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God Sees


"13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king."

Good Morning my beloved,


Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have all of you here with us today. We continue to pray for those of you who are facing persecution for your faith in Christ. We respectfully ask that all of you would also pray with and for one another. We are so grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others has brought about tremendous results. Where will God's Word be heard today? We pray that God's Word will continue to reach those who desperately need to hear it, as we draw nearer to the coming day of our Lord.  
Submission in our society is not a popular topic, but it is needful, especially in our rebellious and self-gratifying culture. Submission does not mean slavery or subjugation, it is the recognition of God's right to govern our lives. Too often many of us begin our day with thoughts of everything we need to accomplish. Although fulfilling our responsibilities is important, as Christians, it is essential to live your lives in such a way that your testimony becomes believable, that the transforming power of Christ is made evident to the watching world, not only by what you say but by what you do and who you are. God requires our submission and obedience. Our motivation should not be to avoid punishment but to glorify our Lord.
The way you live will determine whether you lead someone to Christ or turn them away. Jesus came into the world to save sinners.The problem is not people rejecting the gospel. The problem is that they are never told about the gospel.  
To supplement our faith with the brotherly affection, we are to perform acts of service for those believers who are in need.  Allow me suggest that we can start by helping those who we personally know. Certainly, among those you know, there is at least one deserving of your attention. 

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You for Your Word for us. Thank You for those whom You have chosen to gather with us, I pray that You will bless them with a refreshed mind and spirit. Lord, it is our desire to submit our life to You, to use our time and energies in ways that are going to accomplish Your will. Help us, to be faithful in prayer seeking Your will for each of our lives. Refresh our commitment passionate, zeal for You, that we might be the kind of people You want us to be. 

Lord, reveal to us those hearts that You have prepared to receive the truth, that we would point them to the cross of Christ. May it be for Christ's sake and Your glory.
In Christ's name we pray

Today's Message: God Sees

The Bible makes clear the need for submission. While God has sovereignly ordained governmental officials to hold positions of authority, ruling over us, we are also to regard our fellow believers as  higher than our own selfish desires. Therefore, submission is not only a matter of authority but also a matter of priority. 
As believers, we need to be able to live in this world without the world affecting us, but in such a way, that we affect the world. What hinders us from a life of God's power is not the need to get more power, but the need to release the power we've already been given in our union with Jesus Christ through salvation. We cannot live as God has commanded us, if we're not truly living under God's authority.
In John 5:30, Jesus said "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."
Christ, Who is our example, had a spirit of submission to the Father. He lived in and for the will of God. As followers of Christ, we must be sure that we are living in a right relationship and operating in alignment with God's authority. Just as the Father sent the Son in the world, the Son sends us in the world. 
Tragically, our culture has influenced the church. As the true church of Christ, we have to redefine "normal." Normal for the church of Jesus Christ is defined by the Word of God, not the culture. The church is to be about making authoritative, bold statements about the kingdom of God. The church is the Book of Acts and doing what Jesus did and even greater things than He did. 
The church is alive, however, we must conform to the biblical standards set forth in Scripture if we are build up the next generation of saints to carry the Word forward.  I believe that the church, has been relying on their own capacity, rather than the power and authority Almighty God.

James 4:6 teaches "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." The natural man of strength would ever think of submitting himself or being humble.
We need to get hold of, and hang onto what the Word of God says, we cannot afford to neglect or marginalize what the Bible calls sin. Because Satan is roaming around seeking people not just to give them a bad day, but devour and destroy!
Open with me your Bibles to I Peter chapter 2 verses  thirteen through seventeen. The point of this section of exhortation is that we as Christians are to live a life above reproach, above shame, so that by our exemplary lives we shut the mouths of those who criticize our faith. There is really no greater living evidence before the watching world, to witness the transforming power of the gospel, than to see the life of a truly transformed person. The most powerful witness occurs when a person has already laid a firm foundation of having demonstrated a transformed life.

I invite you to follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds, as we prepare our hearts for what the Spirit has to say to each of us. Listen for the voice of our Lord. I Peter 2:13-17.

"Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.  Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king."

In these verses, 13 to 17 Peter says even though we are aliens, and our citizens of heaven, we are still living in the world, therefore, as citizens, we must conduct ourselves properly. The Christian culture in this nation is suffering tremendously because many Christians, including Christian leaders, are not living exemplary lives, lives above reproach. But far worse, rather than shame and repentance, after a condescending insincere apology, their reprehensible conduct, is almost celebrated.

While they may profess Christ, however, they are not living supernaturally transformed, godly lives. They are not only damaging their testimony, they are greatly impacting that of the church. Demonic manifestations within the church of Christ are increasing. These so called Christians today, indifferent from the world, are living in such a way, that even their function as citizens is causing a reproach to fall on the name of Christ. As believers, functioning properly as both an alien and a citizen, is crucial to our testimony. It is our demonstrated character that reveals our alienation. We are in the world, not of the world. The world is not to be in us!

Verse 13, "Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority."
Here, Peter is saying that because you are citizens of heaven, you are called to a higher standard and live on a higher plane. The fact that you answer to a higher authority does not mean that you can treat the institutions on earth with indifference. We need to learn how to live within the system and conduct ourselves as citizens and make sure that our normal posture toward government is that of submission.

I can't think of a more fitting time for us to be studying this subject, since we have been experiencing civil unrest in our nation and the world. Large groups of people have violated the standards of citizenship. They have rebelled against the authority over them. Sadly, many have done all of that in the name of God. 

Living as Christians in an earthly environment, it is challenging enough to be a good citizen. But that is significantly compounded when the society in which you live is totally hostile toward you. During the first couple of centuries of the church's existence, it was pretty common for them to be living in a hostile, anti Christian society. Christians were simply viewed as a sect of the Jews, and they hated Jews.
In fact, Apion writes, "In the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes the Jews every year offered up a fattened Gentile as a sacrifice on a fixed day in a certain feast, ate his entrails and swore eternal hostility of the Gentiles."
It is natural when we think of ourselves as being above the world as heavenly citizens. And when we are attacked by ignorant, unfounded, evil accusers, the natural response is to rise up in self-defense and possibly even to retaliate. Because we are not of this world, it's natural to want to have no part in this world and this world no part with us. God does not want or condone such behavior from us.
As Christians, we are responsible to obey the law. We are to observe man-made laws carefully as long as those laws do not conflict with the clear teaching of Scripture. We are to submit because the Lord Himself submitted to the authority of government. In fact, God wants us to seek peace, as much is possible, demonstrating self-restraint,  virtue, and a genuine concern for the community. The Christian life is to silence the critics by obeying all the laws and respecting all the authorities. Our protest against the government should always be using the Word of God and prayer. 

The command is simple, "Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake." In ancient times, Christians were often looked upon as cowards and weaklings. Because no man of strength would ever consider submitting himself.
Proverbs 24:21 says "My son, fear the Lord and the king; Do not associate with those who are given to change, For their calamity will rise suddenly, And who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?"
Do not associate with those who are given to change, the rebels, the insurrectionists.
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was a pagan to the core. In fact, he was so pagan that he rose up and shook his fist in the face of  Almighty God. If you will remember, the Jews were in Babylonian captivity, in a pagan land. They were really to be brainwashed by the Babylonian culture and the Babylonian system. Listen to what Jeremiah 29:4-7 says "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, "Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare."
The Lord says get a house, live in it. Plant a garden, eat the fruit.  Marry your children to one another, carry on with life. Whatever you can do to seek the welfare of the city and pray to the Lord on its behalf for in its welfare you will have welfare. The implication here is, seek peace, and you will know peace. Seek  disruption and you will know disruption. Know this, that God has a better place for you. That's a very direct statement.
Verse 14, "or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right." Now, without becoming political, the function of the government is to punish those who violate law and to reward those who keep it. All of the civil unrest, we are seeing today goes well beyond the basic definition. 
The governments of the United States have slackened terribly in the matter of proper punishment for evildoers and proper reward for those who do right and are spending a fortune, to say nothing of an unbelievable amount of energy, in matters that are peripheral to the role of government.
In Romans 13:3-6, Paul says basically the same thing. "For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake."
Since the normal, basic, formative foundation of government by biblical definition is to punish evildoers and reward those who do well, government is never more clearly defined than in the role of the police.  By biblical definition, they are the ministers of God. Look at Romans 13 again, "for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil."
The American government is spending its time and money and energy operating in all types of other venues and not properly carrying out the function of punishing evil and rewarding the righteous. God has given civil government the power to punish evildoers.
In Matthew 26:52, when they were just coming to arrest Jesus and take Him into custody for their mock trial, Peter took out his sword, and Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword." He was saying to Peter, if you take a life and I will affirm the right of this government to take your life. Jesus went all the way to the cross, knowing that He would be unjustly murdered, without retaliation simply committing Himself to God. You cannot take the law into your own hands. Even for a just cause. You do not step outside the God-ordained parameters of proper conduct.
It is the God-ordained duty of the government to punish evildoers and to reward those who do well. When has government praised those who have done good? Unfortunately, our society doesn't reward good anymore. Nonetheless, government is ordained by God and He knows what He's doing! He is still on the throne.
As followers of Christ, especially in the age in which we are living, we must pray for the government to function in that way.  However, it is then our God-ordained duty to respond to the powers and the authorities. So, for the sake of the testimony of Jesus Christ, abide by the law.
If you want change, then take out your spiritual weapons, not fleshly ones. Fight your battles with the proclamation of the Word of God and with prayer. I do not have a problem with people lining up in respectful protest but not in civil disobedience against the government which is ordained by God. 
Look, we don't have to look far in our society to find things we don't like. God has set the standard of what's right and wrong, and let's be clear, it greatly contrasts with the crime, sexual immorality, and declining standards of moral decency that seem to be predominant today.

By the way, to be clear, those civil authorities have no right to tell us what to preach, what to teach, or which philosophy to adopt as a church. If they attempt to do that, we have a God given right, in fact, it's a duty to rebel, because there is a higher law than their law, the higher law relating to the declaration of truth.
We find the reason that we are conduct ourselves in this way in verse 15. "For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men." I have often heard people say, "I just don't know what the will of God is." Well folks, there it is! The will of God is that you obey authority by submitting yourself for the Lord's sake to every human institution. And, by doing what is right, you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. I have to say, what many Christians are doing today is simply making things worse. The current culture is finding more and more to criticize us for.
The word ignorance, is the Greek word "agnōsian," which means more than just no knowledge. It means a willful rejection of the truth. It's willful hostility. If it were just ignorance, it would be the word agnia, meaning a lack of knowledge.
Now, we come to verse 16, where Peter says "Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God." Act as free men. You're free in Christ, you're free from Satan, you're free from condemnation. You have been freed by redemption, so act as free men! That is really a marvelous statement. Submission does not mean subjection, by the way. Christians are not bond-slaves of the government but of God. We do not submit because we necessarily agree. Nor do we submit because we support all the rules, codes, and regulations. We submit because it is the "will of God."
Then, he says but do not dare to use your freedom as a covering for evil. In other words, Christian freedom is never to used as an ungodly license, that violates God's law. Don't run around saying that we're free in Christ, so we'll live as we want. Our freedom is not to be used as an excuse to sin. As soon as we misuse it for those end, we are entangled with the slavery to sin.
And, out of evil emerges retaliation, bitterness, hostility and disobedience. If you were truly righteous, you would conform to God's Word which says your freedom should be used as a bond slave of God. Christian freedom is the freedom to serve God, and that freedom comes only as we take on the yoke of God. 
Peter then concludes this section on the Christian's submission to the government in verse 17 with a four fold injunction. "Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king." There's your citizenship theology right there, "Honor all people." The word used here, is the same word Jesus uses in Matthew 15:4, telling us to honor our father and mother. And in John 5: 23 when He says that we should honor the Son even as we honor the Father. Honor is a mark of authentic Christian lifestyle, that we honor all people as our Lord does.
All people were created in the image of God. Honor, then, all people. Because at least to some degree, they are due honor. Every person, regardless of color or race, whether high or low on the ladder of authority, high or low on the strata of society, is worthy to be honored as created in the image of God. There are different levels of honor,  for different levels of social structure, however, all men are to be honored. 
That doesn't mean we agree with them, or like everything that they do. It doesn't even mean that we have to respect everything that they do. As Christians, we are to have a proper respect for every person that is the creation of God.  Believers in particular, should be conscious of the fact that each human has been uniquely created in God's image. All people are significant. Therefore, they deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello. 
Beloved, we have not begun to show the love of Christ to others until we have treated them with honor and respect. So honor all people.
Then, he says "Love the brotherhood." What's not to love, we're all so lovable, right? Peter says honor all people and love the brotherhood, they both have equal weight in this text. As members of God's family, we should love each other. Agape love must flow freely and generously from the lives of true Christians. Love is another mark of authentic Christian lifestyle,
In John 13:35, Jesus said "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
The third injunction, is that Christians are to "fear God." To fear God. We are to be in awe in His presence, to give Him reverence. It is the word used in John 6:19, which describes the fear of the disciples when the storm arose, and they were alone in the boat. It does not mean to be in terror, but in awe and reverence, which leads us to obedience. This is important, because we will never truly respect and honor people until we have reverence for God.
I believe this is one of the major problems in the church today. We have made God all too common, too familiar to us. We have created Him to be in our own image, rather than us who were created in His. We have brought God down to our level, rather than us trying to rise up to His. The Lord God on high is to be lifted up in all of His glory and might, we are to bow in awe in His presence, to give reverence to Him and worship Him.  
Let me tell you this, you had better fear God and understand the repercussions of your disobedience. It is God Who designed your role in this world as a citizen, so you had better leave to solutions to Him. In today's church, there is nothing that puts Christian faith and progressive activism at intransigent odds. For many Christian progressive crusaders, it isn't simply that their faith and their politics ware not incompatible, but rather that their progressive politics are inspired by their faith. 
Abolitionism has become a theological project. In fact, many theological doctrines have been amassed in progressive political efforts. The ideology that human beings bear the image of God is often cited as a rationale for championing human rights.
What has been given less attention in the church, is the way the theological doctrine of the absolute authority of God! No human being should ever presume to usurp that stature which belongs only to God. What is instead being emphasized is what makes a person freedom of choice. It is no longer enough to be able to do what you will to be free, but the pursuit to do what you will in the absence of interference from others'.
It is essential to make the distinction between the exercise of absolute power and the exercise of arbitrary power. It has become a recurring temptation to blame others and exercise arbitrary authority. Our society cannot function without the exercise of power, in order to enforce agreed upon norms and hold wrongdoers accountable, someone must exercise power.
The church must return to the realization that Jesus Christ is Lord over all, not only over His church, but over the entire universe, as its Supreme and rightful governor.
That brings us to Peter's last injunction, "honor the king." Honor is due to all, and especially to be given to those God has placed in authority. As Christians, we are to show respect for whoever the reigning source of authority is. In our case, it is not a king, but a combination of several entities. It is natural for us to honor those whom we favor. Those we like and agree with.
However, that is not what Peter is talking about here. He is calling us to respect and honor even those who are evil. This is yet another mark of the authentic Christian lifestyle, to love and honor even the tyrants of our society, those who would abuse and persecute us!
As Christians, we should appreciate our special status, privilege, and position as children of God. However, that does not afford us the privilege of looking down on others. We must bear in mind that we are who we are solely by God's grace. Therefore, we must guard against the tendency to feel superior to others by showing the proper respect to all. Respect is due to others simply because they have been created by God, in His image.
In Closing..
Peter wrote to those who were slaves, being murdered and were being treated as less than human. If God called these believers in the Bible to submit to a evil terror and killer of Christians, how, then, can we have the audacity to grovel and whine about our president. To whine and complain about our bosses, when our brothers and sisters served cruel masters and honored a demented king such as Nero, whose primary objective was to annihilate them! Nero savagely persecuted these Christians, and yet the gospel spread like never before and the church grew even stronger. 
 Regardless of what the current culture is teaching, it is God’s will that you should also submit to your parents and wives to your husbands, and church members to your pastor and elders. God has established these authorities for you to obey. If you do not, you disobey God.
I strongly encourage you to examine your actions and motives carefully, to make sure they are in line with the Word of God.
Allow me to remind you, there is no authority except that which God has ordained. He who rebels against authority is rebelling against God! If we are obedient and are punished or persecuted, the watching world will see that we have been wronged for God’s sake, and God will be glorified and the evil rulers will be silenced.
They will have no case against us, just as they had no case against Jesus. These are some of the most difficult days we have ever faced in our country. Our nation is suffering from uncertainty, uneasiness, conflict, and distrust, we have lost our oneness, stability, strength, and care for one another. If ever there was a time that we need to rely on the Scripture, it’s today, when everything is crumbling beneath us, we must remember that God’s Word is the ultimate Authority and our true foundation. God's Word is our compass and guide for every hardship. That certainly does not mean that will not experience suffering. However, when we are in a right relationship with Him and walking in obedience and submission, He determines the limits of our trials and suffering. And, He has promised to walk with us every step of the way.
Therefore, continually respect and honor all people, continually honor the king, continually love your fellow Christians, and continually fear God!
Lord, forgive us and help us to become that type of citizen. 

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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