Governing Authorities Part 3.
It’s day 3 of our discussion on government, all based around Romans 13:1-7.
In Part 1, we asked whether or not Paul submitted to government.
In Part 2, we asked whether or not Emperor Nero was a better leader than our current one.
The stage has definitely been set on what kind of government the Christians in Rome were living under. Now back to our passage, Romans 13:1-7.
Paul gets to the point.
Paul doesn’t ever beat around the bush does he? He gets right to the heart of the matter in the first verse.
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1)
That verse seems pretty straight forward to me. Obviously, we’re to submit to the governing authorities in our land. However, human nature leads us to not be concerned with the “what should we do” and more with the “why should we do it?“
The “why” is actually the crux of this opening statement and the remainder of this passage.
We can submit because God is in control. God can make or break a nation, just as easy as he can make or break the ruler of that nation. In verse 2, Paul immediately states what takes place when we rebel against the authorities that God has allowed to govern:
“Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 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 he will commend you.” (Romans 13:2-3)
The call here is to be a good citizen and not make unnecessary trouble for oneself.
Furthermore, if you do make trouble for yourself, don’t be surprised if you bring judgment on yourself. A good citizen generally does not find themselves being hassled by the governing authorities.
Check back tomorrow as we unpack verses 4 through 7.
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Why would you consider yourself a good citizen?