Authority’s protective covering!
Scripture reading for July 30th: Romans 13:1-14
Paul’s practical application of faith included how to relate properly to authority in our lives. Today, it is popular to talk bad about our government, leaders, and those in authority over us. This kind of talk leads to disrespect for authority and can reflect a rebellious attitude towards God Himself! God is a God of order and through His word, gives us instructions on relating to government authorities.
God establishes all authority! (Romans 13:1) When we rebel against authority, we are really rebelling against what God established! This brings judgment on those who do such things! God has given responsibility to those in authority. They are to be a protective covering over those they are leading. This protection is in the form of making laws and enforcing those laws. They are to reward or bless those who keep the law, and punish those who break the laws.
Those under the law are instructed to submit to authority. This submission is to be voluntary and means to willingly stand under the authority and serve them by obeying the laws. If we do that, we are promised commendation from the authority and God! (Romans 13:3)
When someone breaks the laws, God has assigned those in government power to enforce the law (even with the sword). They are His servants, according to Paul! (Romans 13:4) We are to pay taxes to the government to provide for the leaders over us who keep this protective covering of law and enforcement. We are able to live in safety as long as we joyfully submit to this authority.
In America, we are blessed because our government was based, to a large extent on the Bible and God’s law. Our founding fathers wanted to establish a righteous government that would protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for those who submitted to it. Under this authority, people were to be free to own property and do business. They were to use their talents and abilities to bless others and make a living. They were to pay taxes to support this government and submit to it’s laws and enjoy it’s blessings.
Maintaining righteous government requires godly people voting to keep godly people in government who will guard our laws, and keep in mind the truth that all authority comes from God! Woe to us when we depart from these basics!