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Intro: Following along with the series of messages I am preaching through 1 Peter, as Peter writes to the dispersed and persecuted church in exile throughout Asia Minor, he encourages them by writing, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:11-12). In chapter 2 verse 13 through chapter 3 verse 8 he gives us three specific ways that we are able to have “honorable conduct”, even while living in an environment that is hostile to God and the gospel. Those three ways all involve submission to authority in different realms of our daily interactions. We are to be (1) submissive citizens, (2) submissive servants, and (3) submissive spouses.

As we look at these three focal points for submission, I’ve titled this devotional series “Our Mission is Submission – 1 Peter 2:13-3:8.”

Today we will look at how to simply do good:

(1) Submissive Citizens – 1 Peter 2:13-17
Do Good (vs. 15)

Peter goes on in verse 15 and 16 and writes, “15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—  16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.”

He has told us to back in verses 11 and 12 to live as what we are, as aliens in exile living honorably by abstaining from worldly lusts that war against the soul, and now he tells us to submit to all authority. Secondly he tells us about how to be a submissive citizen of heaven is simply to do good. Do Good – the word good means that which brings health. Do things that are spiritually, physically, and emotionally healthy. Things that promote life.

How do we know what is good and how do we define health? We must start with the Word of God. We must hone the skill of discernment to understand the difference between right and wrong, and between right and almost right. In doing this we are doing God’s will. Did you catch that? Submit to earthly authority is doing good and doing God’s will. And by doing good you put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

Again, there are many who don’t understand. They have no idea why we do what we do, and why we don’t do what we don’t do. They are ignorant. They will falsely accuse us, malign us, slander us, persecute us, and when they do revile us what are we supposed to do? Revile them back with a touch of sarcasm? No! When they revile and curse, we bless and pray for them. We do good when they do bad. We treat them with honor and respect whether they deserve it or not. We esteem them as better than us whether they are or not. We do good.

Now if they accuse us of doing evil and we are, and we retaliate, and we seek vengeance, that is where we get into serious trouble according to 1 Peter 4. And if they say bad things about us, let’s not react and tell them how good we are. The truth is that when they say we have been bad we could probably provide examples of when we’ve really been worse! Right? But here if we do good, we silence them because eventually the things they say just won’t stick.

Tomorrow we will look at the role freedom and liberty play in submission to earthly authorities.

 

 

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