Saturday Morning: 06 Apr 2019 – Romans 13 ~ The Lord of Politics

Saturday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Romans 13 (NLT)

Respect for Authority

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

Love Fulfills God’s Requirements

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
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Morning Reflection:

“For all authority comes from God,
and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”
– Romans 13:1

This is a tough one for believers in light of today’s bitter and contentious political climate. It’s true not only here in America, but also around the world. To the question: “Can’t we all just get along?” The answer from all sides is a resounding: “No!”

So what’s a believer to do? Our starting point is:

Jesus Christ must be Lord of our politics.

Paul offers us some guidelines.

+ Civil governments are ordained of God –

  • to promote justice for all
  • to promote peace and order in society

+ Civil governments are accountable to God –

  • God’s people have a responsibility to participate in the political process
  • God’s people must be known for promoting justice and peace

+ What then is required of believers?

  • to be subject to the government, unless asked to disobey God
  • to be respectful to those in governing authority
  • to do right and cooperate with governing authorities
  • to pay taxes
  • to pray for governing authorities
  • to be informed citizens who vote for candidates and issues which will, to the best degree possible, uphold God’s purposes for government

Evangelism, not political power, is God’s primary means
of dealing with the world’s problems.

Questions for consideration:

  • How do you view the governing authorities in your part of the world? Please explain.
  • Do you believe that they are fulfilling God’s role for governing authorities? Please explain.
  • Do you show respect to governing authorities who are opposed to your political views? Please explain.
  • Do you believe that all governing authorities have been placed there by God? What about those who are doing evil in your sight? Please explain.
  • What do you need to do in order to respectfully advance God’s purposes in the world? Does it involve politics, evangelism, or both? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ: You are Lord of all – including all our governing authorities. Fill me with your Spirit – a willingness to submit to those in authority as unto the Father. Show me how to live as a decent, honest, child of the light – in a world filled with animus, disrespect and political power plays. Clothe me with your presence, and may love override all my rebellious, disrespectful impulses. I ask this for your name’s sake and the Father’s glory. Amen.
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“If My People” – Promise Keepers

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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