Fourth of four Word Studies of 1 Peter 2:17
“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17).
By “honor,” Peter means to give respect that is due to those in positions of authority. That we do not live under a “King” does not negate our responsibilities to keep this command. Those in authority have been put in power for our good; so, we “honor” them, even when their behavior does not appear to be deserving.
As God’s faithful children, we have learned from scripture that the best way to “honor” anyone is to obey his word—that is true in our relationship with God, and it also holds true in our relationship with secular authorities so long as they do not give a command that violates the law of God.
By being good citizens and by obeying the laws of the land in which we live, we, first of all, honor God, but, secondly, we serve as an example to others. Hopefully, our fellows can observe our behavior and be influenced to learn more about what motivates us to good citizenship, thus giving us an opportunity to tell them about Jesus.