April 01 2021
Today, Thursday April 1
Our Submission to the Government
Romans 13 “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.”
I can find nowhere in the New Testament where followers of Jesus are encouraged or instructed to commit insurrection or lead a rebellion against the government. Actually we are encouraged to do just the opposite.
Paul and Peter both lived in a day when the Roman emperors ruled the world with an iron fist. In many cases they were tyrannical and often sought to destroy anyone who followed Jesus or the Christian faith.
Only in Acts, in the early days of the church, when Peter and the disciples of Jesus were told not to preach in the name of Jesus, do we find some instructions on how to respond to the governing authorities if they demand we do something that violates the Scripture or our Christian faith. In those cases we are told we “ought to obey God rather than man.” Even if it will cost us our lives or cause us to be thrown into prison.
Remember that the first verses of Romans 13 follow the last verses of Romans 12, where we are being told how that we are to respond to being treated evil. Our instructions are to overcome the evil with good. The most powerful testimony we have is when we as believers respond in a supernatural, Christ-like way, to being treated in a cruel or evil way.
Peter’s first epistle covers this in detail as he deals with the suffering of believers. His answer to suffering of any kind is always the “grace” of God that is available to us in all situations.
Peter reminds us that the source of all adversity is the Evil One and says, “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:9-11)
May the Lord help us to receive His grace for whatever we might be facing today or in the future in our lives!