Currently I'm preaching through 1 Peter. Central to this book is the idea that we are not citizens of this present world and our allegiance should be elsewhere. Below are seven thoughts from this Sunday's sermon...
You may not be a superhero, but if you are a child of God you have a secret identity. Although you live IN the world and AMONG the people of the world; you are aSECRET AGENTfor the future Kingdom.
As a Secret Agent, you are tasked with living IN this present world but FOR the coming world.
In this present world, you are expected to submit to all authority.
Submission is not an indication of weakness, nor is it something that is forced on others (we are never commanded to force someone to submit). Submission IS an intentional decision we make to proactively turn ourselves over to someone else. We make the choice, not to exert our own power but to place ourselves under the power of someone else.
We submit so that everyone will know that Christians have no desire to subvert or seize authority in this present world. We can be model citizens/employees/students because we know that power in this world is temporal and not important.
Even if those in authority figures are evil, we submit. Remember, abuse in the present world only means rewards in the future kingdom.
The only exception is that we should not "obey" if asked to violate God's law. However, even our disobedience should be done with an attitude of submission; and we must remember that "righteous disobedience" does not come without consequences. Choosing to obey God rather than man might lead to persecution.