“You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1Peter 2:5)
All true believers are able to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God because of their union with Christ, who Himself was raised from the dead, the eternal life. The believer in Christ is given a wonderful position as stated by Peter, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the Excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (2:9). Think of it, we are a Chosen Race, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, and a people for God to Possess, this is the greatest of all honors, let alone for fallen sinners. How then should we live in this world?
We could look at our position and get prideful, and think that we do not have to pay much respect to the dignitaries of this world, or those in authority because we are not of this world, and we are part of the coming Kingdom where true righteousness will reign. However, God has a completely different plan in mind, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.” (1Peter 2:13-14) Why should we submit ourselves to a sinful world when we have been called to a righteous kingdom? We must keep in mind that we have received a calling, “so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you…” (2:9)
In this life, the Christian is to make a statement that we no longer live for ourselves but for Him who created and saved us, and there is no better way to make that statement than to submit ourselves to this world out of obedience to God. It is for His pleasure and glory that we live and serve here and now, no matter what our position in the kingdom to come might be. For this reason, Christ Himself submitted Himself to the rulers of His day by paying taxes. "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours." Matthew 17:27
Just before Jesus told Peter to go find a fish with a coin in its mouth, He taught him that sons are exempt from taxes, “And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?" When Peter said, "From strangers," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are exempt.” (Matthew 17:25-26) We are Sons of God and heirs to His coming kingdom, however, in this present age we testify best to our new position by giving up our rights, submitting to authority, and taking the lowly place as our Lord did.
When we submit to the authority of this world, we show how much we love Christ, as we entrust ourselves to our Lord no matter what happens!