Emanna for 02/20/2014

Not Using Freedom as a Covering for Evil

Bible Verses

1Pet 2:13 Be subject to every human institution for the Lord's sake, whether to a king as being supreme, 14 Or to governors as being sent by him for vengeance on evildoers and praise of those who do good. 15 For so is the will of God, that by doing good you would muzzle the ignorance of foolish men; 16 As free, and yet not having freedom as a covering for evil, but as slaves of God.

Words of Ministry

In verse 13 "institution" means the making of regulations or ordinances much like the enacting of laws by the legislature. According to the context, "every human institution" includes "a king as supreme" and also "governors as sent by him." Here Peter is telling the believers that for the Lord's sake, that is, for the expression and glorification of the Lord (v. 12), we should be subject to all human institutions. In verse 15 Peter goes on to say, "Because so is the will of God, by doing good to silence the ignorance of foolish men." The foolish men in verse 15 are the evil speakers mentioned in verse 12.

In verse 16 Peter says, "As free, and not having freedom as a cloak for evil, but as slaves of God." We should never use freedom as an excuse to do evil. We should not say, "Are we not free? We are not under the bondage of the law; we are under grace. This means that we are free." Yes, we are free, but we should not use our freedom as an excuse to behave in a careless manner. On the contrary, we should use our freedom as slaves of God. Peter's word here is similar to that of Paul in his Epistles. Although we are freed from the law of Moses, we are still under the law of Christ. As those under the law of Christ, we should be slaves of God. On the one hand, we are free; on the other hand, we are slaves of God under His control.

(c) 2007 Living Stream Ministry.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry, from Witness Lee, Life-study of First Peter, pp. 171. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA.

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