16 Act as free men … (1 Peter 2).
On July 4th weekend in churches throughout this land, Sunday services will include songs and hymns and sermons commemorating our declared independence from England 240 years ago. We celebrate that we are “free men.” This is simply who we are in Christ.
We must keep in mind that Peter wrote these words to believers living under Roman rule and occupation who, because of persecution, had been “scattered” all throughout Asia Minor (1 Peter 1:1). They were absolutely not free to do and say anything they wanted—especially if that meant not recognizing Caesar as lord. To do so would have brought death upon them.
Now, the word “Act” in this translation is not in the original text at all—it is assumed or inferred. The text really reads, “As free men ….” In other words, Peter is affirming their true freedom even in the midst of Roman rule. He is telling them, “Brethren, Roman rule notwithstanding—you are a free people! You have indeed been set free from the bondage of the two worst taskmasters that exist—the devil and sin!”
Lord, we thank You for our blessed freedom in Christ! Help us This Day (and every day) to celebrate it. Amen.