Romans Podcast Expository Files 2018 Berkley - Page 40



Romans ~ Marks of a Christian
Rom. 13:1-7
The first part of Romans 13 follows up from the end of chapter 12. “Never
avenge yourselves but leave it to the wrath of God” forbids personal vengeance.
Christians do not presume to take up the role of judge, jury and executioner, nor
do we presume the same rights as law-enforcement officers. Here on earth, God
has instituted a system to uphold law and order and protect the innocent. That
is the subject of Rom. 13:1-7.
“Every person” should be “subject to the governing authorities.” Even though
we may (1) acknowledge that the officials are imperfect or corrupt like Nero, and
(2) we take issue with specific policies, laws or spending, the obligation stands to
“be subject,” unless there is the intervening exception of Acts 5:29. When human
authorities ask us to disobey The Authority, we cannot comply. Otherwise, we
submit, obey, respect and pay taxes.
Observe carefully the connection between the role of the officials and the
authority of God: “…whoever resists the authorities resists what God has
appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” God expects us to respond
properly to civil government.
To civil government He has assigned tasks: “For rulers are not a terror to good
conduct, but to bad.” Government is given the task of responding to bad
conduct. And this is “for the good” of those who are innocent.
“For the sake of conscience” takes our obligation to obey civil law out of the
realm of opinion or preference and puts it in the realm of the obedience of faith.
So, when I pay the taxes I owe, follow traffic rules, refuse to participate in crime
and comply with all other mandates of government, I’m acting in good
conscience toward God.
Remember, “God’s servant” in civil government “does not bear the sword in
vain.”
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