Scripture Passage: 1 Peter 2:11-17
A Christian is a citizen of this world and the world above; 1 Peter 2:11-17 lists some of the demands of Christian citizenship.
First, we see the character of a Christian citizen: “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11-12).
We must first be absolutely and totally clean; we renounce and abstain from everything that is wrong and embrace everything that is right. We must live such godly lives that even those that hate us will have to admit that there is a difference.
The liberty we have as a nation is in direct proportion to our character; if we lose our character, we lose our liberty.
Secondly, we must remember the importance of our compliance.
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good” (1 Peter 2:13-14).
God-fearing Americans are also law-abiding Americans: We submit ourselves to the laws we like and to the laws we don’t like. However, we must remember there is a higher power, and if the laws of man contradict God, we must obey God rather than man. Even so, we should not strive to be renegades or lawbreakers; we strive to be the best and most productive citizens in this nation.
Finally, this passage speaks of our conduct as Christian citizens.
“For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:15-17).
Adrian Rogers says, “Every person is intrinsically precious. If there is in you racial prejudice or pride, or if there are people that you do not see as precious, you do not understand the demands of Christian citizenship.”
Apply it to your life
Do you meet the demands of Christian citizenship? Prayerfully consider your character, your compliance, and your conduct.