1 Peter 2:9–17 (ESV)

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. [16] Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”

A Strange Liberty

“Called as children of the light, Christians are free. Their freedom, however, binds them to their calling. They are free in bondage to God. They know what it means to fear God in his presence. They are free to love their fellow-Christians. The dark blindness of sinful selfishness is gone; they are free to love. They are also free to honour unbelievers as God’s creatures, and to respect the role of authority given to each one.

“This whole section is in direct antithesis to the spirit of the world, where every individual and group demands its ‘rights’ and understands liberty as freedom from responsibility. The apostle describes what is, for our time, a strange liberty”

–Edmund Clowney, The Message of 1 Peter, p. 100

[header: detail of El Greco’s Resurrection]

be kind