Suffering for the Lord’s Sake
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution…” 1Peter 2:13
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the best example of submission to human institutions. As divine, Christ was in total unilateral agreement with the Father’s will, as human he voluntarily gave in, cooperated, assumed the responsibility, and carried the burden of enduring eternal wrath as the spotless Lamb of God. He submitted to God when He submitted to men!
The Apostle Peter gives us five reasons in verses 13-25 to submit to all human institutions; the first and overarching reason to submit is “For the Lord’s sake.” We do not submit to the king, president, or governor for any personal benefit, nor out of fear of them, but for the Lord’s sake. This reason is integrated into all of the remaining reasons to submit to authorities.
Government corruption should not hinder our willingness to submit either, because all institutions of authority will answer to God for wrongdoing, and we must submit to them out of our recognition that God is sovereign over them all. Our society is in the midst of great change, and it is important that we make our primary responsibility obedience to scripture and not our founding fathers ideal for our nation. In other words, we should never allow what we want for our country to supersede what God wants to do in us.
The second reason to submit to human institutions is to glorify God,” verse 15 “that by doing right we may silence the ignorance of foolish men.” Men may not be silenced during our present age but they will be eventually, “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation” 1Peter 2:12. Such Christians silence their critics when they seek to do what is right for the Lord’s sake.
We are told that Christ was rejected of men even to the point of death in the unjust courts of men, but “while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” 1Peter 2:21. In the same way, we are to submit to the institutions of men for the Lord’s sake, follow in His steps, and entrust ourselves to God who is in control.
We should always stand for what is right, however, our eye must be on our eternal home, our mouth must speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ without compromise or confusion, and it must never be said we are rebelling against governmental authority.
The remaining reasons will be discussed in following Blogs.