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Summary: Paul speaks about authorities in this world. 1- Authorities are established by God 2- Authorities punish the wrongdoers 3- Authorities must be respected by all

INTRO.- We have authorities or authority figures throughout all our lives.

ILL.- Little Johnny was going to a public school and he was doing very badly in math. So his mother decided to put him into a Catholic school. When she got his report card at the end of the term, his marks in math had improved tremendously. So she asked him why. He replied, "When I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they meant business!"

Did you ever have a tough school teacher who meant business?

ILL.- I remember my 5th grade teacher very well. Her name was Mrs. Bull and I remember her as having a scowling, frowning look. And who knows why? Clarence Ward was in her class as well. I don’t remember how it started but Clarence and Mrs. Bull got into a fight of sorts. She told him to sit down and pay attention and he did just the opposite. He mouthed off to her and she came after him. He jumped and ran from her and she started to chase him around the room. We students thought it was hilarious but Mrs. Bull did not. Clarence had his winter coat in hand and turned toward her and started hitting her with it and then he turned and ran. I don’t remember what happened but I sure remember that incident and decided that I didn’t want to act up in Mrs. Bull’s class.

ILL.- At my 50th high school class reunion there was also our high school music teacher, Mr. Lawson. He was nice guy, friendly smile, but he required attention in his class. And I guess one day I was not paying attention or was acting up, and he took me outside and paddled me. At our reunion I reminded him that he paddled me even though he didn’t remember the incident nor me. He said, “There was one thing I never did. I never paddled out of anger.” Apparently, he paddled only out of our disobedience and unruliness.

But I was never unruly again in his class. Now Mrs. Straw’s Art class was a different matter. I wasn’t the best at art but I behaved quite well in her class. Why? Because she was pretty! I thought she was very pretty. I remember her saying to me one time, “Now, Steven, you can do better work than that.” And I probably did because I wanted to please her since she was pretty. I’m not sure I was in love but I sure liked her!

Authority figures come in all shapes and sizes and at different places in life: Moms and dads, school teachers, bosses, etc.

ILL.- A manager and a sales rep stood looking at a map on which colored pins indicated the company representative in each area. "I'm not going to fire you, Wilson," the manager said, "but I'm loosening your pin a bit just to emphasize the insecurity of your situation."

Did you ever have a boss who threatened to fire you unless you shaped up? Sometimes threats don’t always get the job done.

Proverbs 29:19 (quickview)  “A servant cannot be corrected by mere words; though he understands, he will not respond.”

Some bosses threaten their employees to get them to work, others cut their pay, and others may fire some in order to get others to work harder. Bosses rule whether we like them or not and we’ve all had some we didn’t like.


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Jeff Riedel

commented on Jul 10, 2014

Hello friend Steve. I really liked your sermon. I have preached this before as well (I'm the Minister at the New Life Center - Gressier Haiti (Missionary) and I noticed you did not address the scripture vs 4 - "....he does not bear the sword for nothing..." I was wondering what your thoughts are on this passage. Some have suggested it means "death"...meaning the death penalty.....which if that's so, we must at least acknowledge the death penalty in our time as being just...and very scriptural. I'm grappling with this a bit, wanting to hear other opinions regarding this particular scripture. I'm an author on sermon central as well (just started).....and would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you - Jeff Riedel

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