1. As you prepare your heart for study, know that God desires to reveal Himself to you, and He has given you His Holy Spirit to guide you into truth.  Before you open in prayer, consider Jeremiah 9:23-24.  “This is what the Lord declares: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.”  Pray for this understanding and knowledge of God with the Holy Spirit as your guide.
  2. Read 1 Peter 2:13-17
  3. 1 Peter 2:13-17 describes a Christian’s behavior toward the government authorities placed over them.  In general, what is Peter’s exhortation to Christian’s concerning the governments they live under?
  4. We have already seen in this study that the government and Emperor Peter was living under at the time he wrote the letter were NOT Christian.  In fact, they were hostile toward Christians.  What are the implications of this as we try to apply the truth of this passage today?
  5. Why are Christians to honor their governments?  (Look for answers to this in 1 Peter 2:13-17, but also look at Romans 13:1-7.)
  6. While Peter primarily indicates that Christians should honor and obey their governments, the book of Acts tells us that there are a few times that Peter disobeyed government.  Acts 4:19-20 is one of those sections.  Scan Acts 4 and see what the circumstances were that led to Peter’s disobedience of the Jewish authorities then.  Can you develop a principle to help you understand when (if ever) it is appropriate to disobey the government?
  7. As a Christian living in a democracy today, what does it look like to honor our leaders, while still engaging in healthy debate and voting?
  8. 1 Peter 2:17 gives a list of general commands to the Christian.  Why do you think Peter had to mention the Emperor by name in this list?  Peter had already told Christians to honor everyone (and the Emperor was certainly a someone!)  What do you think singling out the Emperor implies?  Are there any applications even BEYOND government figures of this principle?

 

To access the entire “True Grace” study of 1 Peter, click here.

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