Summary: We are to submit to our governing authorities unless we are asked to disobey God!
How many of you are planning to vote this Tuesday??
If you’re not planning to vote this Tuesday and you are a citizen of the United States of America, guess what? God planned a message just for you today! No, I did not plan this (I’m not that good!); but as we are studying the Letter to the Romans, the subject of government just happened to be today, 2 days before Election Day!! God’s timing is always perfect and His Word through the Bible is a light to our paths! Don’t you think we should listen to it very carefully?
Pray with me our commitment to the Bible……
v1: We must all submit to governing authorities.
Why should we do this?
The rest of v1 and v2 give us the reasons……..
I thought it would be interesting to see what the original Greek word is for established in this passage; the word is tasso, which means to appoint, determine, ordain, or set!
a. authorities over us are God ordained!
What does this mean? If God is a loving God and desires what’s best for us and He ordains the authorities over us, we must deserve who we get as leaders! If we have good leaders then we should keep doing what we’re doing. If we have bad leaders then we must have work to do!
The leaders we have are a reflection of who we are!
And most leaders are elected by a majority right?
And so when we have opportunities to elect leaders, whether it is in church or government, we must vote because those leaders are a reflection of who we are.
If we don’t vote, we are allowing others represent who we are; in other words, if we don’t vote, we are just allowing other people to live our lives for us. A person who does not vote for leaders is really saying “I really don’t care how I’m going to live!” If you’re a citizen of the United States, what are you going to do on Tuesday? Pray and vote! If you’re not a citizen of the United States and you live here in America, please pray on Tuesday and plead to God for the right leaders to be elected.
By the way, be careful of political parties! The Democratic Party started 180 years ago and the Republican Party started 160 years ago. Does anyone know where the Republican Party started?? - Ripon, Wisconsin!
Now think about this; both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are not even 200 years old and every year they amend their beliefs. Biblical Christianity is over 2000 years old and its Testament never changes and will be forever! What dominates your life, a political party or Biblical Christianity? It’s okay to join organizations or even churches; but when that organization goes against Biblical Christianity, that would be the time to say no! (more on this later because it ties in with our next reason for submitting)
We are all to submit to governing authorities because those leaders are ordained by God for us and secondly, we are to submit to governing authorities because:
b. It is a sin not to submit to governing authorities!
This is pretty straightforward isn’t it? Because God ordained the governing authorities for us, it is a sin to go against God. But let us note, just because the governing authorities are ordained by God, these authorities may not be godly!
It is a sin to go against God! So, we are to submit to governing authorities unless they ask us to go against God. Remember what I said earlier? If we have good leaders then we should keep doing what we’re doing. If we have bad leaders then we must have work to do!
Turn to Acts 5:27-29 with me……...
It is a sin not to submit to governing authorities but we must always obey God rather than men.
And so, we have two main reasons to submit to governing authorities. But in practical ways, what does this really mean to submit to governing authorities?
Looking at other translations helps. The NKJV, NASB, and NRSV states Romans 13:1-2 similarly: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
Submitting to governing authorities means to be subject to the authorities and not resist them. We are to yield to the rules over us unless of course those rules are against what God says. Doesn’t this all make sense?
Remember the first three things a person should be committed to?