Jesus, Authority, Justice, and Slavery (1 Peter 2:13-25) Sermon Notes

Jesus, Authority, Justice, and Slavery (1 Peter 2:13-25) Sermon Notes

Our Perfect God Works Through Imperfect Authority

1 Peter 2:13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

  1. Christians were a minority group under ungodly gov’t, culture, & religion
  2. Could not escape national cult, did not have the means to change it (e.g. North Korea)
  3. Persecution rising (e.g. persecuted church China, Sharia Law)

Rome – Like North Korea a national cult that worshipped the emperor

  • Emperors – Claudius & Nero
  • Governors – Pilate (handed over Jesus), Felix (abused w/Paul)

“Every Human Institution” parents/children, coaches/players, police/citizens, pastors/church, teachers/students, employer/employee

    • 1. Who’s authority are you under? 2. Who are you in authority over?
  1. Do good to silence the ignorant & foolish (nonviolent resistance)
  2. Live free, but don’t cover up evil (civil unrest insurance)
  3. Serve God (it’s about you and Him far more than you and them)
  4. Honor everyone – NOT agree
  5. Love the brotherhood – XN’s priority
  6. Fear God – appeal to the highest authority over all other authorities (Haiti)
  7. Honor the emperor – NOT worship

Why we do not submit to godly authority

  1. Adamic seed = Pride (I could do better) & Autonomy (under no authority)
  2. Protestantism is a protest
  3. American Independence (July 4)
  4. 60’s & 70’s counterculture rebellion now majority culture
  5. Generational right of passage
  6. Everyone and everything is affected by sinners (police and teachers)
  7. Cultural Marxism (transfer of wealth & power) Atheism (results in genocide)
  • A desire for Heaven on Earth but no belief in Jesus and the Bible (utopia)
  • A sense of the Fall that blames only systemic not also personal conduct for suffering
  • Critical Theory (disagree = privileged/prejudiced)
  • Intersectionality (degrees of oppression & justification for dismantling)
  • In Christian theology this is called “Liberation Theology”
  • Dismantle structures & allow others rebuild (ignores original sin & affect on all systems)
  • Experiment that has always failed (Germany)

BLM Co-Founder

“we are trained Marxists…we actually do have an ideological frame…[the co-founders), in particular, are trained organizers, we are trained Marxists. We are super versed in ideological theories…our goal is to get Trump out.”

  1. Black Lives Matter – a message that represents a movement
  2. Make America Great Again – a message that represents a movement

As Christians we believe human flourishing now & forever is crucial, so we preserve the gospel.

“We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead. We…do the work required to dismantle cisgender [God-given biological sex] privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women…We build a space that…is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered….We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work. We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure…We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative [male/female] thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”

Plan A. Don’t like the solution, deny the problem. Plan B. There is a problem & 1 solution.

God’s Path to Equality

  1. All people are created by God as full image bearers
  2. There is one race made up of all nations and cultures descended from Adam & Eve
  3. Every person is a sinner, and every system is affected by human sin
  4. God establishes laws to provide equality for all people
  5. God’s Kingdom is the pattern for justice and social order for those in and under authority
  6. God’s people are a new family called a “chosen race” and “new man”
  7. Leadership in the church is based upon character not social factors
  • E.G. Onesimus – in Philemon he’s a church leader who carried a book of the Bible (Col. 4:9)
  1. Christianity has the most diversity of any movement in history

-Saint Patrick – freed from slavery, fought for end slavery

-Rodney Stark medieval European slavery ended “only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves & then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews).”

-William Wilberforce & XN’s opposed secularists evolutionists re African slaves

-Wayne Grudem interview 2/3 leaders of the American abolitionist movement were XN’s

– William Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr.

Christians Will Suffer like Christ Suffered

1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

  • Unjust suffering makes us 1. Grateful for Jesus 2. Comforted by Jesus 3. Like Jesus

What Does the Bible Mean by “Servants”?

“By Roman times…in the early Christian period 1 of 2 people was a slave.” (Baker Encyc Bible)

In comparison, roughly 10+% of Americans were slaves at the time of the Civil War

  1. Slave Trading

1 Timothy 1:9-11 (NIV) the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God

  1. Almost entirely racial
  2. Essentially lifetime status as masters property
  3. Children born by a slave also property of the master
  4. People were property passed on w/estate along w/livestock

= Joseph & Israelites in Egypt, Saint Patrick

American Slave Trading – 1860 Republican Lincoln was elected on anti-slavery platform. Soon, 11 states seceded the & became the Confederate States of America.

4 years of Civil war took 620,000 lives out of 31 million (more than all other US wars combined). Today, that would be 6.2 million lives (130,000 died w/Covid 19, 50X more).

  1. Prisoners of War

Daniel in Babylon

  • From at least 3000 BC most slaves were POW’s
  1. Bondservant


1 Corinthians 7:20-23 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.


NOT – mainly racial, lifetime (most free by 30), w/o education or business opportunity

  1. Sometimes an exchange (like GI or Teacher bill for college)
  2. Sometimes a debt payoff (bankruptcy)
  3. Sometimes sell self into slavery for a better life
  4. Sometimes abandoned infants or sent a child (foster care)

= large, complicated status category, some just & some unjust

What Does the Bible Say About Civil Disobedience?

We are to submit to authority unless it 1). forbids us from doing what God commands, or 2). commands us to do what God forbids.

  1. God’s Kingdom is orderly with authority
  2. Satan’s Rebellion is disorder with anarchy

= Civil Disobedience is the opposite of anarchy in that it appeals to high laws for order


  • Midwives (Ex. 1:17)
  • Daniel wouldn’t eat food, friends would not bow down, would not stop praying to His God


  • Paul wrote Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon from jail
  • Peter took a sword in & chopped an ear off, rebuked by Jesus for ungodly civil disobedience & Jesus healed the soldier (Luke 22:47-51)
  • Peter/Apostles commanded not preach, arrested, beaten, rejoiced, preached (Acts 5:27-42)

Jesus Is the Victim of Your Sinful Injustice

1 Peter 2:22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

  1. We need to focus on what we have done to Jesus, not what has been done to us by others
  2. We need to focus more on Jesus response to injustice than others responses
  3. We need to remember Jesus example that ungodly action requires godly reaction
  4. We need to remember that our goal as Christians is to be like Christ
  5. We need to remember that a Non-XN can diagnose a problem, but Jesus is the only solution
  6. The message of the Bible is that the cross is more a mirror than binoculars
Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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