1 Peter 2:13-25 – Scatterlings show their love for God by submitting to authority. A sermon by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
If you’ve ever watched cage-fighting in what is called mixed martial arts, you’ll have seen how the fighters try to beat up their opponents. This often happens by knockout. Very seldom the fight is determined by points. But very often the aim is to get the other person to “cry uncle” by stretching arms or legs to breaking point. The idea is to get to other person to give up, to submit. When a war is fought, the idea is to get the opposing party to say enough – in other words to submit. This plays out on the playgrounds of our schools too. It happens in debates where some use their word-skills to try and dominate the other person. And because of our culture – eastern or western culture – submitting to someone else has become a bit of a four-letter word. You see, submission is seen as a weakness – it means you’ve given up, it means the other person is better than you are, it means you’re worth less. Submission isn’t a great quality, it seems – rather, being able to make someone submit shows how strong you are – whether that is physical strength, strength of personality or strength in terms of our brains….. it’s no wonder that for so many people today, submission is a dirty word.
But beloved in our Lord Jesus Christ, when we get to a passage like this, when we get to the beatitudes, when we look at Paul’s letter to the Ephesians or when we look at what the Bible teaches as a whole, this is not what submission means at all! In our passage we’ll see that submission to authority has to do with living as servants of God. It has to do with following the will of God and it has to do with bringing glory to God. We’ll pick up on these things as we go along, but let’s start by looking at what submission to authority means.