Learning Outcomes: a. Know why we need to submit to authorities. b. Be aware of your blessings, especially living in a free country verses what the early church went through. c. Be in prayer for your leaders whether you like them or not.
General Idea: It is God who established the human government, the systems and the people. Paul is extolling us to take seriously our responsibility to governing officials, even if we do not like them. Keep in Mind Paul was an extreme victim of a government's injustice and lived and worked in one of histories most oppressive governments ever, yet he says we still have responsibility and respect to them! Even though our true home is still to come in eternity; we are still to participate with our best in our temporary home here.
a. God established governments and even brought those in power for His purpose and glory (I Pet. 2:11-17).
1. Their role is the welfare of the society, and it is to our benefit. Just as He brought our parents and pastors for us to honor and respect, to learn from and support.
2. What God ordains, people will corrupt and ruin for their gain. Since God brought in governments and their representatives, and we respect and honor God, then we will respect and honor government (Prov. 8:15; Dan. 2:21).
3. We are to respect the office, even if you do not like who's in power.
4. Sometimes evil governments are for judgment or chastisement. As Christians, our citizenship is in Heaven; however, this does not negate our responsibility to the land and governments in which we live.
5. We must respect and keep those in power in prayer!
i. We may not agree with the politics of the day, or even the evil and persecution, we are still to model Christ in love.
ii. We glorify Christ by being model citizens on earth, which prepares us to be model citizens of Heaven (Matt. 22:15-21; I Pet. 2:1-17).
6. It is the unworthiness of our nature that does not bow down to Godly authority!
i. We are to respect the police and other authorities, as well as pray and support them.
ii. Sword refers to the power of the government to call for arms for defense and the punishment of its lawbreakers: Hence capital punishment is Biblical (Acts 25:11).)
iii. Taxes can be a form of devotion to God, because submission to rule is divinely ordered. So be a good citizen and pay your just amount without complaining (Matt:22:21)!)
b. Because we are all sinners we must be bridled and controlled, hence the need for government, when we reject government we reject our sinful nature, and violate God's order, thus we are rejecting God.
1. The church must never exercise the role of governor, it is to comment on its moral level and policies by God's Word in love, but never set those policies. Calvin's Geneva failed miserably, as did the Holy Roman Empire. Both of these governments started out right, but became corrupted, and that corruption reached into the church. Calvin himself had to flee with his life from his own government he helped (most historians say he was forced into it) set up (in principal)!
2. Political action committees from church and par-church organizations must never represent the church, only themselves as their governments citizens!
3. The ingredients that make us a good Christian, should make us a good citizen!
c. Does this mean we bury our head and ignore government? Absolutely not, we are to vote, make our values known, and model Christ, all in love. If the government is exercising laws against God's precepts, we cannot submit. Thus fight for the rights of the un-born, etc: Hence; get involved, if government is of the people and you are a "people", then you are the government (Acts 4:18-31; 5:17-29)!
1. We are not to fear the police, jail and civil punishment, or see traffic tickets and increased insurance as our motivation, we are to fear God, and then His decrees, including our authorities.
2. Christians are to make sure governments are fulfilling their proper role and values with involvement, prayer, respect, by being considerate with obedience, and being informed (1 Tim 2:1-4).
1. When you are driving down the freeway and you see a CHP/State Trouper what goes through your mind? Fear? Comfort? Or?
2. During the 60's in the US a lot of people were saying to reject authority, tune out, drop out…etc. You may not remember or have been around, but how do you feel about that philosophy?
3. Did the drop out philosophy of the 60's make the US better as a nation?
4. Do you take seriously your responsibility to governing officials?
5. Why do we need a government? Would we if everyone was a Christian?
6. Paul strongly argues for us to be in subjection to people in political leadership, how do you feel about it?
7. Because our principle home is not here on earth, nor is our real ownership is not here, so why should we bother with society that has nothing to do with the Church?
8. Why we need to submit to authorities?
9. Since God has established the rulers, we cannot minimize our duty and responsibility. Why?
10. Should we also respect to others in authority?
11. What do you need to wake up to!
12. What are your blessings, (especially if you are living in a free country verses what the early church went through)?
13. Paul was an extreme victim of a government's injustice and lived and worked in one of histories most oppressive governments ever. So why does he ask us to have responsibility and respect to them?
14. How does I Pet. 2:11-17 tie into this passage?
15. Do you honor your parents and pastor and honor, respect, support, and learn from them?
16. If you do, how hard is it a transition to do the same for strangers in power?
17. A civic or government leader is responsible for the welfare of the society, what are we to do when they do not follow that mandate?
18. How can a civic leader be to our benefit?
19. What God ordains, people will corrupt and ruin for their gain. So with this in mind, do you feel your local, regional and national government is corrupt and if so to what degree?
20. How would you define the word corrupt?
21. Read Prov. 8:15; Dan. 2:21; to what degree is your government following these two passages?
22. How so are we respecting and honoring God, when we do the same with our government?
23. When is the time to fight for change in a corrupt government, and how far should the fighting go?
24. The US was founded through rebellion to the British Empire. Did our founding fathers ignore and disobey God's Word here, why or why not? (Did you know the taxes they were rebelling about are a fraction of what we pay today?)
25. How do we factor in the abortion movement, such as Operation Rescue, are they in compliant or in disrespect to this passage?
26. Sometimes evil governments are for judgment or chastisement. As Christians, our citizenship is in Heaven; however, this does not negate our responsibility to the land and governments in which we live. How would you have reacted and responded with this passage in mind if you lived in Nazi German?
27. We may not agree with the politics of the day, or even the evil and persecution, we are still to model Christ in love. With this in mind how can you let this passage effect the way you vote and chose a political party?
28. Is one political party in the US more Christian than the other? If so why?
29. We glorify Christ by being model citizens on earth, which prepares us to be model citizens of Heaven. How and why can this be true?
30. It is the unworthiness of our nature that does not bow down to Godly authority! Is this statement true? Why or why not?
31. What can you do to respect the police and other types of police authorities?
32. Have you or have you known someone who served in the armed forces? If so what were the feelings when the World Trade Center was terrorized?
33. Why should the government have the right to take up a Sword? (Refers to the power of the government to call for arms for defense and the punishment of its lawbreakers: Acts 25:11)
34. Is capital punishment Biblical?
35. Why must the church never exercise the role of governor?
36. How can Taxes be a form of devotion to God (Matt:22:21)?
37. How can you model His character take seriously our responsibility in regards to honoring and respecting authorities?
38. How can you respect the office of civic leadership, even if you do not like who's in power?
39. Even though our true home is still to come in eternity; we are still to participate with our best in our temporary home here. So how can you and your church do this effectively?
40. What can you do specially to be in prayer for your leaders whether you like them or not?
The ingredients that make us a good Christian should also make us a good citizen!
As Christians we are to make sure governments are fulfilling their proper role and values with involvement, prayer, respect, by being considerate with obedience, and being informed (I Tim 2:1-4).
"The Human Conscience": The conscience is our moral center that monitors our actions from preset values instilled by God (Luke 11:39-44; Rom. 2:12-16; 14:23; Titus 1:15). Jiminy the Cricket almost had it right, "let your conscience be your guide". However, since we are sinful, this is not always a good idea. Scripture must be our guide and all of our experience, thinking, feelings, and emotions must yield to it. Thus our conscience only works well when we are governed by our Lord. Why the first step in AA is to let God help you! Because we cannot.
© 1998, Rev. 2002 Richard Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.com