SERVANT OF CHRIST
Romans 13 instructs all Christians to submit to governing authorities. However, as the world falls deeper into depravity, governments worldwide are increasingly in conflict with the Word of God and its truths. This short essay will establish relevant reasoning and biblical truths that every Christian needs to understand when dealing with this subject.
Submission to Governing Authorities
Romans 13:1-7 ” Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil. Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
Summing Up; What should be the believer’s relationship to the law? First, he is to obey the law. That is what Paul is saying here—”Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities.” Since they were under Roman law, they were to obey it. Although Rome intended that their laws should be just, they were not. Remember that Roman law crucified Christ and persecuted the early Christians. Yet, Rome boasted loudly about justice, just like today’s governments.
Submission to God’s Authorities
Reasoning: Apostle Peter and Paul wrote that we need to be subjective to our governing authorities. However, does this include when it’s in direct violation of the Word of God? Jesus & Luke gave us the answer to this question when confronted with the same fundamental issue.
Matthew 22:15-22 “The Pharisees went off and made a plan to trap Jesus with questions. Then they sent to him some of their disciples and some members of Herod’s party. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you tell the truth. You teach the truth about God’s will for people, without worrying about what others think, because you pay no attention to anyone’s status. Tell us, then, what do you think? Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?” Jesus, however, was aware of their evil plan, and so he said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin for paying the tax!” They brought him the coin, and he asked them, “Whose face and name are these?” “The Emperor’s,” they answered. So Jesus said to them, “Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.” When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.”
Mark 12:13-17 “Some Pharisees and some members of Herod’s party were sent to Jesus to trap him with questions. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you tell the truth, without worrying about what people think. You pay no attention to anyone’s status, but teach the truth about God’s will for people. Tell us, is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor? Should we pay them or not?” But Jesus saw through their trick and answered, “Why are you trying to trap me? Bring a silver coin, and let me see it.” They brought him one, and he asked, “Whose face and name are these?” “The Emperor’s,” they answered. So Jesus said, “Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.” And they were amazed at Jesus.”
Act 5:29 “But Peter and the apostles answered and said, “We must obey God rather than men.”
Romans 13 Conclusion: The scriptures indicate that there are two spiritual forces’, a worldly and a divine, that serves the purposing and will of Jehovah. Jesus, in Matthew 28:18, states that He has authority over both heaven and earth, which instructs that every person should be subject and obey their worldly governing rules until it violates the Word of God.
Acts 5:40-42 They called the apostles in, had them whipped, and ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus; and then they set them free. As the apostles left the Council, they were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of Jesus. And every day in the Temple and in people’s homes they continued to teach and preach the Good News about Jesus the Messiah.
Remembering; Who do you serve? Who is your God? Answering those questions will guide you.