Let us turn our attention this week
to I Peter 2:16-20 which says,
and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the
servants of God. Honour all men, Love the brotherhood. Fear God.
Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear;
not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward. For this
is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief,
suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted
for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do
well, and suffer for it, ye take it patently, this is acceptable
in this text that Peter deals with spiritual freedom in the midst of
our suffering. How often troubles and suffering cause us to be so
burdened down. Peter tells us when we look to the God of
Suffering we are set free.
verse 16 we have the words of freedom and liberty
defined. These two words mean to be unrestrained or to go at ones
own pleasure as a citizen and not a slave. In the words of St.
Augustine in exploring what we were free to do or not to do, he
said, Love God with all your heart and then do as you please.
tells us in verse 16 not to use our freedom as a cloke of
maliciousness. This phrase means a covering to conceal our
badness, depravity, naughtiness, and wickedness. It gives us the
idea that we are not free to do but free only to be. We are not
free to do whatever we want but we are free to only be what He has
called us to be, servants of God. The word servant is doolos
which means subservience. This is one who serves servants or a
willing slave. Oh, let us realize in the dark hour of the soul that
we are free only to be a slave to our Master. We are to serve the
servants and do only what pleases the Master. We serve at the
Lords pleasure. We are the lowest, the sub servants. Oh, what a
blessed position to become.
verses 17-20, Peter tells us that this freedom will manifest itself
in three relationships. In verse 17 we are told we should be
rightly related to the Supreme. We are to honour
all men. The word means to value or price highly. We are to love
the brotherhood. Those who are of the same womb
spiritually should be valued above all else. We are to have a
reverential awe for God and a holy respect for those in authority
over us. (Honour the king) Peters ideas of freedom are so
different from modern day spiritual freedom.
verse 18 Peter speaks of us being rightly related as a servant.
We are told to be subject to our master. The word subject
has the idea of obeying. The word master for us would
speak of those in authority over us. Peter tells us no to just obey
the good and gentle but the froward also. The word froward
means warped, perversed, crooked, and untoward. Oh, how we only
want to submit to those who are good to us. We are not free to do
as we please but only to be a servant.
verses 19-20 Peter deals not only with being rightly related to the
Supreme and as servants but lastly rightly related In Suffering.
The word thankworthy in verse 19 means a gracious action
that has divine influence on the heart. If we want to express
divine action that influences the heart we must have a conscience
that endures grief when suffering wrongfully. The word conscience
means to see clearly with complete understanding of the heart. The
phrase endure grief means sadness, sorrow, and grudging
heaviness. The word wrongfully means things that come upon
us because of no fault within ourselves. Oh, when we suffer
wrongfully and take it, this is true freedom.
tells us in verse 20 there is no glory when we are corrected for
wrong doing and take it patiently. But when we have done right and
are attacked and we take this patiently (To under go while
abiding in an inferior position) that will bring glory.
The word glory means the weighty presence of God.
tells us this kind of being is acceptable with God. The
word acceptable means to breathe greatly or blow softly
upon. These reactions of a true free servant bring the precious
breath of Gods Spirit upon our lives and He (The Holy Ghost) will
bear us up and through all suffering.