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Empty Cross Ministries
March 1, 2021
Daily Devotion in Romans 13
God’s Perspective of Politics
Romans 13 discusses God’s perspective of government. This is one chapter that I would rather skip.
As a Christian, I love righteousness. Much of what our government does is against godly principles. My spirit is grieved by what many of our represenatives are doing. Many are legalizing the murder of babies, stepping up acceptance to let older and sick people die because of the money required to attend to them, making the country accept sinful lifestyles, fighting wars for monetary reasons, rewarding ungodly behavior, and punishing righteousness. As my grievance list grows, my blood pressure goes up. If I had my way, I would stop the ungodliness immediately and throw ungodly rulers out of office this instant. God, however, thinks differently.
Christians are commanded to be “subject to the higher powers.” We are to let them rule. We are also told that God allows them to be in that position (Romans 13:1) and that if men oppose them, they “shall receive to themselves damnation.” Whoa, I want to get those ungodly politicians far from making any decisions, and God is telling me that I will have to answer to Him if I do so. Gulp! Wait a minute. What do I do? Obey God, naturally.
Paul tells us here that if we resist the governmental powers over us, we are violating God’s law. The law of the land is necessary. It can curtail wanton sin. Without a ruling body, everyone would do what they thought was best, and anarchy would rule. All citizens would suffer. There would be no order.
God allows the person that is ruling to do so. Two times the ruler is called a minister of God (Rom. 13:4, 6). Proverbs 8:15 also reminds us, “By me kings reign and princes decree justice.” John 19:11 states, “… Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above …”. Like it or not, the power ruling our country is allowed by God. God could easily remove the ruler if it were His will.
Obviously, not all rulers are just. There are “good and evil” leaders. When Paul was writing this, he certainly remembered the evil, destructive ruler that was killing Christians at the time. Still, the point was God allowed that leader to be in that position.
Why would God allow so many godless leaders to lead the people the wrong way? I do not have the answers to that question. However, I do know that many times the people get closer to God when the government oppresses them or rules unjustly.
In the United States, our leaders have been elected. We, as a people, have chosen them to take control. A poor, elected leader in our country speaks volumes of the people who voted him in. We got what we (not all of us, of course) wanted. Hopefully, a bad leader will drive people to their knees and looking toward God.
Christians need to be outstanding examples in civil life. We are often the only example of how a Christian should behave that most of the world will see. It is our responsibility to be a good testimony for God by heeding His commandments and trusting that He knows better. We need to support and pray for our leaders.
While we have the opportunity, we need to do all we can to make sure the best, most God-honoring-and-obeying officials are in office. Honoring the authority allowed over us is honoring God.
“If we falter in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world, and we shall surely endanger the welfare of the nation.” — Harry Truman
Words to Understand:
Chambering: commission of lewd behavior
Wantonness: indulging in immorality without restraint
1 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.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 ¶ Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 ¶ And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.