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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #11
Posted: October 25, 2006

I PETER 2:16-20

Let us turn our attention this week to I Peter 2:16-20 which says, “As free 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 with God

It is 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.

In 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

Peter 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 Lord’s pleasure.  We are the lowest, the sub servants.  Oh, what a blessed position to become.

In 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)  Peter’s ideas of freedom are so different from modern day spiritual freedom.

In 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.

In 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.

Peter 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.

Peter 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 God’s Spirit upon our lives and He (The Holy Ghost) will bear us up and through all suffering.