Series Detail

How to Live as Citizens Who Honor Christ How to Live as Citizens Who Honor Christ

July 07, 2024 | Buster Brown

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by Him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people."  1 Peter 2:11-15

1 Peter was written to a minority status group of believers shortly before the first wave of massive persecution in 64 A.D. when Emperor Nero accused the Christians of starting the Great Fire of Rome.

"Positive World (Pre-1994): Society at large retains a mostly positive view of Christianity. To be known as a good, church-going man remains part of being an upstanding citizen. Publicly being a Christian is a status-enhancer. Christian moral norms are the basic moral norms of society and violating them can bring negative consequences.

Neutral World (1994-2014): Society takes a neutral stance toward Christianity. Christianity no longer has privileged status but is not disfavored. Being publicly known as a Christian has neither a positive nor a negative impact on one’s social status. Christianity is a valid option within a pluralistic public square. Christian moral norms retain some residual effect. 

Negative World (2014-present): Society has come to a negative view of Christianity. Being known as a Christian is a social negative, particularly in the elite domains of society. Christian morality is expressly repudiated and seen as a threat to the public good and the new public moral order. Subscribing to Christian moral views or violating the secular moral order brings negative consequences."  Aaron Renn, First Things

“All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.”  Baptist Faith and Message, Article 15: The Christian and the Social Order


1. Continuously think well.

"Therefore, PREPARING YOUR MINDS FOR ACTION, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."  1 Peter 1:13

"Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves WITH THE SAME WAY OF THINKING, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin..."  1 Peter 4:1

We think well and live well as we're in an intentional, vital community with other believers (Malachi 3:16).

2. We understand that there are certain elements and forces that “wage war” against our well-being and joy. Therefore, you are to “arm yourselves” (1 Peter 4:1).

3. We are to live honorable, good, beautiful lives by the power of the Holy Spirit, because of the union with Christ.

"I have fought the GOOD fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."  2 Timothy 4:7

"Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are ZEALOUS FOR GOOD WORKS."  Titus 2:14

"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his GOOD CONDUCT let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom." James 3:13

“When Christian-owned businesses are operating successfully and with integrity and Christian values, that creates a light of trustworthiness in a world of declining trust. It gives people a reason to see Christians in a positive light and to think positively about at least some aspects of Christianity.”  Aaron Renn, Life in the Negative World, p. 161

4. We are to speak with respect, kindness, and clarity (1 Peter 3:16).

5. We are to be prudentially (carefully) involved in bringing the reality of the gospel of biblical truth to our culture. 

6. We're to live with expectation because the living God is at work by His almighty power. We understand that there is a “law of undulation” regarding kingdom advancement. Therefore, we are called to faithful living.