The Three Estates of Christian Life

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
1 Peter 2:13–17
The Three Estates of Christian Life
Saint Peter urges us to live as free people. Christ has made us free, not to live according to sin and the old ways of our flesh, but free in the Gospel as living servants of God. Thus, God places us in vocations or callings. There are three estates in which our callings can be placed: family, church, and country. Receiving the grace of Jesus Christ by Word and Sacrament strengthens us to serve our neighbor. It is Christ who fills us to good works and love toward our neighbor. It is only because of his great love for us on the cross that we can love and serve. That even means to live under the government—to be subject to the human institution God has put us under. Free people in Christ live in service by the very Word that set us free.
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