Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson.
1. What different types of authority figures do we live under today (think familial, educational, spiritual, financial, political, work, and other areas of our lives)? Why or how do they have dominion over us?
2. How do you respond to the various “superiors” in your life?
Read 1 Peter 2:11-17
1. On a piece of paper, draw three columns and make a list of people who have jurisdiction over various parts of your life, using Name /Position as the first two headings. Continue to add to the list throughout today’s study. For example, write God/King Over My Entire Life, and Employer’s Name/Boss. (We’ll come back to column three later.)
2. How can we live godly lives in an ungodly world? How do we demonstrate to the people around us our Christian character, pointing the way to God through our good deeds and blameless lives? List and discuss practical, actionable ways Peter suggests and select a verse you think sums up this passage.
Read 1 Peter 2:18-25
3. Have you ever suffered unjustly at the hands of someone in charge? Consider a specific event and, without dishonoring the person, discuss only your response to the mistreatment. Does it follow Jesus’ example in verse 23? Explain.
4. Talk about how verses 20-23 provide confidence, comfort, and healing to those who have been hurt in this way. (We’ll learn more in next week’s study.)
Read 1 Peter 3:1-7
5. This passage is about wives and husbands, yet it is a great example of ways women can win anyone to Christ. Examine characteristics that are of great worth to God, noting the word submission means to voluntarily yield to or relinquish control.
6. How can a man’s prayers be hindered? Concentrate on verse 7, listing and discussing the two command phrases you find there.
7. Read Romans 13:1-7. Zero in on verse 7 and read it aloud. In all the relationships discussed throughout these study questions, what debts do you “owe” the people on your list from question 1? Write What I Owe at the top of column three in your list and indicate how you will serve and honor those people in the coming week.
Conclude your group time with prayer, using the following as a guide.
Lord, thank you for helping us understand our role in living blameless lives as we submit to those in authority over us and work to do what is good for them. Jesus, thank you for your submission at the cross that shows us what it means to serve one another and fully submit to authority. Holy Spirit, reveal the debts we owe others and help us fulfill the command to love one another. Amen.