Summary: How to live as a citizen of heaven and earth.
YOU AND YOUR GOVERNMENT 13:1-7
* This sermon was put together after much study and the influence of teachers such as Adrian Rogers, Tom Elliff, Warren Weirsbe, J. Vernon McGee, John McArthur, Chuck Swindoll and conservative Bible Commentaries, all of which were great helps to grow my understanding of the passage and to clarify it’s truths)
Idaho sheep rancher: was approached one day by a stranger in a suit. He said, ¡¥If I can guess how many sheep you¡¦ve got, may I have one?¡¦ Thinking this to be impossible the rancher agreed. ¡¥You have 1,795 sheep¡¦. Stunned by the correct answer the rancher told him to choose his sheep. The man selected an animal and slung it over his shoulder and started to walk away. The rancher said, ¡¥Hey if I can tell you who your work for can I have that animal back?¡¦ OK You work for the government. How did you figure that out? Well, put my dog down and I will tell you. Not much respect for government in America today, especially with all that we have experienced in the past month.
„h Paul moves from stressing what our individuals responsibilities are to each other to reminding us how we are to respond to the government.
„h Many drop-outs today from government involvement:
1) See government as social gospel. Only makes the world a better place to go to hell from.
2) Given up hope and believe we have passed the point of no return.
3) See politics as dirty and contaminating. Leaders as only corrupt individuals with wicked intentions.
4) Intimidated by anti-christian groups like ACLU, NOW, who feel that Christians should be quieted as a voice.
„h For Paul the question is no can you be a Christian and involved in government but can you be a Christian and not be involved in government. We have been called out of this world but still live in it. Being citizens of heaven does not minimize our responsibilities here on earth but actually the Christian citizen out to be the best citizen.
„h Paul states that, ¡¥Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities¡¦. Strong statement about the right of governments to rule and our responsibility to support them. WHY
1. Human Government is Ordained by God For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
Weirsbe: God has established three institutions( home ¡V church ¡V government) ordained means originated from God. His idea.
a. But what if a government is bad? Paul was writing this statement under a new edict that made Christianity illegal, a new Caesar named Nero in power. Jesus had been crucified by this same government. Homosexuality was rampant among Rome¡¦s leaders.
b. Governing authorities is literally ¡¥powers that be¡¦. It is more than just Presidents or Congress but all who are in positions of authority. Even respect for the dog-catcher
(2) Therefore whoever resists authority has oppposed the ordinance of God: and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
c. What kind of Government is God¡¦s kind? Paul wrote under a Roman rule but made no distinction of kind.
Best kind a monarchy? Oligarchy?(few rule) republic?
Democracy? Rome had been a monarchy, a republic, a principate, and now was an Empire under Emperor rule.
Surprise many to know that we don¡¦t live in a democracy in America. We live in a republic( I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands) What is the difference? Democracy is the will of people in charge, mob rule at the ballot box. Republic allows democratic processes to choose respresentatives but certain things are never up for a vote. There are certain principles and right things that are never to be debated or voted out.
1) Point to not miss: God has the ability to accomplish His will in spite of and even through less than godly rulers. Dan 2:21 ¡¥He removeth kings and setteth up kings¡¦
a) Rom 9:17 ¡¥for this very purpose I raised you up to demonstrate My power in you, and that My Name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth¡¦. Allowed a wicked man like Pharoah to power that His will might be accomplished.
God has brought into being differing forms of government depending on that which is best for that time and place in history.
a) Rome and Greek were not our kinds of governments but accomplished much for the purpose of reaching this world for Christ.
1) Roman roads, pax romana, Greek language & culture
America has been blessed with a republic for nearly 225 years because of who we were as a people in 1776. But we should be warned by one of our forefather¡¦s who said, ¡¥Our form of government is meant for the rule of a religious and moral people and is wholely inadequate for any other. Our form won¡¦t work for a people without principle or conscious but will degenerate to chaos.