesians 5:21
- Philippians 2:4-11
...there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” —Abraham Kuyper
Applying the text
- How does the sovereignty of Christ over all things free us from the fear of submitting to authorities?
- In what sense have you benefited from Jesus’ submission to injustice? How might your suffering also bring life to others?
- How does this text challenge you to grow as a disciple? What steps do you need to take to grow in obedience to this text?
Call to Worship
⁴⁶ The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—⁴⁷ the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me, ⁴⁸ who rescued me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from the man of violence. ⁴⁹ For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to your name. ⁵⁰ Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.
Prayer of Confession
O Lord, our holy God, Help us and heal us. We are stubborn blind people who repeatedly and willfully stray from you. In our blindness, even our ability to confess our sin has been distorted. Yet Christ has acknowledged our helpless estate and has shed his own blood for our souls. Your steadfast love surrounds us, because your steadfast love was taken away from him. Father, create in us clean hearts that are truly broken for our remaining struggles with sin, yet are utterly confident that your love is more than enough to reach the foulest sinner who trusts in you. We pray not in our own strength but in the perfect righteousness of Christ, Amen.
Resources for Parents
Did you know that the kids of Coram Deo are following along with our recent study through Genesis? They are! Every Sunday, the children's ministry team creates lessons that cover the scripture and concepts from a recent sermon. The teachers ask simple questions to help the kids learn to understand and apply what God says in the Bible.
We want to equip parents to talk to their kids about what they're learning. The following is the content that the children's classes taught this week. We encourage parents to use this resource at home to help you and your kids grow as you learn from God's word together.
Children's Lesson from Sunday, October 6
The Main Point:
God's love and promises are unchanging.
Q: Why was Abram struggling?
A: Things weren't happening as he expected/he didn't have a baby or home yet.
Q: What does God always keep?
A: His promises.
Q: How many children did God promise Abram?
A: As many as the stars.
Q: How can we know that God loves us?
A: Look to Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.
Q: What promise does God make to you and me?
A: To forgive our sins if we love and believe in Jesus.
New City Catechism Question #30
Q: What is faith in Jesus Christ?
A: Receiving and resting on him alone for salvation as he is offered to us in the gospel.