Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor (1 Peter 2:13-17 NIV, Emphasis added).
God’s Position on Honor
The God of the Bible is passionate about honor. The Bible is clear that God expects His people to honor His Word. He expects His people to honor one another, their relationships and those in authority. In Romans 12:10, God commands us to “be devoted to one another in brotherly love” and “honor one another above ourselves.” It is only by humility and the power of the Holy Spirit that we can emulate honor in our lives and transform culture.
Scripture also tells us to “honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king (1 Peter 2:17). To honor those in authority comes from the understanding that they represent God’s ultimate authority. The Bible commands us to “submit to the governing authorities because they have been established by God” (Romans 13:1-6). Therefore, anyone “who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:2).
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience (Romans 13:1-5 NIV).
What is Honor?
The word “honor” is mentioned 116 times in the Old Testament and 43 times in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for “honor” is “kabed.” It is literally a word about “weight” or “to be weighty.” The word carries a connotation of heaviness or something of great importance. It is often used to refer to the glory or presence of God. To honor is to give weight to someone or something.
“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you (Deuteronomy 5:16 NIV).
God commands us to honor our parents. It is the only commandment that comes with a promise of long life. To honor our parents is to treat them with importance or a deep respect through our actions and attitude. Scripture reveals many examples how children released curses into their own lives simply because they dishonored their parents. To honor our parents is to display behavior that shows deep reverence and appreciation toward them.
In the New Testament, the Greek word for “honor” is “temay.” Here, this word is sometimes used interchangeably with the word price. It refers to something of extraordinary value or precious. To honor here is to esteem, revere or respect someone in an extraordinary way.
We see one example in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Paul confronts the church of Corinth. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your bodies.” In this passage, we see the word price is the same Greek word for honor.
Interestingly, the word here for “temple” is the Greek word “naos.” It is the same word for the “Holy of Holies” in the Tabernacle or Temple of the Old Testament. The Holy of Holies was literally the dwelling place of God and His physical presence among the people Only the High Priest was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies once a year during the Day of Atonement. It was the most sacred place on earth. When Paul tells the church of Corinth that their physical bodies are the “temples” or the “Holy of Holies,” he is saying that their bodies are precious and carry extraordinary value. God expects us to honor Him with every area of our lives.
Lack of Honor Cuts Flow of Heaven
The lack of honor inhibits the flow of heaven in our own lives and those around us. To dishonor means to treat as ordinary or common. In Mark 6, Jesus returns to his hometown. As He began to teach in the synagogue, many began to question Him. “What’s this wisdom that has been given to him? Isn’t he the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us? And they took offense at him (6:2-3).” In other words, they treated Him as an ordinary person among them. In turn, they dishonored Him. And Scripture reveals to us a shocking truth. Jesus could not do any miracles. Here we see God Himself on earth could not do any miracles in the presence of dishonor.
“Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them” (Mark 6:4-5 NIV, Emphasis added).
God wants to restore a culture of honor in every person, family, home, neighborhood, city and nation. God wants to restore a culture of honor in Butler and Western Pennsylvania.
In a culture of honor, the mission of Jesus is not building little kingdoms on earth but ensuring God’s Kingdom invades earth. In a culture of honor, parents are highly esteemed and children are blessed with a holy reverence of righteousness. In a culture of honor, teachers are treasured and government authorities are respected. In a culture of honor, husbands lay their lives down for their wives and wives adore their husbands. In a culture of honor, the brokenhearted is strengthened and the successful are celebrated. In a culture of honor, leaders are revered and people are empowered in their unique gifts and callings. In a culture of honor, every follower of Jesus is commissioned, not by human traditions but by the Word of God, to 1) testify to the Lordship of Christ, 2) make disciples, 3) baptize other believers and 4) administer communion.
As a community of believers, we believe God wants to restore honor in our homes, schools businesses and government. We want to create a safe environment where life is honored, children are blessed, marriages are treasured, people are released, leaders are valued and boundaries are encouraged. Honor empowers people and transforms culture.
ResourcesSilk, Danny. “A Culture of Honor: Sustaining A Supernatural Environment.” (ISBN-13: 978-0-7684-3146-9) Bevere, John. “Honor’s Reward: How to Attract God’s Favor and Blessings.” (ISBN-13: 978-0-446-57883-7). Bevere, John. “Under Cover: Your Secret Place of Freedom.” (ISBN-13: 978-0785269915)
“Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth he will certainly not lose his reward” (Matthew 10:41-42 NIV)