“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
Honor the king
The fourth and last summary of the believer’s relationship to the government is to honor the king.
“Honor” is the same word as at the beginning of the verse. God wants us to respect those who represent the government to us.
Nero was king at the writing of I Peter. He became emperor in AD 54. He later slaughtered more Christians than any other Caesar. On a human level, they could not honor him. He was a beast, a murderer. It is not the person but the office of the king that we are to honor (Romans 13:7).
If anyone has a reason to be a good citizen, it is the Christian.
What can men say against us if we honor these four injunctions? If anyone should be a patriot and a good citizen, it should be the Christian. We have more reasons for doing so.
Wherever we live on the face of the earth this verse reads the same way. It does not matter what form of government we live under, it reads the same way. This verse reads very hard if you live in Red China. We must honor the head of state no matter what he may do on occasion. The issue is his office, not his person.
How would you like to live in a country with no laws, or police force or fire department? God’s people should be sold on the government. We need the government to function properly as a society.