Summary: As we are spiritually transformed by God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1-2) we will show the evidence. Romans 13:1-7 shows that we will imitate Christ in our Citizenship.
IMITATE CHRIST IN YOUR CITIZENSHIP
I. Remember God’s Sovereignty (vs. 1-2)
A. There is no authority except that which God has established
1. “May the name of God be praised forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and establishes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” Daniel 2:20-21 (HCSB)
2. “A king’s heart is a water channel in the LORD’s hand: He directs it wherever He chooses.” Proverbs 21:1 (HCSB)
B. Submit to God by submitting to Government
1. “Tell us, therefore, what You think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But perceiving their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing Me, hypocrites? Show Me the coin used for the tax.” So they brought Him a denarius. “Whose image and inscription is this?” He asked them. “Caesar’s,” they said to Him. Then He said to them, “Therefore, give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22:17-21 (HCSB)
2. “So Pilate said to Him, “You’re not talking to me? Don’t You know that I have the authority to release You and the authority to crucify You?” “You would have no authority over Me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.” John 19:10-11 (HCSB)
C. Civil Disobedience
1. When is it right to resist the ordinances of government?
2. The moral and spiritual standards that God has instituted are to be upheld whenever the positions of the governing authorities come in conflict with them.
a. “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29 (NKJV)
b. There is a difference in what the government allows and what it commands.
c. When it allows wrongdoing – don’t participate and participate in government to stop it.
d. When it commands wrongdoing – we are under obligation to the authority of God first. Obey God.
3. Live within the system and do not rebel against the rulers on nonessential matters – the gospel will be spread more effectively.
II. Recognize Government’s Function (vs. 3-4)
A. To Provide
1. “What is good”
2. To provide assistance
3. To provide order and promote health and unity
B. To Protect
1. From enemies
2. From ourselves
a. “to bring punishment on the wrongdoer”
b. God’s responsibility given to authorities includes the use of force to restrain evil.
c. Governments operate by a basis of law (based on God’s law) to provide justice.
d. Rulers are God’s arm of correction for people on earth.
III. Receive God’s Mandate (vs. 5-7)
Obey the government not only to escape punishment, but because it is the right thing to do!
A. Pay for Government
B. Pray for Government
C. Praise our Government
D. Participate in Government
E. Persuade our Government