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The First Epistle of PETER
2: 12 - 17.
pp. 39, 40
"Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles that whereas they speak against
you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in
the day of visitation" (I Pet. 2: 12).
Visitation comes from episkope a bishop or overseer, one who visits and keeps an eye
on his flock. In the text it would refer to the moment we come under scrutiny from the
outside world and are then a recommendation to the gospel and Christ or the reverse.
The Ephesian calling has special reference to us as an advertising medium for the
grace and wisdom of God influencing us, setting us (we hope) as a good example to
principalities and powers in heavenly places (Eph. 3: 10). Honest conversation (manner
of life), implies a livelihood and day to day dealings with others that are just, fair and
have no appearance of evil or double dealing. Paul writes "recompense to no man evil
for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men" (Rom. 12: 17).
"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to
the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the
punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of
God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free
and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God"
Our Lord also showed the involvement of God in the affairs of men in the matter of
government. Christ quotes from Psa. 82: 6 in John 10: 35. In verse 1 we read:
"God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; He judgeth among the gods."
Here gods although elohim, is used of earthly judges as representatives of God. It is
significant of the divine inspiration given to Peter that he can write with assurance "for so
is the will of God". "As free" was misunderstood by many even as they were when
Christ said "the truth shall make you free" (John 8: 33). Even though the believers had
come under the law of the Spirit from the law of Moses and man, yet their perfect
conduct gave their critical onlookers (who were ignorant of this new position of the
believer) no excuse for pointing the finger of judgment and condemnation. Their
behaviour, obedient to and consistent with, their faith would redound to the glory of God.
We should remember that the law is for those that know not God.
"Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king" (2: 17).
"Honour all men" is an injunction much emphasized in Philippians. God alone knows
the opportunities, handicaps, circumstances of each man; the tasks allotted to them by
their Maker. We therefore in our ignorance must accord them respect whoever they are