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Submitting to the System (11 of 20)
I Peter 2:13-17
April 13, 1997
One afternoon when American League Umpire, Bill Guthrie, was working behind the plate, the catcher of the visiting team repeatedly protested his calls. The Umpire endured this for three innings. But in the fourth inning when the catcher started to complain again, Guthrie stopped him and said,
"Son, you have been a big help to me calling balls and strikes, and I appreciate it. But I think I've got the hang of it now. So I'm going to ask you to go to the clubhouse and show them how to take a shower."
"You are out of here!"
This catcher didn't understand submission, and it is sad to say that many Christians don't understand it either.
Peter begins this section by saying, "Therefore, submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake."
Once again he begins with "therefore," and we need to see what it is there for.
Peter had just finished telling these Hebrew Christians, who were being dispersed into Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia what their position was in Christ.
They were ...
* A chosen generation
* A royal priesthood
* A holy nation
* His own special people
* Who once were not a people
* But are now the people of God
* Who once had not obtained mercy
* But now had obtained mercy.
Immediately following declaring their position in Christ, he shifts to conduct. He calls them in verse 12 to "honorable conduct." Back in verse 11 he exhorts them, "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul."
The Lord God has changed our position from lost to saved, from sinners to saints, from outside to inside, from Hell to Heaven. We have a new position,"Old things are passed away, behold all things have become new." Jesus has changed our position. But we must change our conduct. Position is who you are, conduct is what you do, how you live.
What is the key to conduct? One word ...
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