Romans Chapter 13

1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;

4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.

6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for {rulers} are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

At work, does your boss trouble you by asking you to do things you don’t want to do or things that you consider a waste of time? How do you react to that?

At church, what do you do when the pastor won’t let you create the new program or group you want to create, or conduct a program the way you want to conduct it?

At home, how do you react to your husband when he nixes your redecorating plans? If you are a child living in your parent’s home, do you grumble when your dad or mom imposes a whole bunch of rules for you to keep?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you are probably like me, and therefore, like me, you need to pay careful attention to the above verses.

All these people are in authority over you, and you need to understand that when someone is in authority over you then you need to obey them as if you are obeying God – even if you don’t agree with what they are asking you to do. The only exception is when they are asking you to do evil.

I cannot stress enough how important this matter of subjection is. You will never learn to walk with God unless you learn to subject yourself to authority. When it comes to those who love Him, God does not do things arbitrarily. He plans the stuff that happens in our lives. Satan cannot touch those who love God without God’s permission. Therefore, every authority over you is a representative of God. So take their actions very seriously. When you disobey them or rebel against them you do so against God, and when you go against God you certainly cannot walk with God.

If you’re still not convinced, please read 1 Pet 2:13-3:2. This is one way to find favor with God. If you want to be close to God, this is how you do it – be subject to those who are in authority over you even if you think that they are unreasonable.

Leave them in the hands of God and watch how God takes care of the situation at the appropriate time. That is a really cool way to prove to yourself the perfect will of God, and to prove to yourself that God really exists. That is what walking with God is all about (Heb 11:6).

Why do you think Paul says ‘every person’? It is because there are no exceptions. This command applies to the unimportant people and to the important people.

7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax {is due;} custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

God is okay with showing respect to those he puts in authority over you. In fact, He asks you to do so.

8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled {the} law.

9 For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of {the} law.

Love is like dynamite – it can break up a lot of strong obstacles.

Love is like a seed that can grow into a beautiful tree.

Think about that!

If you focus on making yourself a lover of God and a lover of man you will not go wrong. That is why Paul says that he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. It is amazing – you can fulfill the law by just keeping two commandments in mind – love God fully, and love your neighbor like yourself.

11 {Do} this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.

12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.

14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to {its} lusts.

There is a sense of urgency that we must have – a sense of urgency that I rarely see among Christians. We have just one life to live, and that life is just a few tens of years. There are too many distractions, and only those who are wise to Satan’s devices really focus on making good use of their time by investing in things of eternal value.

We must strive to be among them.


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