Summary: Christians are commanded by God to obey the authorities placed over them, and to give their leaders Godly respect and submission. The challenge today is to examine ourselves and ask, "Are we doing that?"

Romans, Part 39

Romans 13:1-10


- We are called to live dedicated to Christ; fully and completely in all things

From Wed night:

- Spending time in this life fighting against evil with evil never gets us anywhere

-- It never draws us closer to God but instead draws us closer to the devil

-- His ways are evil, his ways are anti-God, and God is not a God of evil/hatred

-- Putting this very simply: 2 wrongs never make a right!

- This morning we are going to focus on “Followership” and our response

- Stand and read Romans 13:1-10 / Pray

Point 1 – Submitting to Authorities (1-7)

- Christians must submit to their governing authorities; without hesitation

- God is the one who gives authority; there is no power on Earth above Him

- So, it is important to note that no matter who is in the lead, God is in charge

- APP: To resist is to resist what God has appointed and brings judgment

- Government is God’s way of maintaining/directing affairs of state

- As believers, we must recognize what governing functions do

1. Maintain order in society

2. Rulers are to be God’s servants who execute His will

3. We are to submit to their authority based on what God has put into action

- What we see in verse 5 is critical; biblical basis of using force to maintain order

- Simple example of obeying the laws over you … state trooper speed enforcement

- Christians are obligated to pay taxes to support governing authorities

- They are also to respect and honor governing authorities

- Paul does not go into the level of respect that we should have – for example:

-- Immoral objections (if something is flat out wrong then don’t follow)

-- What leaders should be doing for their subjects (they are addressed later)

- But, several things are very clear:

1. If we have a properly managed state, the Christian is obliged to follow

2. God delegates to those who rule, and they are held responsible to Him

- How does this work in church life today (besides what we just discussed)

-- Hebrews 13:17 says, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”

- What God does is place leaders above you who are responsible to lead for Him

- It is in this obedience that we see the example of Christ’s life lived out in you

- For example:

-- If you say you are a follower of Jesus, and yet talk badly about the church …

-- What you are doing is rebelling against what God has put in place over you

- On the other hand, leaders will be held accountable for their actions

-- Prov 27:23, “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds”

-- James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

- This order of obedience is God-ordained; and to disobey is to disobey Him

- This is where we get into trouble thinking that we can rationalize ourselves

-- Example: gossip, back-biting, causing dissention, stirring the pot, rumors, etc.

- We must be on guard against this always, allowing love to be dominate in our life

- INSIGHT: Leading a church is not a popularity contest; not required to be liked

-- You may not always agree with everything; but God has placed leaders over you

- TRANS: Once we understand the importance of obedience, we can execute love

Point 2 – Love Fulfills the Law (8-10)

- God gives us a clear picture of His investment of authority in the state

- The obligation for us, is to operate in a manner of LOVE towards them always

- The need to love is supremely important in view of today’s issues

- This obligation to love has NO limit, and we must not put one on it

- Love does NO wrong to a neighbor; it is what fulfills the Law - completely

- Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

- What is the principle manner in which Jesus displays His love for us?

- It is through the cross; freely dying for our sins which He did not deserve

-- Turn to and read John 15:9-17

- Our requirement in this world is to love the Lord our God, & love our neighbor

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