God and Government

Underneath, you will find the rough draft sermon notes for the sermon preached at Poplar Springs North Baptist Church on Sunday January 17, 2021. You will find the video link of the service here.

Rom 13:1-14  Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  (2)  Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  (3)  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,  (4)  for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.  (5)  Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.  (6)  For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.  (7)  Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.  (8)  Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.  

(9)  For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  (10)  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.  (11)  Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.  (12)  The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.  (13)  Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.  (14)  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

1Pe 2:13-21  Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,  (14)  or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.  (15)  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.  (16)  Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  (17)  Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.  (18)  Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.  (19)  For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.  (20)  For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.  (21)  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

Joh 18:33-36  So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”  (34)  Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”  (35)  Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”  (36)  Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

INTRODUCTION

I quoted on Facebook John Calvin the other day. He once said, “When God wants to judge a nation, He gives them wicked rulers.”

This is not a commentary on political leaders, but rather, look at our nation, why should God not treat us as Sodom and Gomorrah?

Abortion, sexual perversion, false prophets, the total disregard of His holy name.

What we read in Romans, and in 1 Peter applies today.

The early church faced times worse that we do today

Nero Persecuted the Christians as a coverup.

John, while in exile was under the rule of Domitian, who may be the hideous beast of Revelation.

Christians were often under local threats of persecution. The church was born in adversity from the local governments.

Paul and Peter write our texts today under Claudius who had banished Jews from Rome.

The Bible was written to give the church hope.

Let us now look at Scripture to understand first What God Demands.

Exegesis

Rom 13:1-14  Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  (2)  Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  (3)  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,  (4)  for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.  (5)  Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.  (6)  For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.  (7)  Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.  (8)  Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 

  • Authority appointed by God
  • Wrath for wrongdoing as governments deal with authority.
  • Obeying Government is obeying God.

God sets up in His word 3 authorities to govern our lives

  • The Family (as in Adam and Eve, Husband and wife) Nurturing Rule (Motherhood is the highest office a person can hold)
  • The Government as we study today (Civil and legal matters, community)
  • The Church  (Spiritual matters and eternity) morality, and care of the soul.

Ethical and Moral dilemma Questions are raised. Not the scope of today.

  • These texts were prooftexts in the civil war, often preached to slaves.
  • What do you so with a cruel boss or husband?
  • What about 1776 and the revolution against England?
  • What do you do in Bonhoeffer’s situation, Do you kill Hitler to save lives?

We all have situational problems, they must be lived within the parameters of Scripture.

Transition

Peter, just as Paul ,says many of the same things. SO we have two authorities writing in a manner that is to build doctrine and remove confusion.

1Pe 2:13-21  Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,  (14)  or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.  (15)  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.  (16)  Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  (17)  Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.  (18)  Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.  (19)  For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.  (20)  For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.  (21)  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

  • We are subject yet free.
  • We are to live as examples that others would glorify God.
  • How we handle adversity is a clear indication that we are not of this world.
  • Endurance is possible because this world is not our home.

Now we turn to see what God commands?

Back in Romans 13 we find what God is commanding us to do.

We are to check our hearts in the matters.

(9)  For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  (10)  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.  (11)  Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.  (12)  The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.  (13)  Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.  (14)  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Verse 9 goes over the part of the Ten Commandments that relate to the laws of our country. These laws are written as to how we are to relate to one another.

We are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our example.

We will NEVER find our own strength to endure, therefore, we must all the while seek Christ. Cry for revival.

TRANSITION

Jesus put it this way in John 18

What does this say about God? (Our conclusion)

Jesus view of the Earthly Government

Joh 18:33-36  So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”  (34)  Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”  (35)  Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”  (36)  Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

  • We clearly live differently.
  • We count it all joy in various trials.
  • We like Jesus fight for His kingdom

This world is not our home, However it is our mission field

  • Respect the government as you are an ambassador to this land.
  • Pray for leaders, whether you like them or not. We are commanded to love our enemies.
  • Do not give you energies to unworthy or non-eternal things.
  • Love other= fight for justice, protect the weak, do not be idle.
  • Save souls
  • Be good stewards
  • Seek the glory of God.

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