1 Peter: God’s Pilgrim People in a Hostile World – Live as Free Servants

Peter Barnes | 1 Peter 2:16-17

1 Peter 2:16-17

– Calvin writes of ‘a free servitude, and a serving freedom’.

1. Live as free servants.

– 2:16. It is crucial that we get this right – John 8:36; 14:15; Gal.5:1, 13. Also 2 Peter 2:19; Jude 4.

– Martin Luther: ‘A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.’

– note the Zealots who triggered off the Jewish War in A.D. 66; the Peasants’ Revolt in 1524-5.

– The freedom to rebel and to do whatever one likes is a bogus freedom.

2. Working this out in various relationships.

– 2:17; the first and the fourth are looking outwards to the world; the second and third are more obviously Christian.

(a) Honour everyone. James 3:9.

(b) Love the brotherhood. See 1:22; John 13:34-35.

(c) Fear God. ‘Phobia’ is the Greek word for ‘fear’, not ‘hate’. Heb.10:31; Gen.20:11.

(d) Honour the emperor. Rom.13:1. We have lived to see the wisdom of this. The Russian Tsar was a tyrant, but the Bolsheviks were far worse. Calvin: ‘although magistrates may have nothing which deserves honour or obedience, the seat they occupy has been ordained by God.’