Romans 13


Have you ever wondered how we can possibly submit to the authority of those in charge, I mean really there have been some pretty bad rulers over the years?

There are some ungodly people out there running our country. We have to remember that Paul is writing to Christians living during the time of Emperor Nero… how could they ever “submit” to his authority? He was a vile, despicable, evil ruler, yet Paul tells them to submit? There were many Jewish groups that were rebelling against Roman authority and Paul doesn’t want the Christians he is writing to, be a part of that. Think about this. Jesus submitted to the authority of Pilate and Paul submitted to the authority of the Roman government, they never defied or challenged their right to rule, even though those rulers and government were no friends of Christianity.

Here is another thing we need to keep in mind… God appoints the leaders of nations, not always to bless the people but to help fulfill His plan.

So it stands to reason that since governments have been given authority by God, we should be willing to obey them, unless, of course, they command us to do something that contradicts or challenges God’s law. We are first and foremost instructed (commanded) to follow God before man. (Acts 4:15-20) In other words, God’s laws trump man’s.

Paul even goes on to say that we should live as model citizens, which will bring good attention to Christianity, not bad. The idea here is that even though we are first and foremost loyal to God, Christians should be good citizens by paying their taxes, being honest in their dealings with the state, don’t cause trouble. But most importantly of all… pray for the country and the government leaders.

Paul’s closing remarks in this chapter can really be summed up by saying, “love your neighbor as yourself.” We hear it often, but do we really put it into practice? What would our world look like if Christians would truly grasp this concept? What would it be if everyone lived this way?

Maybe our focus wouldn’t be on ourselves so much? When we are loving others are we putting their interests before our own? Are we refocusing our priorities? What if for one day, we put our selfish interests aside and lived for each other, serving one another… praying for and helping each other? We might not be able to change the world, but we can change the part of the world we live in.

Grace and Peace

Pastor Kathy