4 COMMANDS – HOW YOU ARE TO LIVE AS A CHRISTIAN CITIZEN!

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, 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. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor”.-{1 Peter 2:13-17}.
 
This is but one of SEVERAL Passages in Scripture that speak SPECIFICALLY ABOUT LIVING AS A CITIZEN FOR …CHRIST!…
Peter writes and tells the Believers in a Godless society how to live as a Citizen who belongs to Christ. The Passage is about LIVING YOUR LIFE AS A CITIZEN in their Society… He begins with “Submit yourselves….” he says , “to Every Human authority; whether emperor as the supreme authority, or governors….” it is speaking of those who are in LEADERSHIP positions. Why Submit? He says “…For the LORD’S SAKE,” There is YOUR MOTIVATION.... you do it “FOR {gives the explanation} The LORD’S SAKE…

Now He Gives 4 COMMANDS… How to Live out as a servant of the LORD, as a Citizen.

  1.  – “SHOW PROPER RESPECT TO EVERYONE.” -v 17. There were approx 60 million slaves in Peters time. They were treated as “THINGS” not people. They had No rights, they were treated as property to be used. Peter says, not so with the followers of Christ, you don’t live like that or treat people like that you “Show RESPECT {Honor} to Everyone.” None excluded! God has made each person in His image, and is to be respected. He leaves no doubt about it! Why Obey? “For the LORD’S Sake!”
  2.  – “LOVE THE FAMILY OF BELIEVERS.”– v 17. 1 Cor 13:4-7 shows how Love behaves. Love seeks the highest good for another seeking, or expecting nothing in return. It is to prefer others.Paul put it this way,”Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”-{Phil 2:3-5}. John put it this way,”This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”-{1 John 3:16-18} When we LOVE one another it is a TESTIMONY that We TRULY BELONG TO JESUS CHRIST.-““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”-{John 13:34-35}. A testimony to “EVERYONE.” and in 1 Peter 3:16-17 is as simple as MEETING A NEED! Why Obey? “For the LORD’S Sake!”
  3. -“FEAR GOD.” -v 17. Show God the reverential respect He is worthy of, and that includes trusting His Word when times are difficult and choosing to OBEY His Word when things are difficult, as Peter refers to in chapter 1:6-7 speaking of the ” fiery trials” and times of “…distress” they went through. Be respectful to God. It does not mean to cower in a corner in a ball, terrified of Him as though He hates you, is your enemy, out to “get you,” angry with you, that He is going to crush you, beat you. No for He has saved you, loved you, cared for you sent His Son to die to pay all of your Sin and raised Him and Justified you, and adopted you into His family and given you a living Hope and an eternal inheritance reserved in Heaven for you that He Himself guards, protects your soul.{Read 1 Peter 1:3-5}. Be taken up with His grandeur as revealed in His WORD and Creation-{Read Psalm 19:1}, His majesty, Power, Love, Holiness, Mercy, His character, that the Holy Spirit in you produces reverential respect and awe over who He is! You obey Him out of respect, reverential awe over Who He is and what He has done for you! Worship Him! Why Obey? “For the LORD’S Sake!”
  4.  -“HONOR THE EMPEROR.”-v 17. {The word used for emperor is also used for kings}. The LORD is referring to those who are in authority. Show them Respect, it does not mean you agree with them, or that they are honorable people, but the LORD says this is how you are to Behave towards them. It includes praying for their salvation if they know not Him-{1 Tim 2:1-3} and that the Gospel can have opportunity to be shared without hindrance from government. Most people reading this live in a society where they can vote to change people in or out of government. But we need to be those who HONOR those in Authority….in speech, attitude, action, Be different, Be Christ’s Citizen! Why Obey? “For the LORD’S Sake!”
Name calling, Making rude comments are not Christian love.. it is an evidence the HOLY SPIRIT who when in control produces LOVE in a life, is not in control and is grieved… there is an absent of love. It Dishonors God, and Damages your testimony that you belong to Him! – John 14:21-” Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me.” It is a love issue, whether you are Loving Him, by whether you are choosing to KEEP His commandments! -{Read John 13:34-35}
God has given us 4 COMMANDS, not 4 SUGGESTIONS, OR 4 OPTIONS! Commands to be lived out by You as the habit of your living on earth in the society you live in. Here is for How we are to Show ourselves to be those who “SUBMIT… FOR THE LORD’S SAKE…” to those in “AUTHORITY” as His Followers and these 4 COMMANDS show how we are to conduct ourselves in this world…in our respective Society… as CHRISTIAN CITIZEN’S,” – God’s Ambassadors in a Godless world.
Be Who God commands you to be, where God has placed you.
Like Peter says in a difficult, unfair, evil society where they faced and experienced real suffering, difficulties, “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! “-{1 Peter 3:15-17}. In the midst of the “fiery trials” they were going through they were to “Be Ready to give an account of the Hope that was WITHIN you”…Someone seeing their lives, their difference… would ask THEM… TELL ME what is it, that is different about you. And it was an OPPORTUNITY to SHARE THE GOSPEL of our LORD Jesus with them…
AN Evangelistic Opportunity… Have you ever thought of that? How many people will ask you or me to “GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF THE HOPE THAT IS WITHIN YOU,” by viewing our lives and as Christian Citizens… among citizens who have no hope in God who need HIM.
How wonderful…. we have opportunity by obeying these 4 commands to Honor God as His “servants” and by doing right by KNOWING and OBEYING these 4 Commands!
BE GOD’S CITIZEN…ARE YOU EXPRESSING THE 4 MARKS IN THIS PASSAGE OF A CHRISTIAN CITIZEN?

4 MARKS OF A CHRISTIAN CITIZEN….

1. SHOW RESPECT TO EVERYONE
2. LOVE ALL THE BELIEVERS
3. FEAR {REVERENTIAL RESPECT} GOD.
4. HONOR THOSE IN AUTHORITY
Why “Submit” To Live this way?…”FOR The LORD’S SAKE…!”
MEMORIZE, MEDITATE APPLY AND SHARE WITH OTHER BELIEVERS
These are 4 PRINCIPLES to Be Taken in, MEDITATED upon and APPLIED…. and remember the MOTIVATION in doing so, “FOR THE LORD’S SAKE” and in verse 15 we are told this is “GOD’S WILL!” and as we obey we express Love to Him and testify we belong to Him, not because we say so because we SHOW through by choosing to Obey His commandments as an expression of Love to Him!
Be God’s Light against the darkness in your society by modeling these 4 Commands… and may it open opportunities to share the hope within you.
Be Different Because you are Different out of DEVOTION to the LORD…LIVE AS A CHRISTIAN CITIZEN… and in doing so your light will shine and by It people will see your good works and your Heavenly Father will be Glorified!