Bad company has always corrupted good character. It should be no surprise to see this theme open the book of proverbs. Solomon paints a violent picture of peer pressure through wicked temptation (Proverbs 1:8-19) as a father prepares his son for the dangers and responsibilities of adulthood.
As Christ-followers who are being conformed more and more into the likeness of Christ (not our culture) how are we to conduct our lives in an increasingly godless society? Fortunately, the New Testament has much to say about our social responsibilities.
First Peter reminds us that, even in the worst circumstances, the Christian discovers comfort in who they are and what they are called to do. Whether we find ourselves suffering with a bad spouse, a bad boss, or even a bad government, we can and should live above the world in our attitude and our actions.
When governments fail us (and even persecute us) what is our Christian duty? What does honorable conduct among the unbelieving world look like? First Peter was written to comfort suffering Christians. It tells believers how to think and act in an evil society ran by an evil government.
Paul writes, "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities." We find it difficult to submit to our leaders when we disagree with their policies. How much harder would this command be to follow when the authorities were killing Christians? Both Paul and the Holy Spirit realize that we need more than a command, we need motivation.