For it is the will of God that by doing good you may silence the ignorance of foolish people. Be free, yet without using freedom as a pretext for evil, but as slaves of God. 1 Peter 2:15-16 NABRE
Peter is writing about secular authority to the communities receiving his letter. Paul in his letter to the Romans (see 13:1-7) also exhorts the believers to respect and follow the authority of kings and governors. Paul believes God is the one who has all authority and places secular rulers in their positions to do good for the people. Peter is also concerned that early Christian practices were looked at as seditious by local authorities, in large part because Christians refuse to believe in pagan gods, which were more generally accepted by the majority of society. The early Christian communities were accused of deviant religious practices, corrupt morals and were subject to slander. Peter hopes that by doing good and showing proper respect for authorities Christians will prove the accusations false and they silence the ungrounded accusations of “foolish people” while at the same time they become a voice for the gospels. Peter then declares we have come under the reign of Christ and so we are truly free. We are not free to do evil or immoral things but we are free to give our entire being to God, in other words we are free to be completely obedient to God, as slaves of God. Even those who are slaves to human masters should not see themselves as truly enslaved to any power of this world, they too are free to become slaves to God.
Disrespect for the norms of society and the rules of governing leaders, no matter how important our message about Jesus and freedom may be, will not be heard if our disruption is reckless to those who follow the law.
Can proclamations be accepted in lawlessness? Do we speak for Jesus in our freedom?Disrespect for the norms of society and the rules of governing leaders, no matter how important our message about Jesus and freedom may be, will not be heard if our disruption is reckless to those who follow the law. Click To Tweet
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