SHOWING RESPECT #1
(I Peter 2:13-23)
I Peter 2:15-17 “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. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
Adam Clarke said this about this passage “God, as their supreme governor, shows them that it is His will that they should act uprightly and obediently at all times, and thus confound the ignorance of foolish men.”
The word “silence” in verse 15 signifies to muzzle, i.e., stop their mouths, leave them nothing to say; let them assert, but ever be unable to bring proof to support it.
The word “honour” in verse 17 means to fix a high value on, to revere to value with respect. We are to honor and revere and show respect to fellow Christians.
The word “love” in verse 17 is translated from the Greek word “agapao”. We are to love the brethren with a perfect love in a social and moral sense.
INTRODUCTION: We live in a very rude world. And unfortunately, people are becoming ruder by the minute. Common courtesy isn’t so common any more. It seems that respect for people is at an all time low. Our favorite kind of humor today is sarcasm — put down humor. Whether it is one of the many late night comedians who many tune in and listen to, to hear them put down society. Their favorite targets are those in authority, those in leadership; those who should be respected if for no other reason than because of their position.
But the Bible makes it very clear that respect is one of those values that is necessary for life. The Bible is very specific about this. We find that we are to respect parents, people in authority, and church leadership. The Scriptures go on to instruct wives to respect and reverence their husbands and husbands are to respect and reverence their wives. And if we think that someone doesn’t fit the above categories, the Lord tells us that we should respect and honor all men.
I Peter 2:17 “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
We all want to be respected. We want other people to treat us with dignity. So we are going to begin to look at this missing characteristic. We will consider the why and how of showing respect. In part #1 of this 2 part series we will examine the “why” and in part #2 the “how”.
4 REASONS WHY WE SHOULD RESPECT – Let’s begin by looking at four reasons why we should respect everybody regardless of their lifestyle, regardless of their decisions, regardless of their behavior or beliefs. The Bible says every person should be treated with respect.
Because God Made Everybody. Psalms 8:4-5 “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”
Because Jesus Died For Everyone. I Peter 1:18-19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
Because It Shows We Know God. Being respectful and courteous to people is one of the great evidences that you know God. How you treat people and the amount of respect you show to those in leadership positions over you is a good reflection of your true heart condition toward God. I John 4:8 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
Because of the Law of the Harvest. Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
IN CONCLUSION: There is no excuse for rude and disrespectful behavior in the life of a believer. We have a responsibility to represent Christ in this world. One important value that we must build our lives upon is the value of showing respect. We need to show respect for ourselves, we need to show respect to our family, we need to show respect to our church family and we need to show respect to the world at large.
Maintaining godly relationships between brethren is of such extreme significance that it will affect our ability to serve and to worship God. (Matthew 5:23-24 – Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.) – If you have been guilty of being disrespectful to someone, especially a fellow brother or sister in Christ, the Bible shows us here it will affect our ability to serve and worship Him. We need to set things right, sincerely apologize for the disrespectful action we have taken, seek forgiveness, repent of that action before God, and move on in your service to Him.