Romans 13: 1: 13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
As I started studying for this weeks post, I was struck by the realization that I am a changed man. The irony is not in that I would write a study concerning God’s view of human governance; on the contrary, the irony is in that nowhere in this study will you find a leaning toward a particular political ideology, candidate, or party. not very long ago, I was what one would call a political animal. I ate, slept, and dreamed politics. Now, if I listen to the news for 30 minutes a day I must not have had anything else to do.
What does the bible say about politics, laws, paying taxes, and government in general? Should Christians Be actively involved in government? Should we run for office? What if the a law is passed we do not agree with? God has answered all of these questions in His word. Some of the answers are what we would expect and others are unsettling but they are all there.
Romans 13;1 can be broken down into three parts: 1. Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities; 2. For there is no authority except from God; 3. ….and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
1.Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.
This is no small statement The key word here is subject. the Greek is Hupotasso speaking of absolute obedience to authority. If a person or governing body is put in power over us we MUST obey Uncomfortable yet? It is fine to say yes. This is a truth that flies in the face of worldly convention. and, when we take into consideration that Paul’s letter to the Romans was written at the apex of Roman power and persecution of believers under Nero; the Gravity of the opening statement in chapter 13 hits with the force of a brick landing in a pond. the ripple sent forth to all of Christianity is immense. The short answer is, no matter the ideology, no matter how we feel about it, no matter if we agree or not we must obey.
there is one exception that God has built-in through His word. (This is for those of you who didn’t fess up about being uncomfortable). When obedience to civil authority would require disobedience to God’s word, Christians obey the word of God. Exodus 1:17:
17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.
Pharaoh commanded that the midwives who delivered male Jewish children should kill them. The midwives knew this to be a violation of God’s law. So, fearing the judgment of God over that of man, they disobeyed. There are other scriptural references you can study to see a picture of what it means to fear God not man: Daniel 3:16-18, Acts 4:19.
2. For there is no authority except from God
God is the ruler of the universe. He is the Alpha and the Omega. Revelation 1:8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. God created it all He was here at the beginning and will be here after it’s all over. All authority is God’s and therefore His to give to whom He wishes.
The question comes up, does God appoint bad, inadequate rulers? He does allow it. There is always a reason and often we are not privy to it. Isaiah 55:8: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. God is in charge period. He is sovereign and as such we must trust in Him. I do not intend to apply that this is an easy task. On the contrary it is impossible! It is impossible when we are seated in our favorite chair, in the middle of the night as the pictures from the television set play off the walls emulating our growing rage at the state of the world. In the flesh it is impossible. Matthew 19:26: But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” So, God is in charge, He is on the throne; are we supposed to do nothing?
I Submit to you that America and the world need Godly men and women in positions of authority. If you are passionate about public service than heed the call and serve! Do it as unto the Lord!
3. And the authorities that exist are appointed by God
The final segment of this verse is summed up best by John Macarthur in the, Macarthur Bible Commentary, “Human government’s authority derives from and is defined by God. He instituted human governments to reward good and restrain sin in an evil, fallen world.”
So, pray earnestly for our leaders. As a friend put it the other night, “Don’t be afraid to pray the impossible prayer.” Our God is the God of second chances. Pray for our leaders, pray for our nation and the world. Search your heart pray for discernment. If God has called you to serve then do so for His glory.
Grace & Peace,
*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*