1 Peter Bible Study: Submitting To Our Authorities

This week’s Bible Study deals with household slavery in ancient times, however, we can use these principles to learn how we can submit to authorities in our life.

1 Peter 2:18-21 Image

Read 1 Peter 2:1 – 3:7

Reflect on this passage

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 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. 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. ~ 1 Peter 2:18-21

After reading this passage in context, jot down some of your initial thoughts.

Peter was writing to a very different culture than the one in the United States.  During this time, slavery was abundant and it was not uncommon for households to have at least one slave.  Slavery was such a fixture in the society that Aristotle claimed that man was either born a slave or born free,

“For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.”

In the United States, we abolished slavery and it is something that is now against the law.  But, even if we do not have slavery in the sense of being owned as property, we are still subjects under someone.  For example, I am an associate minister, so I am subject to the head minister and a board of elders.  They don’t own me, but I work under their control.  With that being said, even though it is a different time and culture, we can learn how to live under the authority of another person.

Question: Why should we, as Christians, be subject to our authorities?  (vs. 18 – 19) 

When we are called to be submissive to others, it is not because we respect those people.  We submit, because we respect God.  Even though our faith makes us an easy target, we need to be submissive.  Because it conforms us to the teaching of Jesus Christ.

Read Mark 8:34-37

Question: While thinking of Mark 8, how is suffering for doing good a gracious thing in God’s sight? (vs.20)

Question: What does it mean to follow Jesus?

For Parents

As the spiritual leader in my home, I can easily look at this section of scripture and apply it to my children.  But one can’t apply this scripture onto others until you can apply it in your own life. “Do as I say, not as I do,” is not biblical, so the best way to teach submission is by showing submission.  In our children see disrespect of authorities, how will they learn to be respectful as adults?

Question: How can you be the example of godly submission to your children? 

Feel free to comment your thoughts below or maybe add your own tips of submission.


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