Submission To Authority

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“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Romans 13:1-2).

No matter what side of the political spectrum you come down on, the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 13 apply to you. Whether your ruler is godly or ungodly, gracious or crass, good or evil, Paul instructs us to obey the authority above us. In only one case are we permitted to disobey the authorities. In fact, it’s not only an option not to obey, but we may even say it is a requirement.

If obedience requires sin.

Remember in the early days of the Gospel when the apostles were brought before the Jewish authorities and commanded not to speak in the hame of Jesus any longer. Remember the apostle’s response? “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge” (Acts 4:19). In other words, the apostles said, “Thanks. But no thanks.” And it didn’t stop there. They essentially told their leaders that they were willing to suffer the consequences. That’s what it means when Peter and John said, “You must judge.”

Civil disobedience has its place. But it must only take place without resorting to sin. Only to avoid sin must we pay a heavy price. But if we resist when the thing commanded is not sin, then we are at fault. It doesn’t mean not to speak up and let our hearts be known. It means not to resist if something is not a cause for us to sin.

Memory Verse

“Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:7).

Application

How can you express your political views without resorting to sin? How does love figure into your politics? Commit to God not to sin in the expressing of your politics. 

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