Here are my reflections on three questions that I was asked after the sermon on 1 Peter 2:11–25. Let me say at the outset that they will not be as useful as the sermon itself, because that's where I tried to lay out the argument of those verses, and to set them in context. These additional comments are intended only for those who have heard the sermon already, and won't make sense on their own.

1. Should we have submitted to the Nazi authorities, had we lived in 1930s/40s Germany?
Yes, insofar as even that corrupt regime sought 'to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good' (v14). Peter's argument doesn't depend on there being a Christian government (there wasn't in his day) that rules with perfect justice. Rather he assumes that even pagan authorities maintain some sort of law and order, and this is for our good. Presumably shoplifting was illegal under the Nazis, and you would find yourself in court for murder. So to the extent that what they punish as wrong is what God thinks is wrong, then yes, you should submit. But if the SS ask you for the addresses of your Jewish friends, then of course at that point you should refuse.

2. Should Christians protest against the abortion clinic down the road?
Yes, but not by firebombing it. We (unlike Peter's first readers) live under a democratic government, and as such we all share some responsibility for the rule of our country. As such, Christians should take seriously their freedom to vote, and are also free to lobby the government to make laws that stay close to God's idea of right and wrong. We should be appalled at the current state of the law on abortion, and its failure to protect the lives unborn children. But in our protests against it, we must stay within the law. We may protest taxes, but not by failing to pay them (cf Mark 12:13–17). We may protest against abortion clinics but not by lawless means.

3. Should Christians always stay late at work if their boss tells them to, even if that means missing Bible study, or neglecting time with family?
Not necessarily. The modern relationship between employer and employee won't correspond in every respect to the slave-master relationship of the first century, and we don't have an obligation today to submit to every whim of our employer—for example, if your boss were to specify whom you should marry, or what kind of breakfast cereal you should eat, that would be outside his/her remit. I would suggest that we are to submit to the authority of our employer insofar as the request they are making lies within their legitimate sphere of authority. They can tell you what colour binders to use for your project, but not (probably) what colour socks to wear! How exactly this applies to staying late at work will depend on the job—if you are a nurse, it goes with the territory that you have to work shifts, and some of those may clash with Bible study. If you have signed a contract to say that you will stay in the office indefinitely to meet a deadline, then you will have to honour that commitment. But in other cases, it won't necessarily be the case that at your boss's request that you stay beyond your contracted working hours lies within their authority (even if they assume that it does). It may sometimes be right to choose to disappoint your boss, rather than to let down your wife or your small group at church.

Although we need to think hard how to apply the Bible's teaching, and this always requires nuance and common sense, please don't come with a loop-hole seeking mentality. Peter's headline application is clear. He wants us to be radical in submitting to authorities. He wants you to "keep your conduct among the Gentiles honourable, so that when speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation" (1 Peter 2:12).