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 what it means to honor all people, even evil rulers:

(1) Submissive Citizens – 1 Peter 2:13-17
Honor All People (vs. 17)

Finally then, Peter completes his thoughts on living as submissive citizens in verse 17, where he writes, “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”

Just in case we’ve left anyone out – honor all people. Honor means to hold in high esteem. It speaks not only of outward actions and treatment, but of an inner respect. It is often too easy to honor in appearance all the while disrespecting in our hearts, isn’t it?

Philippians 2:3 reminds us, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

Here is the truth, we esteem all others as better because if God can save a sinner like you and like me, He can save anyone! No one is beyond the reach of God to save. And he says honor all people. All. Everyone. There is no one on this earth below our ability to respect.

Can we honor sinners? When we see that all men are created in the image of God, and all men are born sinners, and all men need the good news of the gospel, and all men need to repent of their sin and trust Christ, we cannot dishonor them. Yet so much of what we see in our nation today is the church either honoring sin, or dishonoring sinners. When people are dishonored, many reply that they do so because these sinners are dishonoring themselves with their sin. Look – we do not honor them because they are honorable in what they do. We honor them because we must confess that anyone who is created in the image of God is inherently honorable. Do we really believe that all men are created in the image of God?

In the beginning, in Genesis 1, God Himself said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness… So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

He created us in His image. He created us male and female, in His image. And while many try to twist and distort and reject the image of God in them, it is still there. Men and women cannot undo what God has done.

We honor all people because all people reflect the glory of God and will serve to praise Him in salvation or in judgment.

Monday we will be back again to look at loving the brotherhood.