Showing Respect – Part # 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 2:17Honour 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.”

  • Everybody is created by God; and God doesn’t make mistakes or make things we can be flippant with or disrespectful with.
  • There are no worthless people. There are people who do worthless things. There are people who do wrong things, but they are all created by and loved by God.
  • Even the most unlovable person is loved by God.
  • Honor and respect doesn’t mean we embrace or endorse what they do or even what they believe, but we respect the individual as a creation of God.
  • God isn’t finished with any of us, is He? (Philippians 3:13-14Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.)
  • We are all a work in progress.
  • So let’s not forget where we came from…let’s remember that we are all made of the same stuff…we are all flesh.

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:”

  • We may not think much about somebody, but God does.
  • In fact, He says they are worth dying for. (John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.)
  • The cross shows how much people matter to God.
  • Jesus died for all… people who don’t believe in Him; people who reject Him; people who choose to disobey Him! (Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.)
  • Jesus died for me, but He also died for the world. (John 3:17 – For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.)

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.”

  • The Bible says that God is love and if I know God then I’m going to fill my life with love.
  • Love always treats people with respect.
  • If you look at the life of Jesus Christ, He treated everyone with respect; the woman at the well, the woman taken in adultery, Nicodemus, even Judas and Peter.
  • If I am a believer, a Christian, then I’m going to treat other people the way Jesus did.
  • I’m going to treat them with value and with dignity. (I Corinthians 13:5 – [Love] Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;)
  • That verse says that love is not rude and selfish.
  • When I’m rude I’m basically saying, “I’m the only one that matters.” So if I treat you with disgust or disrespect – I treat you rudely.

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.”

  • Whatever goes around comes around. Whatever you give out, you’re going to get back. (Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.)
  • It never pays to be rude. Treat others how you wish to be treated, treat others with respect. The way you treat others, according to God’s Word, will eventually circle back around to you. (Proverbs 11:17 – The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.)

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 5:23-24Therefore 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.

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