The Gospel of Grace and Civil Government
Book of Romans Chapter 13
No matter what nation we call our home, we are to be subject to that government or those civil authorities.
God expects each and every believer to live as a testimony of righteousness (doing what is right) while we are upon this earth.
Remember we are only visitors our home is in Heaven and we are as Ambassadors representing Heaven.
We may ask why, but the fact remains those in power in any nation are put there to fulfill the will of God.
It does not matter how those authorities were appointed or by whom, if they have this power it was given to them by our Heavenly Father!
Whether it be by vote, or by military, they are ordained of God
Whether legitimate or illegitimate, they are ordained of God.
Whether they be just or unjust, they are ordained of God.
If we have questions about this, then we must believe the Word of God!
These things are written for us to learn and obey and are put here by the Holy Spirit just as the rest of the Word of God!
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
We must understand the Word of God as it is written!
*Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
We must understand Civil Obedience!
If we go back to the previous chapter, we must include that Scripture.
Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Rom 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Rom 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Just that statement “if it be possible” we should realize that it may not always be possible, but we must clearly understand that “Vengeance” belongs to our Heavenly Father and His Son and His Spirit!
We must understand that any government only has power in the Civil Realm and any power they have is given to them by Jehovah God.
The governments of the world have no Spiritual Power and cannot overrule the Word of God without taking His vengeance upon them!
Just because we do not see it, does not mean God is not in some action of His own and every lost soul has already been sentenced to damnation and governments cannot change this fact.
Wives are to obey their husbands not as masters or kings.
Children are to obey their parents, but parents are not to function as sovereigns over them.
Governments are no different, they do not have absolute power over any people especially God’s people!
When the laws of any civil government conflict with the explicit commands of God, then our answer is written down for us in the Scriptures.
Act 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
This is the right answer every time if we are obedient to the Word of God.
If we are not obedient to the Word of God, then we have no answer to authoritarian governments.
When governments claim Divine rights, then we are to answer no, because that government has gone beyond the authority given to them by God Himself and God will deal them as we resist.
We should say yes to all matters that do not go against the Word of God and beware of deception. Satan is a Deceiver!
1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
Tit 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
1Pe 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
1Pe 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
1Pe 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
1Pe 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
Remember God knows what we are going through and remaining obedient to the Word of God is the answer to all the wrongs that come to God’s people!
*Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
We must understand that an ordinance of God is not changeable by any human and not the Church.
We are bound to submit to our government as long as our government does not infringe on the Divine Authority of God given to us in the Scriptures.
Any government or ruler who insist on violating the Divine Will of God will suffer the wrath of God and His vengeance!
As the Church of the Living God we are to be good obedient citizens to the laws of the land and only resist those laws that try to counter the Word of God.
Obviously, the Church is not what it should be today because much of the Church has ignored the written Word of God and do not hold themselves to God’s standards and God’s standard is “Holiness”.
What is the duty of each Christian?
Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
And why must it be this way?
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
When we deviate from this standard we have gone against the truth of God!
We have a task to do as Christians and it is not to start wars.
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Remember God has already said He will deal with such governments who violate Divine Power.
This passage is written to the Church.
This passage is written to each Christian and God requires obedience to all the Word of God!
As Christians as many as will, should try to get into the many places of government to be godly influences, but Christianity should never be confused with political power.
If we demonstrate against an immoral government, it should be a peaceful demonstration.
We are never to be identified with murder or assignation and God forbid that we be known as terrorist because of our actions.
God is not in any of these things.
God does expect us to defend our families which would include our Christian family.
1Ti_5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
This would include providing for the safety of our families.
When rulers begin to exercise personal or immoral mastery over human life, then we are to obey God and not man and we see this happening in our own nation today.
Remember we have no righteousness ourselves! We depend on the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ to one day be in the presence of our Holy Father in Heaven.
World leaders are assigned by God Himself and if they are swayed to go against God in any way form or fashion, God will hold them accountable.
It is not up to some Pope to tell any national leader that they are okay in the eyes of God, when it is obvious that they disregard the Word of God.
All religious leaders will answer to God for their own mistakes, and they have an even higher standard to maintain which many of them have forgotten.
The world and each Christian must see that God has all these things well in hand!
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
No matter how we see the world we must understand that all things that happen are working toward the benefit of the Church and the Israelites.
We need to concentrate on the work the Lord has given us to do and not get caught up in things that cause our work to be irrelevant.
Pro 24:21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
Pro 24:22 For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
Rulers are put in place to be a terror to good works!
*Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
So, for what are all governments accountable to God?
They are never to try to stop good works!
Good works are all those things written in the Word of God.
Good works are those things that the Lord Jesus has commanded us to do.
Good works are to live as Christians as described to us by the Word of God.
All rulers are ordained of God to restrain evil!
Evil would be those things described as evil in the Word of God!
God will hold us accountable for those laws we do not obey which do not go against the Word of God!
In most cases civil laws should be according to the ten Commandments not to forget all God’s laws on immorality.
And yes, abortion is murder when it is intentional and manslaughter when it is not intentional, just as the murder or the accidental taking of a life when it is not intentional.
We should fear the state to obey those laws.
We should do that which is lawful and good.
Tit_3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
1Th_5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men
We should also know that we are in the last days and things are not going to get better in our relationship with our governments or those who are reprobate!
2Ti_3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
We must do everything we possibly can to live in peace wherever God has placed us!
We should ask ourselves, “for what reasons should we disagree with our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ”? That answer is we are never to disagree with the Word of God!
Ecc 8:7 For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?
Ecc 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
Ecc 8:9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.
It is a fact that God ordains rulers to maintain the welfare of its citizens and not given in to likes of the few over the many.
God expects the freedom to worship without malice.
God expects us to pay taxes and God expects those taxes to be used to provide all these things for the people including their safety.
If we abuse our citizenship, we are resisting the ordinances of God!
Our conscience determines our state of being.
When we say by our conscience, we cannot support certain laws of our government then we should not!
When we say by our conscience that certain things do not go against the written Word of God, then we should be obedient whether we like them or not.
We should not live in fear of government reprisal or of being caught and punished.
And we should pay our taxes.
*Rom 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
What are rulers? They are officers of God for the good of the public.
Our governments must be supported and as Christians it is our duty to do so.
Not because they demand it, but because God commands it!
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Rulers are ordained of God to provide certain benefits for the citizens of that nation.
We do not have to put any faith in them.
We do not have to accept their policies to direct our lives.
Governments are to provide justice, protection, and services for the citizens of that nation.
It should be the intent of every government to make laws that keep the strong from dominating the weak.
It is to keep us from living in the days of the wild-wild west.
Good governments keep the world from being chaotic when they do as they are ordained of God!
What do we understand of today?
2Ti_3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
We will not live in a perfect peace, but as the children of God we are to strive for peace and influence our government to strive for peace.
We are not so much to be in the politics of our government as we are to be in the workings of our governments.
So we are obligated to pay our taxes and not to try to avoid them.
When governments are biased toward certain groups of its people, that government is not doing the work God has ordain it to do.
When the Jezebels of this world lead any ruler, they are not doing the work God ordained them to do.
It is the duty of our government today to be led by the Constitution put in place by our forefathers and each new leader pledges to uphold that Constitution to the best of his or her ability because it was put in place by the people.
When these things are tampered with, we see what we see today in our own nation, which is corruption.
Still as long as the people of God can live in peace, then we are to support that government with our taxes and our prayers.
God will do as He does to all such governments and each individual ruler will still stand in judgment before God whether they believe in Him or not!
If we expect perfection, then we must think we are already in Heaven the only place where perfection lives, which we are not!
We are to pay our taxes!
We are to pay custom, duties of imports or exports!
We are to observe the authority of our government!
We are to honor those who deserve our honor!
We as Christians are also obligated to pay our debts and try our best to not be obligated to the things of this world!
Pro 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
Pro 14:35 The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.
Isa 54:14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
We must remember our God has far more benefits than any nation where we might live in this wicked world, and it grows more extremely wicked every day that passes.
We must avoid being involved in any way in this wickedness!
In the days of the Apostle Paul Rome had an income tax.
There was a ground tax, one tenth or on fifth of all crops that were produced.
There was the Poll Tax paid by everyone between the ages of 12 to 65.
There were then local taxes.
There were import and export taxes.
There were travel taxes for the use of roads, crossing bridges, entering markets, and entering harbors.
There were taxes on carts and wagons.
There was even a tax when you sold or bought your working animals.
The Holy Spirit knew all these things when He directed Paul to include these passages.
We see not much has changed in taxes except now taxes are collected for illegal drugs.
*Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
What is the truth? The truth is, if we genuinely love one another then we will never try to harm each other in any way!
When the law of love exists, then there is no need for other laws.
This is the message of the Lord Jesus Christ!
1) We are not to owe no man anything.
This does not mean we are not to borrow which we should not unless we have a need.
This means we are to be an example in the repayment of any debt.
We already know we should not charge interest on loans to a brother and sister in Christ.
We already know we are to be shrewd in business dealings with all others.
None of these things work unless we are examples in the paying of our own debts whether money or any other thing.
In fact we should not purchase things we do not really need.
We should not purchase unless we can meet the obligations of repayment.
We should make all payments when that payment is due.
The people of the world live for the world and its monies and possessions, and we must not get caught up in these things!
We damage the name of Christ when we do not pay our debts!
Jas 5:4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
Fraud is a serious thing in the eyes of God!
2) The greatest debt we owe is love!
Love will do more to win people to Christ than any other thing!
This entire world could live in God’s love if the world would turn to Him.
This world is more interested in riches no matter how they are obtained!
Let us go back and revue the commandments of God to the Jews.
*Rom 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
1) The truth is love forbids the act of adultery.
We should understand that adultery refers to all forms of sexual immorality.
Sexual immorality takes us down to the level of animals as taught by evolution, when the truth is God has raised the human to a higher standard than animals.
2) Love forbids murder.
Love protects human life when murder is a destructor of human life.
Life is to be respected and cherished.
We should not take our own life nor the life of any other human being.
Notice this does not include war nor the obedience to the laws of God!
Most civilized nations have always considered murder to be a serious crime and worthy of judgment.
God expands upon this.
Mat 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
What do we see today, especially in New York and California? We see Attorney Generals so soft on crime that even the murderer is set free without punishment.
This is then a sign of an “uncivilized nation”!
We see this increasingly right here in America today. Our nation is becoming uncivilized!
We will never know the love of God without being a home for the Holy Spirit and God has been asked to leave the United States and He may never return, so there is a lack of love.
Again a sign we are in the last days before the Rapture of the Church!
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Along with murder we also see all crime increasing such as theft.
3) Love forbids stealing.
To steal is to cheat, to take from someone else.
Did you know it is not man’s law that determines if someone is stealing or not!
Some people use legal means to steal from others
It is the Word of God that determines if you are a thief!
Tit 2:10 Not purloining(stealing), but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
As we have seen during these plagues, hoarding is also stealing!
We can be smart without hoarding!
In God’s command to Adam, He was saying we are to love each other enough to share the riches of this earth and in fact the riches of this universe.
Those who hoard are seeking the “Judgment of God” and they will see it!
Luk 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
Luk 12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
Luk 12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
Luk 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
Luk 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Luk 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Love shares, hoarding is stealing from the people of this world!
4) Love forbids bearing false witness.
We must certainly tell the truth in court when we are called to be a witness, but this means far more than this.
False witness covers any sort of lying.
Just telling lies is bearing a false witness!
There is also slander. Tearing down the reputation of someone.
There is rumor, and gossip, and talebearing, and spreading evil news for the benefit of others. “Watch out politicians”
Just planting in the mind of things that are improper or indecent is bearing false witness.
Deception is bearing false witness.
Accusations not knowing the truth is bearing false witness.
Exaggeration is bearing false witness as is blown up flattery.
It reality we are never to share any bad news about anyone else because it shows a lack of love for that person!
Psa 41:5 Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?
Psa 41:6 And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.
Psa 41:7 All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
Psa 41:8 An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
Psa 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
Psa 41:10 But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
6) Love forbids coveting.
If we love each other, we will not covet the things that belong to each other.
We may want something similar to what our neighbor has, but when we want the thing our neighbor has we have forgotten to love them.
*Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
7) So we see that loves sums up all the commandments.
What did the Apostle Paul write by the Holy Spirit?
1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
As we see our world veer away from the commandments of God, and we see a world where there is a lack of affection, we need to wake up to the reality of the Word of God.
*Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
The important message of this verse is that as believers we must be aware of time according to the Scriptures.
As humans we certainly do not want to run out of time.
As believers we also know that when we run out of time here upon this earth, then we begin an endless time with our Savior.
As each day ticks away we are one day closer to going home to be with our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
What the Holy Spirit is describing here is a little different.
The time we are living in today is the Church Age and it is the time of the Church Age that is coming closer to an end.
We should be able to see this if we study the Scriptures.
The most important day we have to look forward to is the day of the Rapture of the Church.
Too many Christians are asleep.
The sleep of false security. (the sleep of works)
The sleep of complacency. (the sleep of awe for the things of this world)
The sleep of neglect. (How can we neglect so great a salvation and neglect the work Christ gave us to do)
The sleep of indifference. (I am saved to heck with all others)
What day is at hand? The day when we will meet the Lord Jesus face to face!
We should be paying attention to what is going on in the world. (Matthew 24)
Too many Christians are neglecting the work that the Lord Jesus gave us to do!
Not only is the day of Salvation (the day that the Lord Jesus returns to take us home), but the day of “Judgement” also grows nearer every day.
The world we are living in will never be better than it is today, until the return of Christ Jesus and this will be after the seven years of terrible tribulation.
You see now is the time we are to be fulfilling the law of love for all humanity and telling the world about the salvation of Jesus Christ.
The is the time that is running out for the lost and for all the witnesses for Jesus Christ.
We live in a world of darkness and the Gospel is that light that is shining for this time that is running out.
There is not much time left for us to reach our family and friends.
We must wake up and put on the armor of God and get busy about the work that Jesus gave us to do.
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
If it were not necessary for us to be busy at this time, Jesus would not have said these things!
1Co 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
What is the armor of light?
2Co 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
We must walk honestly in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ!
*Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Since the beginning with Adam and Eve, ignorance has been the cause of sin, but today ignorance is just used as an excuse to sin.
We must be clear in our minds that we are sinners and the one and only way to rid ourselves of this sin, is the fact that Jesus will “pardon” each and every sinner that comes to Him in the truth of salvation!
1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
What is a pardon?
It sometimes upsets us when our President pardons certain criminals, yet the Lord Jesus Christ is willing to pardon every criminal.
To pardon is to be no more found guilty of any crime!
This cannot happen unless we put on the Lord Jesus Christ and not allow our flesh to lead us back into sin!
We are to be as tightly bound to the Lord Jesus as the clothes we wear!
We are to be wrapped up in Jesus.
We are to live, and move according to His Words and His ways and not by our own thoughts nor the ways of the world.
We can do this when we know we are clothed with the love of our Savior!
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
We can live in peace in this world even if this world is full of turmoil!