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September 1 : Christianity and Politics (Romans 13:1-7)

Prepare for Sunday morning worship by using the guide below

Adult Education

This Sunday Jim Amy will begin teaching Singing Together. This class will be held at 10:00 in the Youth Room. 

Worship Songs

All Hail the Power of Jesus
Glorious and Mighty
The Lord is My Salvation
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
Doxology-Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

Unreached People Group

In our Sunday gathering this week, we will be praying for the Azeri of Iran.

Romans 13:1-7

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. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Summary

The Apostle Paul continues his practical instruction about how we live in light of the mercy of God. Salvation revolutionizes our relationships, not just with God but with everything.  In chapter 12, we see that as children of God, we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God or to seek to live according to the will of God. We see that the will of God is to think rightly ourselves, with humility, serve others in the church gladly and love genuinely others, even love those outside the church. Today, in light of the mercy of God, we are instructed on how to relate to the government.  While he is not giving us a treatise on church/state relations, Paul addresses two questions, how the Christian ought to view the state and how the Christian ought to respond to the state.  

Review and Apply

How does the instruction to 'be subject' to the government make you feel?  Why?

What is your attitude toward government in general?  Has this passage challenged it?

How does this passage relate/illuminate to the previous section (12.17-21)?

How does the 'for the sake of conscience' affect our submitting to governing authorities?

What are the purposes of government?  Why do we pay taxes?

How can you honor and respect the government in greater measure?

What are the limits of state's authority?  What are some situations in which protest is warranted?

When and how can a Christian protest in a godly way?

What would you say to a person who argues for greater distrust of the government?