Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:11-17 ESV)
In preparation for this week’s sermon I was studying Jeremiah who gives instruction to the exiles of the land, for them to seek the prosperity of the city in which God has exiled them. Here Peter is doing the same thing though in different words. Subject yourself to “every human institution” and “honor the emperor” are among his instructions. Christians are exiles in the sense that we live in a world that is not our home. At the same time, like the exiles to whom Jeremiah writes, we are to live for the good of our city, getting involved in ways that bless it through its own institutions.
How might you serve your city for its good?
Pray for your city and the communities in which God has placed you, for it to see the gospel through your life and for blessing to come upon it.
McCheyne’s reading plan: 1 Ch 21, 1 Pe 2, Jonah 4, Ps 99-101