How are Christians to live in a pagan, perverse, and antagonistic world? This world has never been a friend of the true church.
James warned that a “friendship with the world means hostility toward God” (James 4:4). Should we show hostility to worldly people to demonstrate that we have no “friendship with the world” ?
Such “friendship” implies a mutually gratifying relationship that supplants or extinguishes a love for the Lord. We do not need friendship with the world, but we must represent our Lord to this antagonistic world. The theology of our earthly citizenship is given in a fourfold rapid fire of a series of practical commands.
The aorist command to “immediately decide to honor all people” or to “esteem or respect” them emphasizes the urgency of beginning this now and continuing the action. The original emphasis is on the word all. Paul repeats this command: “Render therefore to all their due: . . . fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” (Rom 13:7).
The second command is for believers to “always be loving the family of believers [brotherhood].” John emphasized that this command was a sign of the possession of eternal life: “This commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 Jn 4:21). Do believers you know love each other? How should this love be continually demonstrated?
The third command is for believers to “continuously fear God,” meaning to be “frightened.” Anyone who is not afraid of what God might do if He is disobeyed will eventually yield to temptation. Satan used this lie to deceive Adam and Eve so they would not be afraid: he convinced them that God would not do what He said. God will chasten any child of His who ignores His commands (Heb 12:5–-8).
The fourth command gives believers their imperative for political leaders: “be continually honoring the king.” We are to be “subject to the governing authorities” (Rom 13:1), even if we disagree with them.
Christians are to be the best citizens in any setting to avoid bringing disrepute to our Savior’s name. How will you honor someone today?
“Lord, thank You for making life simple and practical. Keep me repeating Your values in my heart every day.”
For a year's daily devotional of these Bible studies, order a copy of the book Walking His Way at Branches Publications or order the Kindle version at Amazon.com. You can also download the App for Android Smartphones.