In 1 Peter 2 there is a strong admonition to live honorably, and that includes submission to human institutions. Peter then goes on to talk about submission to the emperor. (They didn’t get to “elect” the emperor, either.)
Peter’s basis for appealing to Christian’s for submission to human institutions is this: “Do this as God’s slaves.” (I Pet. 1:16, CEB)
This phrase is stark. It will lead into the next paragraph where Peter talks to Christians who are literally slaves. As slaves in that era, he admonished them to submissive living. The illustration is real. That was also how Christians needed to live in relation to God. Slaves.
When I read that phrase I hear the voice of David Wilkerson. Years ago he had a message called “Handcuffed to Jesus.” When he wrote his newsletters he always signed them, “His bondslave…”
Wilkerson knew this phrase in reality. He wanted to be completely submitted to the will of his Savior. It was what led him to New York City in the first place to reach out to gangs. It was what led him back to New York in the 80s to start Times Square Church.
We need our lives completely submitted to the One who is our Master. God’s slaves.