The Christian and the Civil Authorities

Aug 30, 2021    Don Willeman    Kingdom Perspective, 2021

Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to the Kingdom Perspective.

All people are called to obey the civil authorities, but this is all the more so for the Christian. Why? The Christian knows that authority is not a “necessary evil” but is an essential good. All authority is from God, and He Himself is the authority above all authorities. God is good and so authority is essentially good.

Now, certainly human authority can become corrupt, and we must be on guard for such a threat. However, human authority, whether it is in the home, workplace, church or government, is essentially good and proper. It is a reflection and extension of God’s love and care for us. And authority is especially important in times of crisis. It exists for good order and the flourishing of humanity. Imagine what the world would be like without it!

As the Apostle Paul puts it in his letter to the Romans:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves… (Romans 13:1-2)

Therefore, as a general rule, when you obey the recommendations and requirements of your federal, state, and local authorities, you are not only loving your neighbor by maintaining good social order, you are also loving your God who established such authorities.

Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

~ Romans 13:1-7 (ESV)