Saturday, March 04, 2006

Suffering (11) and Submission

Christians should also respond to suffering in a spirit of submission. An important theme in the epistle is submission to authority, even where it is heathen and harsh. Selwyn says that the trait of Jesus’ character which was most admired by Peter was his meekness. He laid aside his divine glory and followed this humiliation though, even to the Cross, He is the one who suffered and did not threaten, though he had the power to do so.

Christians must follow this example and react to all authority with humility and submission. God will oppose those who are proud and give grace and protection to those who are humble.
We do not submit blindly to authority, but freely for the sake of the gospel.

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors....For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men (1 Pet 2:12-15
Peter admits that the authority of rulers and governors comes from man, but he urges submission to them so that the gospel will not be hindered. The political leaders might be the enemies of God, but we are required to respond to our enemies with love. For Peter love involved submission.

1 comment:

Ted M. Gossard said...

Excellent points here. Too easily missed and abused in our democratic existence. Somehow then, Christians often seem to think they have the right to bash authorities because they elected them. But false, I believe. Am I missing something here?

Of course to speak God's prophetic word or truth into situation, even if it means stepping on toes is certainly right, needing, of course, to be done in the spirit of humility and love.