“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
Peter concludes this section on the Christian and government with a four-fold summary. Here is the biblical scale of values for the Christian’s relation to the government. Now that we are Christians, our thinking changes about not only the person but the whole race of human beings.
Honor all people.
First, Christians are to value all people (Rom. 12:10; 13:7). God created each person in his own image. Even the evilest person has good qualities such as wit or courage.
There were over 60 million slaves in the Roman Empire at this time. The Romans viewed them as a thing. They were not people with rights. Yet, these slaves were created in God’s image and have certain rights in his eyes.
God’s standard is that we value all people, regardless of who they are.
God wants us to honor the entire circle of any relationship we might have. He wants us to respect the dignity of every man. God wants us to give dignity to every man.
Before we became Christians, we had our own do-it-yourself-kit about what is valuable. We had our standards, and they were very low. Once we became Christians, our standards changed. Our attitude is different. Our outlook is different. We are a new creation, and we no longer think as we once thought (Rom. 12:1,2).
What value do you put on people? A child of God should see in every person a soul for whom Christ died. They may be red, yellow, black, or white. They may be dirty or clean, yet Christ died for them. Christ died for each soul of every person everywhere in the world.
We read reports of so many people killed in the Oklahoma bombing. Those numbers roll off us like water. Our estimation of human life has become very cheap. Each person killed has a family. Each one will need a funeral and a casket. We become hardened to these reports, and hearing them means very little to us. We have become so callused that the loss of life becomes commonplace. When those stats become our wife or child, then they mean something to us.
Have you ever noticed that everyone who undergoes surgery has the “best” surgeon in the hospital? Who told them that? The nurse. Do you think that she would say, “He is not much of a surgeon, but I am sure he will do his best!!”? You would say, “Practice on someone else.” That is why they call it “medical practice!!” He is practicing medicine. When he comes to practice on your husband, you want him to be perfect. Human life becomes valuable if we love the person. God, however, wants us to honor all men.
God loved the world (Jn. 3:16). Christ died for all (2 Cor. 5:14,15; Heb 2:9). If God puts this value on all human beings, should not the Christian also set the proper value on every human being on earth? Do you have the right estimation of the value of the worth of a human being?