23. March 2022 Romans 0

Text: Romans 13:1-7

Theme: Human authority comes from the Authority and therefore deserves our submission.

Key verses: “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished” (v. 1-2). “The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good…They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do…give respect and honor to those who are in authority” (v. 4-7).

What God said to me: Good morning. Glad you are focusing on my Word this morning. This passage seems simple and straightforward and easy for you, because you have a good government system that is based on biblical principles and truths. And you have good police and city and state officials who keep you safe and who you can trust. But imagine if you lived in Russia or North Korea or Saudi Arabia or one of the other nations run by dictators and heathen law. According to Paul in this passage you should still submit to them and their authority. And when your president in the US doesn’t act or believe like you think he should, you still need to pray for him and obey his rule and the laws that Congress sets up. Of course there are other passages and examples where Christians should not go against my law and do what is against their convictions as my followers. Paul wasn’t saying to do that here. This is simply a general rule you should follow, to obey your government whenever possible. Notice he said that you should submit not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. That is the bigger reason. You will give an account to me for how you lived and how you obeyed those I placed in authority over you.

What I said to God: Thank You Father and Master for reminding me today of my role and place in society. I am not to usurp my government’s authority and rebel against it. I am to submit to Your servants, which are those who work for our government in the US. Thank You that I don’t live in Russia or a godless place like that. I know there are many who follow You there. I pray for them as they try to obey their government but also obey and honor You. I can’t imagine how difficult that must be. I know we are blessed here in the US with blessings of peace and prosperity. May we use those conditions to bless others. And may we as Christians seek to honor You by praying for our president and officials, rather than running them down and maligning them.