1 Peter 2 v 16 - 17

Peter's rules for life: respect everyone you meet, love fellow believers, fear God, respect the King. A reminder as we saw yesterday that fearing God comes before respecting the King and if there are declarations made by authorities which directly go against a Christian's ability to worship God then our loyalty to God comes before our loyalty to worldly authorities. The early Church witnessed lots of examples of believers who took their sense of freedom in Christ too far. Paul makes it clear in his letters to the Corinthian church that there were married women acting as though they were single as their husbands weren't believers, actions of sexual immorality, unequal treatment of believers-the wealthy Christians eating all of the Love Feast before the slaves had got there due to their long working hours-and using the freedom of Christ for their own gratification rather than what it was intended for: to bless and benefit others. There was a lovely lady who attended the church I led in Cornwall who believed that unless she had been 'smitten in the Spirit' her attendance on a Sunday was worthless. Her husband was an intellectual, recently converted, and enjoyed listening to the preaching of the Word, but she would discourage him from attending due to her own sense of what was the blessing of God. It is good to remind ourselves that we have been bought by Christ, by His precious blood. The prophetic book of Hosea reminds us of God's faithfulness to those who don't in any way deserve His favour. Hosea is commanded by God to marry a prostitute and even when she proves unfaithful, God tells Hosea to buy her back (Hosea 3 v 1-4). We have been bought with a price and we are commanded to live in the full freedom which our new Master gives us: the freedom to live wholly for Him!

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