by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 3 Study # 1 October 18, 2009 Lincolnton, N.C.
13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
1901 ASV Translation:
13 Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme;
14 or unto governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evil-doers and for praise to them that do well.
15 For so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
16 as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God.
17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
I. The Ultimate Inevitability: a Day of Visitation.
A. The "day of visitation" in Luke 19:44 was the "day" when Jesus came to bring good to the nation and the nation "did not know". The implication is very strong that this "day" was intended to bring good and, because the nation did not understand it, terrible consequences fell afterward.
B. The use of the word in Acts 1:20 and 1 Timothy 3:1 maintains the focus Jesus had in Luke 19: the "bishopric" was for the "good" of the Church, though not all of the actions of a "bishop" were pleasant. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament says that the preponderance of the references in the Septuagint were "judgmental", but that may well have been only because the people were so rebellious.
C. The question for this text is this: will the blasphemers "glorify God" in this "day of visitation" because He has brought them to "good", or will they do so because they have been proven "wrong" in their calumny? How shall we decide? Words without a decision about meaning are of no use to us.
1. In the near context (1 Peter 3:2) Peter holds out the possibility that a wife who practices "chaste conversation" may be used of God to "win" her husband. This would argue that because Peter used the same word "behold" (which he alone of the New Testament authors used and only in these two places), he had the idea of a good result in mind. The "husband" beholds his wife and is won by her. The Gentiles who make false accusations "behold" the contradicting "good behavior" of those they malign and "glorify God" in a "day of visitation".
2. Also in the near context (1 Peter 3:16) Peter calls for "good conversation" so that the false accusers "may be ashamed". This is set in the context of Jesus setting this example so that "He might bring us to God" (3:18). But, the question yet remains: what is the "event" that brings on the "shame"? Is it a "day of visitation" in which the "shamed" are brought to repentance, or is it a "day" in which the "shamed" are made to understand why they are condemned?
a. The "fundamental" meaning of "a day of visitation" is "a day when Truth is revealed and falsehood is exposed".
b. The "fundamental" question is whether Peter had a "time" in mind in which there was opportunity for repentance. If the "time" of the "day of visitation" is the final Day of Judgment, no repentance is possible; but if the "time" is some "day" of exposure wherein Truth and error are clarified, the "shame" of being a false accuser might well bring the person to the "godly sorrow that leads to repentance".
c. The "fundamental" answer is this: Peter did not intend to focus upon whether "to glorify" meant something positive for the one so engaged or something simply "forced" by the facts; rather, he intended to focus upon the "right conduct" of those who believe so that, forced or not, God's character of Truth would be vindicated. This is the point of 2:9 where Peter said that the ultimate purpose for the identities of believers was "to show forth the praises of Him Who called" them. It is much more "satisfying" to the believer whose right behavior leads another to repentance, but it is yet a real possibility that it will lead to the stacking up of wrath in the day of wrath for those who make false accusations.