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People of Honor [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
October 19, 2022 6:00 am

People of Honor [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. This is how God has saved you. This is the will of God.

That's what it means. It's the opposite of the devil's way, and it's God's design. Another way to say it, if you want to have a good result, do it God's way. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Brin, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, The Elect Exiles as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. Now, if you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It could be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.

So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org, or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program, but right now, let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Alan Wright. Okay, beautiful exiles, are you ready for some good news? You can live in this frustrating world by the grace of God without being frustrated all the time. You can disagree with elected officials and other people and still honor. You can live with a peace that passes all understanding. And you can, by doing good in the name of Jesus, change the world. All of that and more in this really important passage in 1 Peter, one that there's a part of me would have liked to have skipped, but we mustn't because it might be the most important. We are learning in a series we called Elect Exiles how to live as those that are the ones who have been enlightened into the truth of God, adopted into the family of God, mysteriously engrafted into an inheritance that was promised long ago and has found its fulfillment in Jesus such that we have been made co-heirs with Christ. That's who we are, the elect. And yet, as Peter addressed his readers, and there's something of it that applies to us, we're also exiles because we're passing through.

And this natural realm is not our ultimate destination. And so sometimes we feel obviously at odds and maybe more and more increasingly even misunderstood or persecuted. How do we live in that kind of world as Christians? Well, we come to an important text today in 1 Peter 2, verse 13, where I hope to offer not only some picture of the gospel as always but to offer some practical thoughts about how to live in a world where you don't agree with everything going on.

1 Peter 2, verse 13, 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. 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.

I'm going to read that verse again. Honor everyone. Who's left out from that? No one. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. Vacation Bible School is coming up and it made me think of some years ago our son Bennett was volunteering and he was teaching a little boys class and one of the boys was being pretty unruly and kind of difficult and he was really kind of picking on another kid and so Bennett had to kind of correct that and the other boy was wanting to kind of strike back and so Bennett sat down with the boy who had been offended and he said to him, he said, the Bible teaches us that when others are mean to us, we need to just be nice to them in return.

And the little boy thought about it for a moment and said, well that's stupid. I want to use the rest of our time today to convince you that it's not so stupid after all. This is a very important text that is one that addresses some of the hardest questions that you might have. And one of the questions I always deal with is why is it that Jesus and Paul and Peter spend as best we can tell, unless there's just most of the Bible silent about it, which is possible, but the whole context of the scripture makes me think otherwise, why did Jesus, Paul and Peter spend so little time protesting the Roman culture or the emperor or suggesting that we spend a whole lot of energy trying to change the political structures?

Why is there so little of that in the New Testament? I struggle with that. How can you honor someone or an institution that you do not agree with and think here of how evil Rome was?

Okay. And you think about times of your frustration, regardless of your political persuasion, the frustration you may feel with political leaders and all of the divisiveness and all. And despite the things, the horrible things that get said about our leaders, even our presidents, you know, in different ways, remember the Roman emperor thought and acted as though he was God and there are idols on every corner in Rome and the Roman empire and horrible practices and immorality, right? So how to honor the emperor?

What does he mean by that? And how can we as Christians have peace and joy when there's just so much evil in the world? And how do we act when people misunderstand us and even malign us? Which I would say in the course of my lifetime, I feel like it's moved from, I mean, it's an oversimplification, but I feel like it's moved from, it was almost like the pressure was go to church. Everybody went to church.

It seemed like in my neighborhood. And so you were like more honored if you were a Christian and people would go, even if they weren't Christians, like they want to, you know, I want to, it would help them in their business. If they want to go to where the church is so misunderstood and often, and just maligned and just completely false things said about who Christians are.

How do we deal and interact and react when people are like that? All those questions and more have importance for us as we come to this text. And I want to just start by going through it line by line, and then I want to draw a few principles for you, okay? First, let's start here in verse 13, be subject for the Lord's sake to every, be subject. And that's important to start right here that this word subject, be subject to. It could be translated defer to. What's important to realize here is that it is not a word for absolute obedience.

And we might as well establish this right up front. The Bible and the New Testament does not teach that Christians are to be absolutely obedient to a government no matter what the government says do. That is not, that is clearly not the intent of scripture.

Here's an example. Just to give you an example, Acts chapter 5 tells a story. Verse 17, a high priest rose up, all who were with him of the Sadducees, filled with jealousy, and they arrested the apostles and they put them in the public prison. But during the night, an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life. So this is an angel sent by God to open up the prison doors that the authorities had put them behind and said, don't preach anymore.

And a very angel of God came, opened up the doors and said, do preach. And so the word comes verse 20, go stand in the temple, speak the words of life. Verse 21, they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach. And when the high priest came and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the center of the people of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. This is verse 27. And the high priest questioned them saying, we strictly charged you not to teach in this name yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man, speaking of Jesus, his blood upon us. And Peter and the apostles answered, we must obey God rather than men. So be, be honoring and be subject to institutions does not mean absolute obedience in every single circumstance.

Some things it's like, no, no, I'm not going to worship your idols. I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to stop talking about Jesus.

I'm not, I'm not going to start agreeing with a lie. I'm not going to do that. Put me in prison. You put me in prison, kill me, kill me.

I live forever. Anyway, that's the, that's the spirit of the new Testament. But to be subject to means that we as Christians are not promoters of anarchy, right? More to say about that coming up. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. With so much worry about yesterday's failures and so much hurry getting ready for tomorrow's tasks. Sometimes it's hard to focus on the moment that matters most right now in a hurried, hurried season. God invites you into the present.

Modern day life coaches call it mindfulness, but it isn't a new psychological program and it isn't rooted in Eastern religion. Mindfulness living in the present is God's idea and the Bible unveils the way Pastor Alan Wright invites you to savor life each day. When you make your gift today, we'll send you pastor Alan's eight messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Make your gift today and learn how to savor the textures and flavors of God's grace each moment in the moment every day of your life. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.

When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. The next part of that verse is for the Lord's sake. And it's very important to this text that you'll see this over and over. Honor the emperor and defer to human institutions of government. But you're doing this for the Lord's sake. Our submission to governmental leaders, structures, or laws is not as much about those institutions as it is about us being God's people. And the glory of the Lord is the primary aim of our lives. And so when we are good citizens, we are glorifying God.

That's what it's saying, for the Lord's sake. To every human institution, and this is such an interesting in the Greek language here because it literally reads to every human creature. So the emphasis here is on the creatureliness of the emperor, as you'll see in the next part of the verse, whether it be to the emperor as supreme. So the contrast between the emperor here who is being highly clarified is a creature. The subject to these, though they're creaturely, though they're not God, right? It's what he's saying. The emperor wants to act like God, but he's not God.

It's a creature. And these institutions are human institutions. Nonetheless, we're being subject to them and we're honoring these institutions, whether it be to the emperor as the supreme one in that human creaturely institution or to governors, verse 14, to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good. So the governors are supposed to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good.

The governor is sent by him. It could either be meaning sent by God or sent by the governor and to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. Well, you know, it raises the question, at least in my mind, it raises the question, what happens when a government starts punishing those who do good and praising those who do evil? It doesn't address that here. But the role of government is to punish evil and praise good.

It's trickier when it gets backwards. And verse 15, this is the will of God that by doing good, you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Now this sounds like a really harsh verse, like do good and you can make all those idiots quit talking so much, you know? And that's not really what this means. Ignorance, I wish we had a different word here, because what ignorance really means, this just comes from the word agnosia, act like agnostic. It just means not knowing. What ignorant means is you just don't know, right? Ignorant does not mean stupid. You could be incredibly intelligent and ignorant about something. I mean, there are just tons of things I'm just ignorant about, right? I'm just ignorant.

I don't know. I just don't, I don't know. I mean, I love sports and, but I don't watch much NASCAR, so I'm kind of ignorant.

I don't really know, you know, I mean, I know few of the main guys and stuff, but I don't know much about cars and just kind of ignorant about it, right? It doesn't mean I don't like sports. It doesn't mean I don't know a lot about other sports, but I still don't know much about, just ignorant. Ignorant means not knowing. Y'all, people who don't have revelation of the love of God in Jesus Christ are ignorant. I wish we had a different word because that's, it sounds like a term of derision.

It's not meant to be a term of derision. Honestly, how should you feel towards people who are ignorant of the most important truth in life? You should feel sad.

We should be grieved about that, right? When our children are ignorant of something, what do we do? We help them learn.

You don't get overly frustrated with child for not being able to do algebra when you're trying to learn the multiplication tables. You're ignorant of the other things. And so by doing good, you silence ignorance of foolish people. So what happens when you don't know and you're ignorant?

Then you make bad decisions, you say things that don't make sense and you have attitudes that don't line up with what the truth actually would be. That's what this verse means. And what Peter's saying here is that you're going to encounter ignorance that's going to have people doing foolish things and that this is the will of God.

This phrase can also be translated, the desire of God. It's the plan of God. This is God's way of doing it. And this is the way God wants you to do it, is do good. Do good in the name of Jesus.

If you want people who are ignorant and just don't know, don't yell back at them, do some good. This is how God has saved you. This is the will of God.

That's what it means. It's the opposite of the devil's way and it's God's design. Another way to say it, if you want to have a good result, do it God's way.

If you want to stand a chance of there being a good result. And by doing good, you put to silence that literally means muzzle. You'll put into effect what the Proverbs says, that the gentle answer turns away wrath. There are numerous studies, numerous studies on social media that have proven that the more that you get mad and say inflammatory things to try to, you're not convincing anybody on the other side, you're pushing them further away.

I could quote to you a dozen studies that prove that. And you understand this because it's basic human relationship, right? Anybody's ever had a fight with their spouse or a good friend can tell you that's the way it works. You do not ever bring about change in another person by just calling them names, do you? You push them away. And so do good to people that don't know. It doesn't mean that we don't have to face, and I would say it's painful, but to face when you see ignorance and I get emotionally involved in it.

So I don't want you to think that I'm like, this summer is more for me than anybody else, because I don't want you to think that I don't get emotionally upset about the ignorant things that are being said. And I don't think this means that we don't ever call it out, but how do you call it out, right? And so let me just give you an example, and I know this wades into some volatile issues, but I feel strongly about it.

In all of this aftermath of the overturn of Roe v. Wade, which our church is a church that supports pro-life causes for decades and decades, we celebrate. But the massive rage that you see, what is going on with that, right? I mean, where's the reasonable dialogue that we could have with one another? Well, it just seems to be absent from society, doesn't it? And part of it is ignorance.

Part of it's just ignorance. Alan Wright, our good news message today, people of honor. It's from the series, The Elect Exiles, and I encourage you to stick with us. Pastor Alan is back here in just a moment with a parting good news thought for the day. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing.

It's free and just a click away at pastoralan.org. With so much worry about yesterday's failures and so much hurry getting ready for tomorrow's tasks, sometimes it's hard to focus on the moment that matters most right now. In a hurried, worried season, God invites you into the present.

Modern day life coaches call it mindfulness, but it isn't a new psychological program and it isn't rooted in Eastern religion. Mindfulness, living in the present is God's idea and the Bible unveils the way. Pastor Alan Wright invites you to savor life each day. When you make your gift today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's eight messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Make your gift today and learn how to savor the textures and flavors of God's grace each moment in the moment every day of your life. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860 or come to our website, PastorAlan.org.

Back here now with Pastor Alan and I think this is an appropriate teaching. Well, at least the title seems foreign these days, People of Honor. I don't know if you can find too many people of honor on every street corner right now.

Well, honor is something that's largely lost in our culture. And I know that we are primarily speaking to Christians. A lot of people would be like-minded with us with a biblical mindset that affirms, for example, the sanctity of life.

And you know, Daniel, our mission at Alan Wright Ministries is a proclamation of the gospel in such a way that we're always imparting to people a way, a lens of grace to show how grace works in our lives and always pointing people towards that. So you don't hear us that often talking about societal issues. It's not because we don't care.

We care passionately. And today we actually mentioned some of these issues and this was preached not long after the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. And I think the reason that 1 Peter is timely and important for us is that our culture has some similarities to that first century Roman culture. And so Christians were faced with living in a world that had many ungodly practices. And how do you live in that kind of world? And in today and tomorrow's message, we're inviting listeners into, I hope, a deeper type of thought that points us to why people think the way they think and how we can feel strongly, speak strongly, exercise our right of influence and vote and all of that, and yet to do so with honor, which is the will of God. This is really important. And I hope listeners will dig into this deep in 1 Peter. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-19 19:07:26 / 2023-01-19 19:16:07 / 9

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