2 Peter 2:19 “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage”
“For of whom a man is overcome”
This is to illustrate to us the ancient custom of selling slaves of those of whom they had conquered and taken captivated in war.
The ancient law was; that a man might either kill those whom he overcame in battle, or keep him for a slave.
So we read of the slave girl from Israel in 2 Kings 5:2;
“And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife”
So, Peter is saying that ministers can make slaves of the members even though they can promise them liberty, but that they can only be as free as the leaders ought to be since they are the ones in charge.
Now, this is a very abusive setting within the Body of Christ and it’s a major sign of disrespect to the faith of the believer for whom Christ died.
John writing said;
1 John 5:20 (AMP) “And we [have seen and] know [positively] that the Son of God has [actually] come to this world and has given us understanding and insight [progressively] to perceive (recognize) and come to know better and more clearly Him Who is true; and we are in Him Who is true — in His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). This [Man] is the true God and Life eternal”
1 John 5:20 (MSG) “And we know that the Son of God came so we could recognize and understand the truth of God — what a gift! — and we are living in the truth itself, in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. This Jesus is both True God and Real Life”
Meaning each and everyone in the faith must come to this position of personal realization and walking in this real life of the Christ within. It is disrespectful for us not to make the believer worshiping under us to know the Christ of God for themselves.
For ultimately, here is the goal of God in Christ as He rules and reigns;
1 Corinthians 15:27, “For He [the Father] has put all things in subjection under His [Christ’s] feet. But when it says, All things are put in subjection [under Him], it is evident that He [Himself] is excepted Who does the subjecting of all things to Him.” (Also see Psalms 8:6)
Verse 28 (AMP) “However, when everything is subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also subject Himself to [the Father] Who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life]”.
We are talking of God in Christ being the controlling factor in every man. Not laws, rules or a system regulation but yet being in perfect harmony with the spirit of the house.
So Apostle Peter talking of the law of mutual Respect has this to say;
1 Peter 2:17 “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king”
1 Peter 2:17 (NIV) “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.”
1 Peter 2:17 (MSG) “Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government”
Here we are told to honour or esteem all men not some men equal. Not because someone carries a particular title or position. Honouring people is born out of the fact that they are made in the image and likeness of God.
The law of sowing and reaping is vitally important here. For it is said;
Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”.
This is not just about money; the word is ‘WHATSOEVER’
Meaning it is what you sow that you reap; you can’t sow dishonour and expect people to honour you even if you are a minister of the Gospel. This is why it is said, ‘respect is reciprocal’.
Learning how to speak to people even if you are angry is very important. Minding the words you use on the congregation while delivering your message is very important. What you do in public when you meet people for the first time matters a lot.
Mutual respect as a human is very important and for ministers it is of utmost importance in managing a Church.
Value your people, treat them with honour and respect across the board. Speak words of encouragement. Love the brotherhood.
The word of God says;
Isaiah 50:4 “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned”
This is what it should be. Being an Encourager and stimulating the believer to greater faith.