Enduring Injustice for the Sake of the Gospel

The issue of how we Christians respond to unjust authority is of vital importance regarding our testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we’ve recently seen in Peter’s exhortations to slaves in 1 Pet. 2:18-20, believers must be more committed to our responsibilities before God, than our rights before men.  Entrusting ourselves to God’s faithful care and eternal justice, we must endure unjust suffering for the sake of the Gospel.  We must likewise resist the temptation to pour our energies into fighting to change unjust social structures, lest we inadvertently destroy our Gospel-witness in the process.


Citing NT scholar William Mitchell Ramsay, Pastor Steve made these observations in his helpful paper on the topic of slavery in 1st century Rome (please email steve@rivercitygrace.org if you’d like a copy of his paper):


“Had the NT endeavored to overturn the socioeconomic structure of Rome, the Gospel of salvation would have been so obscured in the melee, one could wonder, in human terms, whether the Christian faith would have survived at all. Spreading true liberation from the tyrant of sin was and is the great aim of the NT and, regardless of the historian’s assessment, no Christian can deny this purpose was not worth abandoning to revolutionize Roman society” (p. 28.)


Beloved, God calls us to a living hope that eagerly awaits our heavenly inheritance in Christ (1 Pet. 1:3-5).  We must avoid the danger of fixing our hope on the things of this world!  In God’s design, it is the increasing evidence of this heavenly hope that becomes our greatest evangelistic tool, as Peter clearly implies in 1 Pet. 3:15.  This is the true grace of God friends, stand firm in it! (1 Pet. 5:12)


Rejoicing in Christ,


Submitting to Governmental Authorities

Beloved, God clearly wills for His people to submit to and show respect for governmental authorities (1 Pet. 2:13-17; cf. Rom. 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2).  Certainly, the words of our lips are a big indicator of just how submissive and respectful we actually are.  In a country and culture that makes a national pastime (and a lot of money!) of bashing, reviling, vilifying, and mocking our political leaders, Christians need to resist the temptation to go and do likewise.  This does not mean that we ignore the serious issues of our day, nor that we fail to “speak the truth in love” in clear, courageous, winsome ways (Eph. 4:15; Col. 4:5-6; 1 Pet. 3:15-16).  But in all our speech and conduct, everywhere and all the time, we must ever seek to magnify Jesus Christ and the hope of the Gospel.  In the power of the Holy Spirit, we must imitate our Lord and Savior:


He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.  (1 Pet. 2:22-23, ESV)


May God help us to live humble lives of willing, joyful submission, that the greatness of His excellencies would all the more powerfully be proclaimed from our lips (1 Pet. 2:9.)


Growing with you,


Essence of Submission

As we considered this past Lord’s Day in our study of 1 Pet. 2:13, the essence of submission is “willingly and joyfully obeying the will of another.”  God calls us to submit to Him, and the human authorities He has established.  The test of faith in this is that often, in the providence of God, our submitting will result in our suffering on this earth.  How can we learn to faithfully submit, even when it means suffering?


Jesus Christ alone is our hope!  Let me encourage you to spend much time meditating and praying through 1 Pet. 2:21-25, looking to the pattern and sufficiency of Christ!  He is not only our preeminent example in submitting and suffering, but He is also the One who now strengthens us to follow in His steps.  He shepherds us by helping us learn to humble ourselves under God’s mighty, caring hand, continually casting our cares upon Him (1 Pet. 5:5-7.)


Growing with you in His grace,



Humility.  How eager I am to be thought of as humble; how slow I am to actually die to my pride and be humble!  As we considered last Lord’s Day from 1 Pet. 5:5-7, humility before God and one another is the garment we must constantly wear.  Jesus Himself, of course, is the supreme example and source of the comprehensive humility we are to exhibit.  I was convicted, encouraged, and helped by the following insights from Andrew Murray – I pray they are helpful for you as well.


“I cannot too earnestly plead with my reader, if possibly his attention has never yet been specially directed to the want there is of humility within him or around him, to pause and ask whether he sees much of the spirit of the meek and lowly Lamb of God in those who are called by His name. Let him consider how all want of love, all indifference to the needs, the feelings, the weakness of others; all sharp and hasty judgments and utterances, so often excused under the plea of being outright and honest; all manifestations of temper and touchiness and irritation; all feelings of bitterness and estrangement, have their root in nothing but pride, that ever seeks itself, and his eyes will be opened to see how a dark, shall I not say a devilish pride, creeps in almost everywhere, the assemblies of the saints not excepted. Let him begin to ask what would be the effect, if in himself and around him, if towards fellow saints and the world, believers were really permanently guided by the humility of Jesus; and let him say if the cry of our whole heart, night and day, ought not to be, Oh for the humility of Jesus in myself and all around me! Let him honestly fix his heart on his own lack of the humility which has been revealed in the likeness of Christ’s life, and in the whole character of His redemption, and he will begin to feel as if he had never yet really known what Christ and His salvation is.  Believer! study the humility of Jesus. This is the secret, the hidden root of thy redemption. Sink down into it deeper day by day.” (Andrew Murray [1828-1917], Humility, Bethany House Publishers, 2001, pg. 26-27.)


Growing and shrinking with you,