This is what you must do: don’t fight but submit

These people lived under the Roman oppressive regime which was particularly difficult as a follower of Jesus. This was not a democratic society nor was it a godly one either. It would be very easy to copy the Jewish thought and not obey a non-Jewish leader but Peter tells them that it doesn’t matter who they are they should obey. (The qualifier is always Acts 4:19 where we never submit to something if it means we are disobedient to God.)

Like Paul, Peter has a household code which covers all the social settings at the time. In each one he is basically saying ‘don’t fight but submit.’ Living under authorities; slaves and masters; wives towards husbands; husbands towards wives and everyone in the Christian community. That’s what is ahead of us in this letter. But for now …

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.” (1 Peter 2 v 13-14)

Who do we submit to?

‘To every human authority’. Every human authority. Human authority. Every.

Whether you like them or not.

Whether you recognise them or not.

Whether you voted for them or not.

The highest authority to the lowest who carry out the orders.


  1. For the Lord’s sake. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree God has ordered authority within society.
  2. They are sent by him. God has sent them into society, whether you would have sent them or not. If Peter believed the Roman Emperor was sent by God then we can believe ‘every human authority’ is sent by God too.
  3. The purpose of order. So that the wrong is punished and the right is rewarded.

If this is how it is with the Roman Empire and with our governments today; if this is for every human authority in our social settings so in education, social services, healthcare etc. Then it is also for the Church. It applies to the church. Don’t fight but submit.

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