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Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by SueJLove, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 7:17 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “I Do Not Seal My Lips.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Peter 2:13-3:18 (quoting selected verses ESV).

    Submission to Authority

    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… ~ 1 Pet. 2:13-15a​

    We, as Christ’s followers, must submit ourselves to all human authority over us, for the Lord’s sake. This is the will of God for us. Yet, are there biblical exceptions to this rule? I believe there are. From what I understand of the teachings of scripture, and of the examples set down for us both in the Old and in the New Testament, I see that we are to obey human authority unless that authority asks or commands us to disobey God’s authority.

    In other words, we should not commit sin, we should not disobey Christ’s commandments to us, and we should not follow after other gods. We should not deny the name of Jesus or stop worshiping, praying to and/or speaking in the name of Jesus Christ. Other than that, I believe we are to submit. I do believe scripture allows us to respectfully challenge authority, i.e. to make a defense for ourselves, and/or to make an appeal for a change of heart, yet I believe we are not to resist or refuse to obey human authority unless human authority demands we reject God’s authority over us. Then we must obey God rather than man.

    We must also willingly endure unjust suffering, being mindful of God in this. The command to submit to human authority does not say that the authority must be just and fair. They may not be. We may suffer great persecution for our faith under human authority, and we may even be put to death because we did not bow to “the beast”, and because we refused to deny our Lord. Yet, we are to be thankful that we are counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the name of Jesus and for the sake of his gospel. Jesus Christ set the example for us in how we should respond to unjust suffering. He committed no sin, and he didn’t get even (retaliate). Instead, he placed his life into the hands of his Father in heaven.

    Life and Death

    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 Pet. 2:16-17

    He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. ~ 1 Pet. 2:24-25​

    In our humanistic society, and in our modern, culturally relevant church today, we have lost the fear of God. By fear I mean the honor, reverence, respect, awe, and submission (obedience) to God/Jesus. So much of our society and our worldly church are so “ME” focused instead of God focused. Worship services and church activities are more about pleasing human flesh than they are about honoring and reverencing God through our loving and humble surrender to his will for our lives. The gospel of Jesus Christ has even been altered to make it more appealing to human flesh and for it to be more focused around making us feel good about us, even in the midst of our sin, then it is about loving God, worshiping him, and desiring to please him in all that we do and say. This should not be!

    Jesus Christ did die on the cross to set us free from slavery to sin, but we are not to use that freedom to indulge in the sinful nature or as a cover-up for evil. I see so many in today’s church using God’s grace as a free license to continue in willful sin, claiming who we are in Christ even while we are in the act of committing sin, although adding to the list of God’s character traits those not consistent with scripture at all, and so as to alleviate any sense of guilt or personal responsibility for our sin. This kind of teaching is all about “ME” and not about honoring God for the holy God he is. Jesus is NOT pleased with us when we sin. Our sin does impact our fellowship with our Lord (See: 1 Jn. 1:5-7; 1 Co. 10:14-22). We died to sin. How can we live in it any longer? (See: Luke 9:23-25; Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6-8; 2 Co. 5:15; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24-25 & 1 Jn. 1-5).

    Husbands and Wives

    Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

    Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. ~ 1 Pet. 3:1-7​

    For those of us who are married, we are to be in submission to our husbands, as to the Lord. This does not mean we don’t render an opinion, or that we don’t enter into discussion over the direction of our lives or over decisions we must make, for God did make woman to be man’s helper, and the two are to be one flesh. As well, other scriptures teach mutual submission and respect, love and honor, one for the other. Yet, the man is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, and he is to give himself for her to love, nurture, and protect her, and to lead and guide her in the ways of the Lord. And, the wife is to respect (honor, value, and regard) her husband and to care for him and to meet his needs.

    Yet, some Christian wives may be married to non-Christian men (or vice-versa), or they may be married to men who claim faith in Christ but who are not living godly lives, and thus they may not be fulfilling their biblical roles and responsibility to their wives. So, even if our spouses are not obeying the Word of God, we should still walk in obedience to our Lord. Wives should be a witness to their husbands by how they conduct their lives with respect and purity. We should adorn ourselves with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Again, this does not mean we can’t enter into discussion about things related to our lives as husband and wife or that we can’t speak the truth in love when necessary, but what it means is that we should not be harsh and demanding, mean and cutting, and we should not get even or punish, but we should be loving and forgiving at all times no matter what. As well, Christian husbands should fulfill their responsibility before God to their wives so that their prayers may not be hindered.

    A Tender Heart

    Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For

    “Whoever desires to love life
    and see good days,
    let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit;
    let him turn away from evil and do good;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.
    For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
    But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
    ~ 1 Pet. 3:8-12​

    When scripture speaks of “unity of mind,” it is speaking of unity of the mind of Christ (of the Spirit) and not unity with the mind of humans. Many churches today stress unity, but what they mean is unity with human goals and objectives, and thus they will sometimes call out someone as a “disunifier” who holds to the Word of Truth, who teaches the Full Gospel of salvation, and who does not compromise with the world or deny the name of Jesus. So, make certain that you unify yourselves with Christ and his Word first, and then with those of like-mind (of the mind of Christ). Be discerning about this.

    We, as well, should love one another as Christ loved (loves) us, so it is important that we interpret these verses here in light of the life of Christ and the teachings of scripture, and not on the basis of our culture, the world and tradition. Sympathy does not mean being accepting of sin. Brotherly love does not mean we never confront sin. A tender heart also does not mean we lie to people just to make them feel good. True love cares enough about each other to tell each other the truth, but to do so with gentleness and respect.

    If we see someone crossing the road, and a truck is barreling down the road, and we realize that person does not see the truck, we are going to either run out and rescue the person or we are going to warn him or her to get out of the way. It would not be love to just stand there and watch another human being get run over, would it? And, yet we do this when we fail to tell others the truth because we think somehow we are sparing their feelings.

    I Do Not Seal My Lips / An Original Work / January 13, 2014
    Based off Psalms 37, 40

    Do not fear when evil man
    Has success in all their plans,
    For like grass they’ll wither soon.
    They’ll be cut off from the land.

    Trust in the Lord and He’ll give you peace.
    Find your delight in Him through all stress.
    All of your ways commit unto Him.
    All your desires from Him He’ll fulfill.

    Wait for the Lord; keep His way.
    Delight in His Word always.
    He’ll be with you to the end;
    Life eternal found in Him.

    I waited patiently for my Lord.
    He turned to me, and He heard my cry.
    He set my feet on the Solid Rock.
    He gave to me a firm place to stand.

    Blessed are we, who trust the Lord,
    Who do not turn to false gods.
    Our desire’s to do God’s will.
    His word is within our hearts.

    I will proclaim salvation to man.
    You put a new song now in my mouth.
    I’ll not withhold your love and your grace.
    I’ll speak forevermore of your truth.

  2. Adding this thought from Strong's description of 'meek': (mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness)

    'Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and
    therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather
    than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing
    God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will
    deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17, Lk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-asser-
    tiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The
    gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will
    (Gal 5:23).'

    I thought this fit so well with the title of your OP~ 'About Me or God'.
    SueJLove likes this.
  3. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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