As “elect exiles” Peter’s readers lived in two worlds. First, as Christ-followers, they were citizens of the Kingdom of God engaged in the mission of Christ through the church. But they were also part of their neighborhood, called to be citizens in their own society.
Like them, we are called to be good subjects of our governing officials and good servants of God. But just how are we to manage these relationships? Where must our primary allegiance lie? And more to the point, where must our energy and confidence lie?
Peter is clear. While this world’s officials deserve our honor, God calls us to be holy. And this holiness means a radical commitment first, and always, to fear God and love the brethren.