Christ came to this earth to bring salvation to humankind, to provide the means by which we could be reconciled to God Almighty, the Lord of Hosts, and the Father of all. He also came as part of that to establish his church. He died that you and I might have life â€œand have it more abundantly.â€ In the course of this and in following the plan that was set forth by his Father, he chose certain men who became the backbone of the church, the starting point of its teaching, and center of its beginning as a godly assembly.
Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:17; ESV)
Peter gives four quick admonitions in 1 Peter 2:17.
Honor everyone. Underline the word everyone. No excuses. It does not matter how someone treated us. There is not excuse that if we are disrespected then we have the right to disrespect that person. Put the interests of others first always. Show them honor. Show them respect. Even if they do not respect you. Be aware that this is talking about the world. Honor people in the world. Peter will speak about how to treat Christians in just a moment. Honor all people.
Love the brotherhood. Among the family of believers there should be even greater respect and honor. This love is a great symbol to the world. If we treat each other like the world treats one another, then what is the attraction for coming into the family of Christ? There is no attraction. We should have such a strong, deep love for one another that it will cause people to glorify God and want to be part of that family and be in that relationship.
Fear God. Being exiles in this world means that we must always show our allegiance to God. God must be first. If we do not show God to be first and show our reverence and fear of God, then we will discredit God. How will we influence the world if we treat God with the same importance as our hobbies, our recreation, or our work? No one will come to God if God is seen as just another activity in your life. Fear God. Show your passion. Reveal your zeal. God first.
Honor the emperor. Finally, honor the emperor. If a Roman emperor was to be honored and respected, then every government official deserves that same honor. This does not mean that we necessarily agree with their lives, their decisions, or their actions. But it does mean that we are not slanderers, but are respectful. We will not speak ill of our leaders. We do not ignore their evil but their evil is not a license for us to speak or act ungodly.