Live Freely

1 Peter 2:13-17

13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Buy One, Take One

How do you love it when you see a promotion that says, “Buy One, Take One” for free? Free items added when you buy their product had been very attractive, right? If they’re promoting “Buy One, Take One” vehicle, house, computer or cellphone, it looks great for buyers; but, if a product promoted for “Buy One, Take One” is coffin or casket for the dead, will you consider buying your own casket with one free coffin included?

Seriously, traders and merchants don’t hesitate to offer “freebies,” just to the catch attention of possible buyers who are not ready yet to spend their money. Some buyers assume that free items had been estimated and added to the actual value of products to be sold. Anyway, costumers are very much attracted to “freebies” items.

Spiritually, did you know that you can freely enter heaven? Well, not everyone is attracted. Others would rather work hard for the wages of sin, which is death. Really?

When we place our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we expect him to take us into his heaven. When we tell our friends that faith in Christ includes citizenship in heaven, we should also tell potential believers to ask God for the free gift of faith.

Do you strongly believe what it declares in Ephesians 2:8-10? 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Even before anyone becomes Christian, God prepared in advance the good works that we should do. Why? Good works originated from humans fall short and inferior to the glorious standard of the goodness of God. God is perfect. We are imperfect. Can we make perfect things in the eyes of perfect God? How can we accomplish, attain, achieve the excellent benchmark of the Holy God? Only by God’s grace, through faith in Christ!

We pray, “Lord give me faith to trust Christ; give your Holy Spirit and empower me to choose and do good works acceptable to you!” When by faith we accomplish the good work that God had prepared, it practically proves faith in him is active, not idle.

One good work that God prepared for us is submission to every human authority.

1.  Submit

13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 

How do we know that faith is active and not idle? Test your faith. God commands us, “Submit to human authorities.” If you sense joyful peace, your faith is active.

For the sake of our faith in Christ, we should not be selective of human authority that we wish to submit ourselves to. We submit to every human authority. How do you interpret what it declares in John1:12-13, 12Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Do you consider yourself as child of God? If you say yes, it is proper to imitate the kind of submission that Christ has set for children of God to follow. He is the Son of God; he exemplified that submission to human authorities has eternal benefits.

Christ’s crucifixion was prophesied in Isaiah 53: 4-7, 4Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Truly, in his submission to authorities who accused him, Christ was crucified and tortured to death. Actually, Pilate the governor found no basis to charge him to death. His death cannot stop Jesus Christ from submission to wicked human authorities.

What situation is harsher or more unpleasant than death that we may think of as reason to resist and not submit to human authorities? Disagreement of ideologies or governance may cause resistance. Resistance is opposed to submission; resistance is sin and violation of godly command to submit to authorities. For the sake of our faith in Christ that we obey him; and, we submit ourselves to every human authority. Agree?

Do you accept that parents are human authorities? Children don’t easily submit to parents,why? It requires faith in Christ for them to gladly submit. Submission to all authorities, even to parents, is a godly command that requires godly inspiration. Agree?

So, when children resist and rebel against their parents, it’s their natural human instinct that prevailed in them. Human instinct is to resist godly commands. The Holy Spirit inspires submission to parents gladly, not grudgingly. So, faith in Christ is required.

Parents: Pray and help your children trust Christ as their personal Lord and Savior so that your children may submit to you with gladness and not grudgingly reluctant.

Most often, submission to authorities is not very pleasant. What should we do?

Naturally, we choose to do what we want to do; we don’t want to be dictated.

To submit to every human authority is supernatural. Only by God’s grace that we gladly submit to every human authority: in school, workplaces, government, or at home.

Why does God want us to submit to all authorities? To silence foolish opinions!

2.  Silence

15For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 

Take note of this: Godly commands are guides on how children of God behave.

Rejection of God is also rejection to eternal benefit of obeying godly commands. Submission to authorities is undesirable to those who rejected God. His commands are undesirable to them. When inspired by the Holy Spirit, we submit to authorities which is good deeds and God’s will. Why? God wants to silence ignorant views or assumptions.

One biblical passage most quoted by Christians, if it is not even most cherished is John 3:16. But the following verses, from 17-21 should be regarded more seriously.

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Can you accept that people who don’t believe Christ don’t have light in their life? Jesus Christ is the light of believers, so that, we see favorable benefits of obeying godly commands. By faith, we follow the truth. The Holy Spirit of God is the truth; he inspires us to obey his instructions. His words are true. By faith in Christ, we received his Holy Spirit, so that we freely obey him gladly. Instinctively, we resist godly commands.

Our behavior, attitude and lifestyle, we should be consciously aware that others are observing us, especially when they know that we are Christians. They expect us to be like Christ. Submission to authorities can be instrumental for potential believers to be more curious about Christ-like behavior. God has wonderful ways, we don’t know yet.

Moreover, the reward of Christ after he submitted to human authorities even unto his death should inspire us to submit to every human authority.  Revelation 5:12 states, 12In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

Can you imagine a wonderful life you may have when you consciously obey God? When we obey God, we trust that he provides for our needs as shepherd cares for his sheep. King David described the wonderful life of having God as shepherd in Psalm 23. 1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Be sensitive and reflect on it, now. Do you consider the Lord as your shepherd? Have you received godly provisions, even for needs of relaxation? Has the Lord provided for your practical daily needs? Do you sense awesome rest in your innermost being, yet?

God’s instructions are guidelines for us to follow the path of righteous lifestyle. For the sake of our faith in Christ our Good Shepherd, we submit to all authorities. Truly, difficulties in this world cause us to think otherwise. But by faith in Christ, he empowers us not to be scared of problems in this world. And in cases when we are stressed or distressed, we find comfortable restful peace by reading and following God’s words.

It declares somewhere that in all things, pleasant or unpleasant circumstances, God utilizes them for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his godly purposes. Can you believe that without any hint of doubt at all?

The purpose of God is good for us to submit to all authorities. Can you agree?

So, what should we do to submit to every human authority so that foolish views might be silenced? We must show proper respect to everyone, great or small.

3.  Show

17Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

You heard it said, “Respect is earned!” Someone said, “Sir, I respect authority; but, I choose to do my wish.” That is the general idea of humanity. What is respect?

The godly command to show proper respect to everyone, powerful or not, believer or not is best practiced in action of courteous regard, submission or yielding to others. We can respect everyone as practical proof that the Holy Spirit has inspired us.

If there is argument in your family, and the youngest say, “Stop the argument!” Even if you have the right to speak, you stopped. That is respect, submission, courteous regard.

Should we really do that? Can we respect everyone and not just those who have earned our respect? Naturally, human mindset resists such respectful submission to anyone who had not earned their respect. Additionally, many groups are determined to broadcast their disrespect to others very loudly, especially toward authorities.

If they cannot easily respect in submission to authorities, how could they respect properly the ordinary person? Sadly, they would rather fight for their right to be heard.

It seems like it is very noble pursuit to fight for human right, but never did you find in the Scripture that the Lord had instructed us to pursue such worldview.

But how can we achieve our dreams if do not fight for what is right for us?

Job Opening

What comes to your mind when you see advertisements for job openings? Apply!

Someone pondered of possibilities about advertisements for job openings. “Maybe, they have new job openings so that they need more employees.” Another one is not easily amused and has different view of job openings. “There could possibly be quick turnover of workers in that establishment; that’s why they need new employees!”

Strikes and rallies related to work situations prompted business owner to come up with solutions, adjustments and business strategies that may prevent labor strikes and rallies. When membership with Labor Union is required for employees, what should we do? What do you do, if decrees, ordinances affect your belief and practices?


It happened during the reign of Darius king of Persia. Administrators and satraps advised King Darius to issue a decree that targeted the prayerfulness of Prophet Daniel.

Daniel was caught on his knees praying, and he was thrown into the lions’ den; but an angel of God saved Daniel. His accusers including their families were punished.

After that, King Darius proclaimed in Daniel 6:26-28, 26I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. 27He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

What struggle is justifiable reason to fight for your right more than possible death from hungry lions? Like Daniel, we trust that God can utilize for our betterment even our most difficult situations or circumstances. It declared in Romans 6:20-23 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As heaven bound citizens, we live freely and choose to follow the Lord. Amen!

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