As this Age draws to a close, defiance to authority increases, as was prophesied in II Timothy 3:1-7. This defiance to authority and anarchy was also seen in the days of the Judges just before Solomon’s Kingdom Age was inaugurated. You can read about it throughout Judges summarized in Judges 21:25.
As we continue our study of Romans, we come to chapter 13 which deals with the Christian’s relationship and responsibilities to human government.
In this chapter we learn
1. Government and authority are of God.
2. Government is for our good.
3. Our duties and responsibilities as Christians to government.
I. HUMAN GOVERNMENT IS OF GOD
This fact is true, regardless of whether it was the Roman dictatorship under the Caesars during New Testament times or whether it is the monarchy of England or the United States Republic of our times or whether it is a different form of government under which you live today. All human government is of God.
Read Romans 13:1-7 and Proverbs 8:15-16 for a sampling of what the Bible says about our responsibilities under human government.
The best government is a Theocracy, that is, a government where God rules supremely. The Bible foretells the coming Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. Go to my series on PROPHECY to learn more about the wonderful coming reign of Christ.
Israel was a theocracy until she begged and whined for a human king to rule over her so she could be as everyone else. Finally God gave them their choice, a Monarchy under King Saul, a handsome young man lacking character. Under his rule, Israel suffered defeats.
In the sovereignty of God He later gave them King David and later, King Solomon, David’s son. As these kings sought God’s wisdom, God blessed them with eighty years of prosperity; forty years under each of these two kings.
The years following Israel’s rebellion against God, led to the spiritual decline of Israel’s kings and eventually, the downfall and scattering of Israel among the nations of the world. Nevertheless, God has eternal plans for His people. All of this is explained in my PROPHECY series.
Presently in this world of sinful men who cannot be entrusted with too much power; the best form of government is a Republic which we Americans have been privileged to enjoy for the past 230 years. Forces are presently at work within our nation to destroy our republic form of government, outlined and described for us in our United States Constitution, with its three branches of government: the executive, legislative and judicial branches which keep sinful leaders in check from gaining too much power.
If we lose our republic, we will find ourselves in a state of anarchy until we are finally enslaved by a dictator. That has been the dismal course of many nations and could be the course of our beloved America.
Would you note as you study the life of Jesus and Paul, that they never rebelled against the unfair government which highly and unfairly taxed them? Rather they taught us to pay our taxes and to be in subjection to government leaders. That is, according to Matthew 22:17-21 we are to render our subjection and respect to our leaders in every area except our conscience. In matters of morality, we are to remain in subjection to God alone.
Thankfully, in America, through the power of the ballot box, we have the power to remove unfit leaders and replace them with charactered leadership- if we, the people, have the character to do it. Usually the character of the people is reflected in the character of the leaders they have elected.
II. GOVERNMENT IS FOR OUR GOOD Romans 13:4
Government has the responsibility of protecting our freedoms under the Law, and to protect our lives and property from foreign and domestic enemies and to insure and enforce equal protection and opportunity under the Law.
Government further has the responsibility of punishing law breakers. Political leaders, police officers, judges and executioners and our military are all servants of God for our protection and for our good.
The justice system is not to make evil men good, but to punish law breakers. Only God can make men good. Read Romans 13:1-4 and I Peter 2:13-14 concerning these matters.
Those who steal or harm others should be forced by government to make full restitution; whether it is those who destroy public and private property with graffiti or those who rob individuals, homes and business establishments. Parents of minors who are involved in such crime should be held responsible for the crimes of their children. Read Exodus 21 and 22 on this subject.
God’s Word required the death penalty for those who had been proven guilty of capital crimes beyond any reasonable doubt. Read about them in Genesis 9:6, Exodus 21, Leviticus 20 and from the New Testament, Romans 13:4
Government has no responsibility nor business providing for all our needs from the cradle to the grave. It is evil to over tax those who will work in order to pay for the needs of those who refuse to work. The Bible teaches in II Thessalonians 3:10 that if one will not work he should not eat. In my ministry I have met men on welfare who when they had the opportunity to work, refused for fear of losing their welfare checks.
Families and churches should care for their aged and infirmed.
For further information on the role of government and the role of families, I encourage you to go to the FAMILY category and read The Family, the Basic Building Block of Society.
GOVERNMENT AND EDUCATION
Government has no business in the educational field. Education of children and young people is the responsibility of parents and their churches. They can carry that out either through home schooling or through private schools or public schools. By the term public school, I mean parents gathering together in local communities to plan and supervise the education of their children. The Federal government has no business being involved in the education of our children. The more local the control, the better the education.
THE SIZE AND SCOPE OF GOVERNMENT
Good government is limited government which frees us to be all that God designed us to be. As a lion in the wild or on a reserve is better off than a lion in a zoo with its security, but very limited freedom; so we are better off living in freedom and depending on God for our strength and health and supply of all our needs than being a slave to government and depending on it to supply all our needs.
Our Federal Constitution wisely limits the scope and power of government.
Citizens need to reduce the size of our present government and get the government out of the business of running a “nanny state” and of robbing working people and their families with oppressive income taxes. Government today stifles the economy by discouraging hard work and the investing of capital into business.
Our tax system needs a major overhaul. Think of the billions of tax dollars and hours and massive paperwork involved by everyone in the tax system today. Think of the billions of dollars hidden from taxes by tax cheats.
A national sales tax could replace the income tax and meet the limited needs of our States and Federal governments.
The best government is limited government which protects us from foreign and domestic enemies who would harm us and which gives us freedom to be all we can be.
III. OUR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES AS CHRISTIANS TO GOVERNMENT
Regardless of our current state of government, even as we seek to bring about needed changes; Romans 13 teaches us that it is our responsibility to submit to the laws of our land and pay our taxes, even if we think they are unfair. It is never right to resist our government. Those who resist can expect to meet deadly force. Submit for wrath’s sake and for the Lord’s sake. For Christian’s to resist, I Peter 2:13-17 teaches, brings shame to the cause of Christ.
In addition to paying our taxes, let us honor the office of those in authority. Let us as Christians pray for them and for our nation, as we are admonished in II Chronicles 7:14 and I Timothy 2:1-4.
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