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1 Peter 2:16

Oct 29, 2019   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   1 Peter, 1 Peter (written), Daily Writing, Epistles, Epistles (written), Writings  //  8 Comments

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 1 Peter 2:16

Peter has been speaking of submitting to the authorities and the rules they lay down for society. He then equated those who fail to do this as “foolish men.” There is no doubt he is including believers in this. They profess to love God, but they fail to do what God expects of them. Now he says that believers are to do this “as free.”

This means that believers are free from the world because of Christ, and yet God has mandated that we are to live within the confines of the law. However, some reject this and act as if they are above the laws of the land. This would, and will, bring about a hatred of believers and of Christ because of their haughty arrogance. It would further set the body apart as a rebel group. Any government would then see it as a threat.

This is exactly why believers are to submit to the authorities established by God. They are to be seen as upstanding and obedient within the lands in which they reside. The purpose of Christ leaving a body of believers behind is to bring more into it, not to exalt itself above others and turn them away from it.

However, Peter next says, “yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice.” The word translated as “cloak” is more rightly stated as “covering” or “veil.” It is something that would hide the true intent, and thus it forms a pretext. Further, the word “vice” speaks of that which is evil. It is that which is morally wicked because there is no shame in doing wrong.

A believer could say, “I am free and therefore I can do whatever I want.” Thus, he could promote any worldly vice and claim that his actions don’t matter. But this is not what God has called his people to. He has saved them from this fallen world to live for Him. It is only an arrogant, foolish, and ignorant person who would willingly continue in his old life of debauchery and claim that it didn’t matter. “I am saved, so I can do what I want.”

The very idea of this, however, confirms the doctrine of eternal salvation. Peter could not use these words if eternal salvation was not true. He would, instead, say that the consequences for such a life would result in condemnation. The negative (not threatening damnation) affirms the positive (eternal salvation). And he then explains why it is so by saying, “but as bondservants of God.”

This is the heart of the matter. The believer is saved, but is saved unto righteousness. Only a perverse fool would stand saved by the blood of Christ and then willingly do what is contrary to the salvation he has been given. But even such a fool, if saved, remains saved. It shows the immense mercy of God because of what He has done in Christ Jesus for those who come to Him.

As bondservants of God, we are given freedom from sin. When we fail to live to that standard, we are the ones who will suffer – both in this life, and in the judgment to come.

Life application: The context of this verse is what Peter has been discussing for the last couple of verses – we are to submit to the authorities appointed over us and to live in harmony with the laws they have duly established. He said we are to do this because –

1) It is the will of God.
2) Our actions will silence the accusations of “foolish men.”

Peter then goes on to say that we are free. This certainly means that we are free from the restrictions of this world; we have a higher allegiance. But our higher allegiance is actually of a much stricter moral code than the code of our earthly rulers.

Even though we are actually free from society’s mandates, this in no way excuses us from living morally and in an upright manner. Others are watching who are bound to the rules of society. If they were to see us exercising our freedom in a licentious manner, it would give them every opportunity to accuse us and also rail against the God we claim to follow. It would further possibly lead them to call on a false Jesus who accepts such behavior. Thus, they would never come to true, saving faith.

As Peter says, we may be free in one sense, but we are “bondservants of God” at the same time. How can we claim liberty leading to moral perversion under a lesser master? It makes no sense, and yet this is the exact way much of Christendom lives. When you move about society, be careful that others understand that the One you serve is far more precious to you than freedom from the world system in which you live. Let us pray for strength and fortitude in this area –

O Lord God, we are Your servants, and yet we have acted as if we are free from Your law and bound to the laws of man and the chains of sin. You freed us from this life and yet, unfaithful as we are, we often return to it. Please transform us to holy living and right moral direction, so that You precepts will be held in high esteem by those who see our behavior in this life. Amen.

8 Comments

  • thank you help us LORD JESUS to live a life that others will see and want to know JESUS

  • Amen! Very very important message, thanks, Charlie!

    “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” (Psa. 5:3) 1) morning – rise and praise; 2) daily – walk and talk; 3) evening – lay and pray; and 4) always – read the word and apply what you have heard. ~Charlie

  • So many Christians are resistant to giving up their guns. From what these verses are telling us, it seems that if the government mandates giving up our guns, then we are to obey them. what I hear often is that a fight will ensue, even to the point of resistance. I personally don’t have a firearm, just to be clear. What do you think about this?

    • John I too do not have guns but I have no problem with others owning the Most! As far as Christians giving up their guns I think this verse says the opposite of that. Luk 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Change the sword for a gun and I think it clearly shows we are to defend ourselves even against unjust laws such as gun confiscation. That is how I look at this 🙂

    • The constitution forms the basis for our government. Until it is amended, which is always possible, we have an absolute right to bear arms. I will give mine up upon an amended constitution. Not until then. Think of the Bible. It is our “constitution.” It doesn’t matter what a denomination (equivalent to a government) says, the Bible stands above their supposed overriding of it.

  • Amen to this! When we make the choice to live for Christ it is the most freeing thing we can do with our lives. We are no longer held down by the chains of secular expectations of how we should live but are freed in ways unimaginable to those living for this world. We are the freest bond servants ever! As our desire for the things of this world fade our freedom in Jesus growes! How bless we are to have our eyes opened and to see the many blessings being poured out on us daily!

    We ARE another day closer to home
    Grace mercy and peace on you and yours
    God bless my friends we fly soon

  • BLESS GOD PRAISE JESUS, John ,, I think it’s more about what you LIVE for , not what you can kill. Swords are for when fighting begins but the battle begins with THE WORD. And once the last one is saved, we are outa here. But like I said one Sunday to nuke , if you want fight ,Dip your hands and look up, when the LORD sends you to drink the water. The LORD has HIS army and it is well armed. I might get a position in latrine duty, and I’ll be happy to be part of the fight. The dead don’t sing praises , and it’s not worth living , without GOD to praise. Bless you all.

    • Latrine duty isn’t that bad. I was in wastewater treatment for 20 years. It paid well and was a great job! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Have a blessed day.

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