The Command for Submission
submit yourselves (2:13a)
Although they are not ultimately under human authority, God still expects believers to submit to the human institutions He ordained. He wants them to demonstrate godly character qualities (cf. 2 Peter 1:5–7) and a genuine concern for society—a concern that seeks peace (3:11; cf. Ps. 34:14; Matt. 5:9; Rom. 14:19; James 3:18) and desires to prevent trouble and crime (cf. Rom. 12:14–21). To that end Christians will obey all laws and respect all authority, unless called upon to do something God forbids or not do something He commands (Acts 4:19; 5:27–29).
Submit yourselves (hupotassō) is a military expression literally meaning “to arrange in formation under the commander.” The Old Testament supports the principle of submission to authority (cf. Deut. 17:14–15; 1 Sam. 10:24; 2 Kings 11:12; 1 Chron. 29:24). Proverbs 24:21–22 says, “My son, fear the Lord and the king; do…
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