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  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15 

 

Romans 13:1

Some people seem to get confused as to what Romans 13:1 is telling us.  It's pretty simple.  Be a good citizen, follow the law.

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”  Romans 13:1
God has ordained a hierarchy in all creatures with souls, in Heaven and on Earth.  There is a hierarchy in place in the world, whether it takes the form of government, counsellors, police officers, employers, managers etc.  We are to obey and follow the hierarchy, and not cause trouble.
“And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.”  Luke 20:25

When should we not obey the governing powers

This is a very important part.  We are to give good testimony, not cause trouble, but notice that Romans 13:1 says we should be subject unto higher powers.  There is no higher power than God,

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”  Acts 5:29
In Acts 5 (27-42), the Apostles where chastised by the counsel, the Pharisees, for not obeying the counsels command.  The Apostles had been told not to teach in the name of Jesus.  There are powers, higher powers, higher powers again, and then the highest power which is God. 

We should obey the earthly governing powers, but not when it contradicts the highest power, God.  It is at that stage that the Christian should look to make a choice.  The Apostles chose to obey the highest power, God, "We ought to obey God rather than men."

The Apostles were further rebuked by the counsel, beaten, and let go, rejoicing in their choice.
"And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."  Acts 5:41

Where is our fight

In Ephesians 6, Paul tells us where our fight is.  It's not against complaining about some arbitary rule that we may not like, or arguing with our neighbour over unimportant stuff.  We've to be a good citizen, but again, to make a stand for Christ,
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Ephesians 6:12
The Bible teaches us to have submission, and submission is a good and honourable thing, because it takes humility and it creates peace.  I always try to submit to the laws, whether in a work context, in a public law context, or to customs as required.  Romans 13:1 does not however teach blind submission.  When something gets to the stage that it goes in opposition to the highest authority, God, we are to do what the Apostles did.  We are to battle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  It is these things with which we are to wrestle.

We look to fight the good and honourable fight.  Not bickering and trouble making for personal gain, and not blind submission to the rules of men that contravene the requirements of God.











8th August 2017

 

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