1. In our study of Romans we have seen glimpses of God's will for Christian behaviour in their various relationships:
a. the believer's relationship with G __ __;
b. the believer's relationship with the l __ __ of God;
c. the believer's relationship with s __ __;
d. the believer's relationship with other C __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __; and
e. the believer's relationship with those who are not in the c __ __ __ __ __.
2. Chapter 13 begins with a consideration of the Christian's relationship with civil authority. This is not the only place in Scripture where we find such teaching.
a. Jesus Himself set the ground rules in Matthew 22:15-22. His teaching on this subject
caused those who asked the question to "m __ __ __ __ __."
(1) Jesus did not choose sides, "church" vs. "state."
(2) He demonstrates that the church and the state occupy different spheres, but that both come under the authority of the sovereign God of the Universe. His commandment:
- render unto the state those things which belong to the state;
- render unto God those things which belong to God.
b. The apostle Peter's principles regarding the Christian and government are set forth in 1 Peter 2:13-17.
c. In addition to his enjoinders in this morning's text passage Paul teaches elsewhere on this subject.
(1) 1 Timothy 2:1-2
(2) Titus 3:1
d. Early church fathers who succeeded the apostles stood in agreement with the Scriptures in this matter.
(1) Justin Martyr, in his Apology 1:17, states:
"Elsewhere, we, more readily that all men, endeavor to pay to those appointed by you the taxes, both ordinary and extraordinary, as we have been taught by Jesus. We worship only God, but in other things we will gladly serve you, acknowledging you as kings and rulers of men, and praying that, with your kingly power, you may be found to possess also sound judgment."
(2) Tertullian in Apology 30 wrote:
"We offer prayer for the safety of our princes to the eternal, the true, the living God, whose favour, beyond all other things, they must themselves desire....Without ceasing, for all our emperors we offer prayer. We pray for life prolonged; for security to the empire; for protection for the imperial house; for brave armies, a faithful senate, a virtuous people, the world at rest -- whatever, as man or Caesar, and emperor would wish."
(3) Arnobius informed the civil authorities that in Christian gatherings it was common that "peace and pardon are asked for all authority."
(4) The Westminster Confession declares:
"God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates, to be, under Him, over the people, for His own glory, and the public good; and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil doers....Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the powers of the keys of the kingdom of heaven."
3. What lies behind this position is the doctrine of the s __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ of God, which winds in and out, around and through the text of this great epistle like a bright satin ribbon woven into a vast, muted tapestry.