I think everyone loves a good fireworks display – the rockets red blare, the bombs bursting in air! These words to our national anthem have nothing to do with 4th of July celebrations. They have everything to do with how our nation was founded. It is fitting to give thanks to our God for our freedoms that we ought not take for granted.
There are as many opinions on our freedoms as there are fireworks on the 4th. 1 Peter 2 considers God’s thoughts on the matter of our government. God doesn’t command us to consider the rules or the ruler when it comes to our obedience. We obey our rulers because God placed them over us. That means if we are in the 4th grade and our teacher is not the sweetest person, it doesn’t matter. We give him the respect and honor he are due.
We do this for a couple reasons. First because we want to avoid the punishment of those in authority over us. Fear isn’t a bad reason to do something. It takes into account self preservation. When I drove home from vacation this week, if I saw a state trooper sitting on the side of the road, my first instinct wasn’t to check my speed – it was hit the brake. Why even take the chance! Hit the brakes and slow down. Peter gives us another reason to obey – for the Lord’s sake.
What exactly does that mean? It doesn’t mean that we live in fear of the Lord just as we live in fear of a speeding ticket. While it is true that God does have very real threats in his Law, that’s not the life of a Christian. We obey out of love. It is the love and thankfulness that we get to enjoy for all that our God has done for us. This love is why we obey – for the Lord’s sake.
What about special cases? How does out God want us to act when it seems as though the government is doing something that is wrong – such as sanctioning and defending slavery or abortion? Watch and find out.Topic(s): Sanctification
Book(s): 1 Peter
Speaker(s): Fred Guldberg