3 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, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
How do you get your spouse to do what you think they should do? The Bible doesn’t give advice as to how you can make someone else do something. God’s Word is only concerned with telling YOU how you should live in light of the Gospel. The best way to show the Gospel to someone is to love them, not to attack, berate, or pester them. We treat people well, no so that they will become Christians (though that’s the best way for them to do so), we treat people with respect because Jesus did the same for us, and that won’t change.
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
It’s tempting for a Believer to say they won’t follow their government because they feel it is “unjust” or take the attitude of “well I didn’t vote for that!” Yet, Peter (as well as Paul in Romans 13 for that matter) says Christians who found themselves in the brutal dictatorship of the Roman Empire of the First Century should obey the government’s direction. The goal of the Christian is not to seek “freedom” for themselves, but to make the Gospel compelling to others. To show that no matter what happens to us, we will serve others. Honestly, it’s hard to do that in a “free country.” We are very blessed to (in most ways that count) live in the freest country in the history of the world, but that also makes our job hard. It’s not our primary responsibility to fight for “our rights” but to shine forth the Gospel. To hear some people talk, as long as we get people food, shelter, education, and healthcare we’re doing “God’s work.” The reality is, those fights might be taking up so much of our time, we don’t do what God has actually called us to do, the Great Commission. Just some things to consider…
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
We are saved by grace, I hope there’s no doubt about that in anyone’s mind, but that doesn’t mean we’re free to live however we want. “God forbid!” is how the Apostle Paul would respond to that kind of thinking (in King James at least 🙂 ). There’s nothing we do to earn our salvation, it all comes from God, yet we are called to live holy lives. It makes a difference how you live. If you’re saved, then the Spirit is within you, and He WILL make a difference. If there is no FRUIT (of the Spirit) then perhaps there’s no ROOT (the Spirit). Be holy, live correctly, don’t blow-off your responsibility to live up to our high calling, you may be on shaky ground.
3 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
Now there’s a novel idea. What if we all lived like that?
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
The Christian should have nothing to do with the ungodliness of the world, people who follow their own passions. Our lives should be marked by the discipline of self-control. God’s mission is work, and we should be about it. It’s our job do declare to the world what is good, pure, and right. We need to encourage fellow Christians to have nothing to do with ungodliness and to rebuke those who brush it off as not a big deal. That’s our calling…