Paul continues his application of the mercies of God into this chapter; one of the results of a “renewed mind” (12:2) is submission to the governing authorities to honor God and, also, loving man.
So who instituted our governing authorities?
This lesson will mostly focus on Government; but what other authorities are there that God institutes?
The government over all citizens, the Church over all believers, the parents over all children and masers over all employees.
Does God institute all governing authorities; even the bad ones?
Yes, even the bad ones, “for there is no authority except for God…”, God is the chief authority, He, by means of secondary causes, creates them.
And why does God allow/ordain bad governments?
To further His purposes; of which we may never know the whole extent of, however one of the reasons God does raise up bad governments, or authorities, is for judgment. Perhaps a particularly bad authority arises for the purpose judgment of that particular nation or possibly to use as a sword against another nation to punish that nation.
Where do we see God raising up bad government or authorities within the bible?
The Pharaoh in Exodus
The Babylonians in Isaiah
The Pharaoh was risen up so that he could be brought down to reveal God’s power over the nations, and the love of His people in delivering them from the hand of Pharaoh.
The Babylonians were raised up to punish the wayward Israelites for their sin against God.
We also see the Roman government were rising up and unleashed upon Israel in 70AD at the destruction of the second Temple; this time as punishment for not believing and killing the long-awaited Messiah.
What kind of government was the Roman Government; good, bad?
Bad; if your taxes weren’t paid in full and on time they’d likely wipe out your town.
Furthermore, they later would feed Christians to lions for entertainment.
And even given this Paul is still writing this verse. Why does he tell us not to resist?
We’d be resisting God
Resistance will store up judgment
So, given this, what should our attention toward authorities be?
Submission; not resistance. We will discuss when it is permissible to resist the authorities in a minute.
Is that “judgment” from God or Government?
Government according to 13:3, “FOR rulers…”
And as we all know by now the word “for” means what?
In this case, therefore. Thus, that “judgment” would be for breaking the law.
And what Paul states here, well true, is a generality or a proverb (if you will), not a promise.
As a child of God, what are some of your rights?
Access to God.
And what are some of your duties?
The reason I ask this is that Paul mentions that the Government is a “servant of God”; now I’m not trying to equate the two by any means, even the Devil is God’s Devil (His servant). But my point is this: if they have duties to fulfill are servants of God how much more should you, child of God, fulfill your duties? The Government goes about their duties properly, diligently, and justly as so you. The law of love, as we’ll get to later, is not a democratic (the Government form, not the party) law but a Theocratic law.
The Gov does good by helping to retain evil and protect life and property and exciting earthly justice (bearing the sword=meaning the gov’s right to inflict punishment on wrongdoers, particularly capital punishment).
We’ll talk more on the law of liberty of the believer next week but let me lay down the groundwork here.
Why is it important for us, as believers, to keep our consciences clear?
It is wise to do so; for our consciences are held to the highest standard of the word of God. Given this, if our conscience is bothered then, assuming that it is for good reason, we should seek to find out why it is bothered and reconcile with the offended party as soon as possible to live at peace with them and fulfill the law of love.
So, “because of this” because God ordained human government and demands submission to it.
What did Jesus teach on taxes?
Let’s take a quick look at Matthew 22:1-22.
So explain to me what’s happening here? Who are the characters and what are they doing?
And what does Christ teach?
Caesar’s image is stamped on the coin; God’s image is stamped on the person. The Christian must render obedience to Caesar in his realm. But the things that re God’s are things that do not belong to Casar and should be given only to God. Christ thus acknowledged Caesar’s right to assess and collect taxes, and he made it the duty of Christians to pay them. But he did not suggest that Caesar has ultimate authority in political realms; it is ultimately all things are God’s including the realm of Caesar.
Given that you are the image of God, in what way are you to “render” yourself to Him?
Render yourself to Him as a living sacrifice.
Do y’all find it difficult to “pay to all what is owed” whether it be bills or honor?
Here, Paul is not putting a prohibition on borrowing money, which scripture permits, but that all financial obligations must be paid when they are due because it is a matter of love, not money.
According to this verse, how do we fulfill the law of love?
“love one another”
And how do we love one another?
By sacrificially and actively working for the other person’s benefit. This is shown in prayer, serve and fellowship with one another.
So what are some ways to NOT love one another?
Adultery, murder, theft, coveting.
Why are these things un-loving?
Because if we love our neighbor we will do what is best for them; those things are wrong for them and us.
None of these things build them up but only take, or desire to take, from them.
IE If we treat others with the same care that we have for ourselves, we will not violate any of God’s laws regarding human relationships.
After last night’s exercise in futilely; I wanted to discuss this:
Are there any distinguishing teachings of Christ, and Christianity, from other major world religions; and if so, please explain?
I ask this question here since we’re on the topic of love.
Our main distinguishing doctrine from the world religions is Christ\’s take on the wrath of God on my behalf for my own sin and giving me eternal life through direct access to God.
Our main distinguishing command is “love”. An active, sacrificial, continuance working of our will to bring that person to God.
We are unique in our doctrine of salvation, by God’s grace through Christ alone, AND our commands, love.
Other religions will not have their followers go so far as to live true, active, sacrificial love to anyone-let alone their enemies; and certainly not to the point of death like the true model of love; being Jesus Christ. Our truly unique means of salvation and commands are two of the best ways to prove that we are not only different but the true world religion.
What “hour” is Paul talking about here?
The hour of our salvation.
Salvation is past, you were saved, present, you are being saved, and you will be saved-or glorification; which is us enjoying community with God and the Church forever in bodies that will not age or weaken. You cannot have glorification without justification. Or, as Paul put it, “For those whom He foreknew He also predestined, to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn brothers. And those whom He predestined, He also called, and those whom He called He also justified and those whom He justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30).
“sleep” Similar to how we might say, “oh he’s fallen asleep” when speaking of someone dying. I believe Paul is using “sleep” here as a means of describing and urging the “sleeper” to arise to salvation because it is nearer and nearer with each passing breathe.
Here we have a beautiful exhortation from Paul.
Tell me, how would you rephrase what Paul is saying here?
Perhaps, ’the end of man’s sinfulness and Satan’s dominion is coming to a close and Christ’s return in quick; therefore quickly turn from your sin and prepare yourself to aid in your brother’s turning as well.”
I say that because “armor” suggests;
identification; of other light-bearers,
organization/community; of the bearers themselves in battle (we are not alone in our battles),
combat; for who wears armor when there is no foe?
And revelation/enlightenment of truth; for what else does “light” refer to but the truth?
Given that we have the armor of light/truth; what truths do you need to meditate/take up this week to aid in your growth?
Why does Paul make mention of this list of sins in particular?
This list is the things they would have been doing if they still worshipped as the Romans did. But they are saved, they are changed now and serve a new, true, living God and He is to be worshipped as He has set forth in His word.
Or to put 13:13 another way, \’you cannot serve both God and the Roman gods; you must serve one or the other, you cannot serve two masters.’
That said, how is God to be worshipped?
In Spirit and truth (John 4).
By offering our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12).
Does our worship include our speech?
Should we be decimating the name of Jesus or God in our common speech?
No. Our speech is one of the chief marks of the Christian; it is for honoring God and people. We dishonor and degrade, those around us when we deflate the name of Jesus. And it is no cheap name, for His name is “Lord is My Salvation”; how costly our salvation was from Him.
Here is a summary of sanctification, the continuing spiritual process in which those who have been saved by faith are transformed into the image of Christ.
How does one, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”?
By accepting Him, loving Him and following Him.
And what does Paul mean when he says “make no provision for the flesh”?
IE make no room for sin in your life-your heart, mind, or body, but only make room for Christ in your heart, mind, body. And let that be our closing thought and our main task of this week and our lives.