Staying Right With Government
Book of 1 Peter Chapter 2: 11-25
Peter has taken a lot of time to teach us that by loving the Lord Jesus Christ, we become the people of God. Now this is not how we become Jews, it is how we become the Bride of Christ!
Now Peter changes gears and he will beg us, that since we are the Bride of Christ then there are some things that we must do.
Peter will express to us the urgency to do certain things!
Peter will express that because we are now the strangers in this world, because we are just pilgrims passing through this world, it is not our home, we are to abstain from anything this world desires to offer us, for we have better promises of better things at our home in the New Heaven.
Study along with us.
*1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
1Pe 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
As strangers we are those in a strange house.
As pilgrims we are those in a strange country.
We are to abstain from the desires of anything in “this” house and this “country” which are things of this world that will never be allowed in Heaven.
What are those things? We live in a world that is dominated by lust!
All that is in our government is lusts for power and those who do so, will attempt to have and to control power by any means possible. Legally and illegally, right and wrong, no matter who is harmed, without any regard for the people.
All that is in our nation is the lusts of sexual pleasures without regard for the outcome.
Abortion is out of control and now considered a right, with a right to murder the unborn child.
There is the lust of lesbianism and sodomy, that has led to the destruction of many nations in the past and will lead to the destruction of this world.
There is still of course that lust for silver and gold, for what it buys and the control it gives.
In fact God still says: It is the love of money that is behind all the evil that is in our world today.
1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
In fact God still says: It is lusts that is in control of our world today as it has always been!
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
We should not miss the fact that we are the “Dearly Beloved” of God!
You see God does not tell us these things, (We should use the word “Command”) just to keep us from the things of this world but because He loves us, and all these things will bring nothing but sin and destruction!
How does the world value the man?
By how much of the world he possesses.
By how much money he has.
By how much power he has.
By how much pleasure he is able to enjoy.
By how famous he becomes.
By how many people he is able to conquer in face to face meetings.
Our flesh will war against our soul!
But the message of God is clear, these are not to be the ways of the men of God!
The model for our way of life must be and must remain the Lord Jesus Christ!
Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
In the end which way is the most important?
Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
As the “Born Again” children of God, we must always have in mind, our home is in Heaven!
Heaven is where our riches are!
Heaven is where our possessions are!
Heaven is where our Lord is, and He wants us to be with Him!
We are not wanted upon this world in fact we are hated upon this earth!
We will be pilgrims upon earth until the day the Lord takes us home to our true home, in the New Heaven.
Most of the world is searching for aliens and the aliens are the children of God. They will never find any other aliens in God’s creation!
We do live in this world until the Lord is ready and while we are, we need to obey the laws of man as long as those laws do not go against the Word of God.
We must always stand on the Word of God!
Eph_6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
We must still obey the laws of the land, even when we travel, we need to obey the laws of that land.
*1Pe 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
1Pe 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
We have just read where the government had ordered persecution of the Christians, especially the Roman government.
The leaders of the Jewish religious system were persecuting the Jews that had turned to Jesus Christ.
All the false religions were persecuting the Christians.
Most all societies of that day were persecuting the Christians.
Only the poor who were no better off tolerated the Christians.
The one thing about government we should consider is that even the worst government is probably better than anarchy or no government at all!
We must remain true to the Lord no matter what man says!
We must obey the civil rights that are allowed and by legal means try to live with all men!
Lawlessness would run wild.
Not many would be safe to walk the streets.
Christians had to live behind closed doors then as they do now in some locations.
Abuse, attacks, murder, and war would be a constant threat.
Do any of these things sound familiar, because this is the world we live in today and even though we have a government.
In fact corrupt governments create a corrupt people, because most all our resources are used up by politicians who do nothing but use all their time in a battle for power.
Wake up America!
God is saying if we the “Body of Christ” would be obedient to the Word of God, which by the way, will do what God sends it to do, then we would not get caught up in this corruption, we would live in harmony with God, God would fulfill all His promises, and the lost would see a people who are at peace with God and our light would shine throughout this world!!!!!
Chaos is not God’s will for this world, and the history of the Bible teaches us, God would use some nation, or some people, to cause chaos to cease. It would not mean a better government but there would be government.
God’s will upon this earth is for all people to live with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
How did Paul describe his days?
Act 16:37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.
Paul was a Roman and he was treated in this manner, but He did never quit the work, God called him to do!
It is God who places the rulers of governments in place!
Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Rom 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
It is an abomination to God for rulers to misuse the people they are over!
Pro 16:12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.
God expects every ruler to have mercy on his people!
Isa 16:5 And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.
Many rulers like our presidents may live out a life always protected, but God will not have forgotten the works that they have done!
This goes for every member of the ruling government, congressmen and senators, and all other forms of government!
Why are all these things true? Because it is the will of God!
*1Pe 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
Who are those who are foolish and ignorant? All those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ!
You see it is our good behavior as we are like Christ in His ways, that we can silence the critics of Christ.
We must remember, those who will never come to Christ will never cease their wicked ways and their harassment of the Christians but there are many who stand in the middle who do not know which way to go and the ways we are like Christ Jesus can be our best witnessing tool to get us close enough to tell them about the love of God by His Son.
Sure we must render to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar, but we are to render to God the things that are God’s which is ourselves, for He is our Creator and our life belongs to Him!!!!!
Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Act 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Act 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Act 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Act 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
The truth is, there are times we can serve the government better by refusing to obey the government and insist on the things God has proven to be true. In fact it is God who ordained the government and the government will answer to Him!
Remember the 10 commandments are our guideline to teach us to be obedient to the government, but the first commandment is first for these reasons!
Jesus simplified these things for us:
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
We are never to turn our backs toward the Lord!
We are free because the Lord has made us free!
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
*1Pe 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
1Pe 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
We are to be the servants of God and as so we can live as free citizens not attached to any government but placed by the Lord in the places we live and work for one reason and that is to promote the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ in the way we serve the Lord and in the way we live!
When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts and souls, we become servants of God and not servant to our own thoughts nor our own ideas.
To break the laws that govern where we live is to break the laws of God, but we are also not to break any of the laws of God, because God is our higher authority.
We sometimes make these things hard, when these things are not very hard to comply with.
We are to honor all men and women as our created brothers and sister realizing that they are not yet our “born again” brothers and sisters in Christ and sadly some will never be, but let not this one thing be because we have not been obedient to God. God will hold this against us!
Loving the brotherhood means we are to love all our brothers and sister in Christ no matter who they are!
Regardless of color, nationality, or beliefs if they have given themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our diversity that makes the church to be strong!
It is not enough just to honor the brotherhood, we are to love them with the love of God!!!
We are to support one another.
We are to help one another.
We are to protect one another.
We are to share with one another.
We are to fellowship and commune with one another.
We are certainly to pray and worship with one another.
Love means we do not criticize, back bite, grumble, murmur or do anything that would be divisive.
The Lord is the foundation of only one church.
It is all these things and more that have divided the church!
Rom 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation(hypocrisy). Abhor(hate) that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Rom 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Rom 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
We are never to fail in our duty to love God knowing He is the Higher Power!
In America, we are to honor our President and the government that he leads.
In this time of Peter, Nero the most-evil ruler of Rome was in place, and Peter still wrote these things by the Holy Spirit!
In some nations there are still slaves and servants and these words still hold true!
*1Pe 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
1Pe 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
During this age of the Apostle Peter, millions of slaves and servants were everywhere throughout the empire of Rome and even lands that were not conquered by Rome.
We must realize that the New Testament does not directly attack slavery, because again we are placed in our location as it suits God.
It is the Church that destroys slavery, when both parties have become the children of God!
It is Christian principles that will destroy all evil, including slavery.
Slaves and servants are treated as any other workman or workingwoman.
We are all to subject ourselves to our masters, our employers in the fear of God.
In this case “the fear of God” means “in reverence, to all the Word of God” but submissive to them just as we are to be submissive to our Lord yet knowing, Our Lord is still the higher authority!
These things are necessary to earn a livelihood to provide for ourselves and our families.
What does God say? 2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
We must understand that the energy and effort we put into our jobs pleases the Lord.
The mark of the of the Christian workman is his fear of the Lord!
These are some of the things we are judged of and are written down in the Lord’s Book of Remembrances!
Mal_3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
No matter if our slave master or work master is good or evil, it is not to change our attitude about why we are working or the work itself!
Why is this necessary?
*1Pe 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
We should clearly understand that no one will be accepted to God for doing wrong but only for doing good.
The pure fact is, that before we met the Lord, we had no goodness to display, and even now we can only display His goodness!
Isa_64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
The Lord Jesus Christ was sent into this world to die by the Father Himself.
By this world standards, to murder Jesus was to murder the perfect man.
Jesus had not committed one sin in the eyes of His heavenly Father.
Jesus had not broken even one law of man in His 33 and 1/2 years upon this earth.
The world had murdered the only perfect man without a cause!
When we accept the perfectness of the Lord Jesus Christ into our heart, then and only then will we be righteous in the eyes of God!
As sin came by Adam so righteousness came by Jesus the Messiah!
Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Our eternal life exists, because we have a perfect Savior in all things of this world and the perfectness of Heaven!
If we suffer, even as Christians because we have done wrong God is not impressed even in our patience, but if we suffer having done no wrong and we have the patience of our Savior for this we are acceptable to our Father in Heaven because He can see the works of His Son in us and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
It is by these things that we are the children of a Holy God!
God is seeking genuine Christians to be with Him throughout eternity! This is the government of God!
We are called because we accept that Christ Jesus suffered for us!
We are called because we are willing to follow His example!
Luk_9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
This is the government of God!
We all want to live glorious lives for Christ then this is the life God has called us to do.
We should also understand that God will never cause us to suffer as His Son suffered.
This is a hard saying, when so many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted to their death, but they just make a quick trip to Heaven.
The Apostle Paul said he suffered more than all the other Apostles, but they all were murdered except the Apostle John who God would not allow the governments of this world murder Him.
So we see God is on our side in all persecution and He just ask that we patiently wait on Him just as Jesus did!
This is the government of God!
God in the flesh (Jesus the Messiah) did no sin neither was guile found in His mouth!
Guile is deceit. Jesus Christ was not in this world to deceive us, but to show us the glory of God and the government of God’s Kingdom!
God (in the flesh, Jesus) gave everything He could give us, including His life so our souls could return to Him, if we would only trust Him.
This is the way God conducted His business. He bought and paid for us and He has given all His possessions, the inheritance of His dear Son, just so we can live and live eternally.
This is the government of God!
When it gets down to it, God in the flesh, Jesus the Christ, died for me and I was certainly not worthy and if you love Him, then He also died for you, you also being unworthy of God’s great love!
How does God see us?
*1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
In reality sheep are one of the most useful animals God has given to us. Not only for food, but for its wool which has been an article of clothing for its warmth since the time of Adam.
Sheep are normally timid animals, but the one thing sheep need to be this great benefit, is a Shepherd!
It is God our Creator who is the Owner of our Souls and the Lord Jesus Christ the Bishop of our souls!
Psa 23:1 (The Psalm of the redeemed) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
We must stay right with the governments of this world, the place where God has placed us.
More important we must stay right with the government of God, who loves us with a greater love than can be found upon this earth!
Let’s Pray about these things!