1 Peter 2:16

"Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God." NIV translation

Once again, Peter issues the call for us to be holy. We are free to do everything in Christ but we do not do things that dishonor the name of Jesus. He tells us to live as servants (bond slaves) of God. Remember that a bond slave only does the will of his master and, in this case, the master is God.

1 Peter 2:17

"Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king." NIV translation

Peter gives us guidance on our relationships. We notice that we are to respect all people and this goes back to the first chapter of Genesis where we are told that man was made in the image of God. Because all people are made in God's image, we are to respect them. We are told to love believers and that love is putting them ahead of ourselves as that is the example that Jesus gave us. Finally, we are to honor and respect the authority of the government and sometimes this is tough but we must rest in the fact that God is in control.

1 Peter 2:18 & 19

"Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God." NIV translation

At first glance, our reaction to this passage is probably "I am not a slave and so this doesn't apply to me" but in fact it does. Most of us have a job where we receive pay for a service that we perform for our boss. The only difference between slavery and a job working for someone else is in the method of payment. The master of a slave was obligated to take care of the slave's physical needs while, in the case of a job, the boss (master) is obligated to give the employee (slave) money to provide for their own needs. Therefore, whether you have a kind, compassionate, Christian boss or one that is only concerned about himself, we are to voluntarily submit to their authority and honor them. If the master is unjust and you suffer, God will call the master to answer for their actions. You will be commended for your obedience to God.