Christian Living

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake– 1 Peter 2:13

Peter, under the authority of the Holy Spirit, commands us to submit ourselves to every authority placed over us. He goes on to specify that this applies, not only to powerful national leaders, but even to local magistrates.

It seems a difficult requirement. But then we are reminded that the responsibility is not due to the worthiness of the officials themselves, or even to the fairness or wisdom of their rules — it is for the Lord’s sake that we submit ourselves.

Our submission to government authorities is a purposeful recognition of God’s sovereignty in setting up rulers, as well as a public witness of our willingness to obey them for his sake. As we submit ourselves, we exalt Jesus Christ.

Peter says, in the previous verse, that our godly way of life is for the sake of others and for the glory of God. It is so that “they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God.”

When we see the direct correlation between our willingness to submit to authorities as good citizens, and our ability to impact others for the glory of God, it is a small price to pay for the privilege of such usefulness in the kingdom of God.

Do others see in you the truth of God’s sovereignty and authority? Are your words and actions pointing them to Christ by showing them joyful submission to Christ?