1 Peter 2:16-18
In order to have complete control during the Third Reich, Adolph Hitler knew that he had to have the compliance of the religious sector. Therefore, he commanded all religious groups to unite. Only half of the Brethren assemblies complied. Those who did not were persecuted. Many of them died in concentration camps. Because of this division in the Brethren church there was much bitterness and tension. In an endeavor to remedy the situation leaders from both groups met for a retreat. After spending the first few days in prayer they all came together. Francis Schaeffer asked a friend who was there, “What did you do then?” “We were just one,” he replied. Confessing their bitterness to God they were melted together in love. From this we can derive an equation. Love + Respect + Genuine relationship with God = Unity. Peter noticed the same thing when he said, “Honor (Respect) all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear (Love with Awe or Respect) God.” This equals what Peter was describing as the expectation for God’s people when he called them “ . . . a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.” Vs. 9 The many were one.
This is such a simple equation and yet for some it appears to be difficult. When God’s people truly exercise the second part of the 11th commandment and exercise respect for their brothers and sisters in the Lord they will be surprised at the outcome.
By Dr. Gayle Woods