In our sixth week of the Exiles series we spent our time looking at 1st Peter 2:13-17. Peter teaches the exiles what it means to be Christians in a political system that doesn’t always agree with the gospel, and what it means to be active members of a society that may hate us.
Peter’s desire for the exiles is to maintain unity and assuredness of the gospel in light of political discord around them. Peter teaches us that Christians shouldn’t be surprised when government and politics don’t work out the way we hope they will, and that we can be secure in the gospel when society is unstable around us. He gives the exiles four ways that they can be a gospel centered people within a secular political system.
1.) Do Good
Christians are meant to engage with the world & society in such a way that boggles the minds of those on the outside. In the midst of political unrest and disunity, Christians should be a breath of fresh air in the way we continue to do good in our communities regardless of the political scene.
2.) Live Like Free People
Christians are a people who ought not be enslaved to particular political party or swayed by the ever changing political climate. Our allegiance should always be first to Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven. Politics will never accomplish the goal of bringing heaven to earth, and only a radial commitment to Jesus over politics will bring the freedom that we want for government to provide for us.
3.) Honor Everyone
Don’t make enemies or belittle people’s opinions. The villainization of people is unequivocally non-Christian. At every corner, we should surprise the world by how the gospel unifies us, even when we encounter believers who have different political views.
4.) Fear God and Honor the Emperor
Know that all politics is in God’s hands. God is god, and the State is not. Also, no matter your political candidate, show honor and respect to those who lead and represent you. Don’t make the mistake that thinking the state or the government or politics can do the work that God is doing in the world. Honor those in power, but know that God is always sovereign over politics.