Summary: What is our responsibilty towards Government? What is the governments responsibility to us?
• How many of you love to pay your taxes? Some of the creative ways the government has learned to waste our hard-earned money makes it difficult to be a cheerful giver!
• We have been looking at some various issues concerning the Christian and our conduct. We have looked our relationship to the church, to those who are a part of the church, and we have looked at what our relationship to those without Christ should be. Now we will look at what our relationship to the governing authorities.
• I believe we live in the greatest country in the world, even with though as a nation we have problems.
• We have been in the middle of a regime change in Iraq and we are closing in on elections in this country.
• What is the role of government? What responsibilities does it have towards us? What is our responsibility towards government?
• READ ROMANS 13:1-7
I. GOD ESTABLISHES THE AUTHORITY FOR GOVERNMENT
• In verse 1 we are told that there is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God.
• That is a loaded statement. We need to consider this was written during a time that Rome ruled Israel. It was written during a time in which political persecutions were taking place.
• Paul was telling his readers that the evil Roman government received its’ authority from God and was established by God!
• The word or establish means to set in pace to appoint, to set in order.
• One of the things we need to understand is that all true authority comes from God.
• The idea that society needs to be governed originated with God. We honor God be honoring His system.
• If God is the originator of government, and if God is all-powerful, it only makes sense that government derives its authority from God. We will look at the implications of that thought to those who govern later.
• Daniel 2:21 tells us, "It is He (God) who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.
• This whole thought of God establishing government is difficult to comprehend when you look at what governments throughout the world and throughout time have done to those it rules.
• The one thing we have to go back to is the fact we live in a fallen world and because of that some of the best things God created will be used and abused by people. We also have to remember that there will be a day of reckoning for those who abuse the power entrusted to them by God.
• The thought that there is no authority except from God is one we really need to grasp. Many people think they have authority over God, they want to change the rules, they want to set things the way THEY want them.
• I believe our founding fathers understood the concept of where government’s true authority came from and they understood the concept of accountability to a higher calling. I also believe the reason this nation has been so great is because as a nation we understood this concept also. Nations fall because they forget where they came from, where there authority comes from and a loss of a sense of accountability to a higher power.
• Before we look at our responsibilities to government, let’s look at a government’s responsibility to its people.
• Since their authority and very establishment comes from God, there are implications from this.
II. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF GOVERNMENT TO THE PEOPLE
• The bible does not lay out EVERY responsibility of government, we are given the basic purposes and we have to use some sense of common sense from there.
• One of the duties of a God ordained government is to praise the righteous.
• Look at verse 3. We are told if we do good, we are to have praise from our ruler’s.
• How does this work? We are not told the specifics, but we know one of the jobs of government is to not punish good behavior.
• Verse 4 says government is a minister for God for good for us.
• The government leader is God’s minister even if he does not know God. The governing authority’s job is to promote good behavior among the citizens.
• I have been seeing people protest the abstinence education programs. What are those people afraid of? If the government is going to get involved in the sex education business, this is something they should be promoting. It is good and righteous behavior.
• Why would a government want to promote good behavior among its citizens? Because it is best for everyone. Look at how much money is spent because of bad behavior. Society benefits from well behaved citizens.