1 Peter 2:11-17

11 1Beloved, 2I urge you as 3aliens and strangers to abstain from 4fleshly lusts which wage 5war against the soul.
12 6Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they 7slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, 8glorify God 9in the day of visitation.

Honor Authority

13 10Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
14 or to governors as sent by him 11for the punishment of evildoers and the 12praise of those who do right.
15 For 13such is the will of God that by doing right you may 14silence the ignorance of foolish men.
16 Act as 15free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as 16bondslaves of God.
17 17Honor all people, 18love the brotherhood, 19fear God, 20honor the king.

1 Peter 2:11-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 PETER 2

This chapter consists of exhortations, in general, to a holy life; and, in particular, to obedience to superiors. It begins with an exhortation to lay aside various vices, which were unbecoming regenerate persons, 1Pe 2:1 and, agreeably to their character, as new born babes, to express a desire after the Gospel, which is commended from its nature, being comparable to milk; and from its quality, being reasonable, sincere, and unmixed; and from the end and usefulness of it, a spiritual growth; and the argument engaging to such a desire is the experience they had of the grace of Christ in it, 1Pe 2:2,3 whose excellency is declared, under the metaphor of a stone, said to be living, to be chosen of God, and precious to him, though rejected by men; to whom the saints are encouraged to come, as lively stones built up, a spiritual house, for the exercise of the holy office of the priesthood, by offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ, 1Pe 2:4,5 and that Christ is such a precious stone, is proved from Isa 28:16 and not only to God, but to all them that believe; though to them that believe not, he is the stone of rejection, stumbling, and offence; to stumble at which, and the doctrine of it, through disobedience, they were of old appointed by God, 1Pe 2:6-8 but the character of the persons the apostle writes to was very different, quite the reverse, being chosen and called, and manifestly the people of God, and sharing in his grace and mercy, 1Pe 2:9,10 and these he exhorts, suitable to their state and condition, to abstain from sin, as an enemy to their souls, and to live an honest life and conversation among the Gentiles, that they, instead of speaking evil of them, might, by beholding their good works, glorify God, 1Pe 2:11,12. And particularly he exhorts them to obedience to civil magistrates, both superior and inferior; partly from the author of them, they being of the Lord; and partly from the usefulness of them to punish wicked men, and to encourage good men; and also from its being the will of God, by such obedience, to silence the cavils of foolish men, 1Pe 2:13-15. And whereas it might be objected, that they were made free by Christ, and therefore should not be the servants of men; it is granted, that they were free; but then it is denied, that they should use their liberty for a cloak of maliciousness: and besides, it should be observed, that they were the servants of God, and therefore ought to do what he enjoined them; and, among other things, yield obedience to civil magistrates, 1Pe 2:16. And to this purpose are various exhortations in 1Pe 2:17, and another particular one is added, which is to servants, to be subject to their masters, and fear them, whether they be good or bad, 1Pe 2:18 and then he comforts such that had bad masters, and encourages them to bear the injuries they received from them patiently; because so to do was grateful to God, and acceptable in his sight; and because they were called unto it by him; and because of the example Christ had left them in suffering for them, 1Pe 2:19-21. And this is further urged from the character of Christ, who was without sin, and yet suffered, and from his conduct, who, when reviled, made no return, but left his cause with God, 1Pe 2:22,23 which leads on the apostle take notice of the nature of Christ's sufferings in his body on the cross, and the ends of them, which were expiation of sin, healing diseases, and holiness of life, as a consequent thereof, 1Pe 2:24 previous to which conversion, which is illustrated by the former state and condition men are in, being as sheep going astray; and by their present one, being returned to Christ, the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, 1Pe 2:25.

1 Peter 2:11-17 In-Context

9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.
19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.

Cross References 20

  • 1. Hebrews 6:9; 1 Peter 4:12
  • 2. Romans 12:1
  • 3. Leviticus 25:23; Psalms 39:12; Ephesians 2:19; Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 1:17
  • 4. Romans 13:14; Galatians 5:16, 24
  • 5. James 4:1
  • 6. 2 Corinthians 8:21; Philippians 2:15; Titus 2:8; 1 Peter 2:15; 1 Peter 3:16
  • 7. Acts 28:22
  • 8. Matthew 5:16; Matthew 9:8; John 13:31; 1 Peter 4:11, 16
  • 9. Isaiah 10:3; Luke 19:44
  • 10. Romans 13:1
  • 11. Romans 13:4
  • 12. Romans 13:3
  • 13. 1 Peter 3:17
  • 14. 1 Peter 2:12
  • 15. John 8:32; James 1:25
  • 16. Romans 6:22; 1 Corinthians 7:22
  • 17. Romans 12:10; Romans 13:7
  • 18. 1 Peter 1:22
  • 19. Proverbs 24:21
  • 20. Matthew 22:21; 1 Peter 2:13

Footnotes 6

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