1 Peter 2:17
Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
The common tendency of mankind is towards rendering honor to the great, those possessing political power, those endowed with signal gifts of body or mind, those possessed of vast wealth. Much of baseness in human character, of meanness in human conduct, may be attributed to this tendency. Christianity sets itself to oppose this current of opinion and action, as is most remarkably proved by this inspired admonition, "Honor all men."
I. THE GROUNDS UPON WHICH HUMANITY IS TO BE HONORED.
1. Natural grounds. All men are creatures of God's almighty power. Not only so; all are made in the image of God, however that image has been defiled and partially effaced by sin. Hence the capacity for great things, for a holy and self-denying life, for fellowship with God.
2. Supernatural grounds. The revelation of God's love and pity is for the benefit of mankind at large. God is "the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe." Christ died for all, and, as the Son of man, partook the common nature, lived the common life, died the death which is the common lot, that he might "draw all men unto himself." The provision of the gospel, the grace of the Holy Spirit, are for all, irrespective of nation, of rank, of any adventitious distinction. How, then, can the Christian do other than honor those for whom God himself, the Fountain of all honor, has done so great things?
II. THE WAYS IN WHICH HUMANITY IS TO BE HONORED.
1. By a watchful cherishing of a spirit respectful and considerate, and by the avoidance of a contemptuous disposition.
2. By a sympathetic demeanor towards fellow-Christians, whatever their position in society.
3. By efforts for the enlightenment and evangelization of men of every nation and every condition in life. - J.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.