Governing Authorities Part 5.
We’ve been talking about government all week-long, and concluding today.
From Romans 13:1-7, we’ve covered the following topics:
- Paul’s Submission To Government
- Living Under Emperor Nero
- Being A Good Citizen
- Jesus View Of Government
Today, Part 5 from Romans 13:1-7.
It’s very interesting to look at the passage that Paul writes before starting to speak about submission to government. If we look back to Romans 12, remember that Paul has left us with the topic of Love.
“Be devoted to one another above yourselves.” (12:10)
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (12:14)
“Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.” (12:15b)
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” (12:17)
The last sentence that we are left with in chapter 12, before we are told to submit to government authority in chapter 13 is “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (12:21)
Roman Christians Divided?
Perhaps, the Christians in Rome were as politically divided and dissatisfied with each other and their leadership as our current Western nations. However, we have a huge advantage over these Roman Christians.
We can actually cast a vote for our leadership!
Whether or not you have agreed with my comments over the past week, we have to face a couple of facts.
- It would have been so much easier for us, if God had led Paul to write this passage during a time when the rulers of the land were just and corruption-free.
- It would have been so much easier for us, if God had led Paul to write this passage during a time when the Christian Faith was the only religion and all citizens followed God’s Word.
But He didn’t.
God led Paul to write these words under an illegitimate ruler who came to power through murder. God led Paul to write these words at a time when Christians had far more reason to question government authorities than we do today.
The reason? Likely because God knows our hearts.
He knows that unless we are challenged, we become stagnant and apathetic. Whether Conservative or Liberal, Republic or Democrat, socialist or environmentalist for that matter; we can not fill our hearts with hatred.
Instead, we should choose to follow Romans 13 and submit to the governing authorities that God has put in place. If we are dissatisfied, then thank God for this test of faith, pray for change and make sure we’re the first ones in the voter’s box!
If we truly wish to move our country toward God, we should spend less time arguing over constitutions and legislature, and spend more time evangelizing to our countrymen. Let’s live out the brotherly love explained in Romans 12.
Let’s help our countrymen find God and then they will in turn find truth.
May we use the fire in our guts over current issues, to thrust us into God’s Word for encouragement. May we turn our political discussions into petitioned prayer. May we debate with God over our deep concerns for where our country is headed.
According to this passage, He is the only One who can truly change the future of a nation.
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How can we change a nation?