Romans 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.
What should it look like to follow Jesus AFTER a contentious election? How does God want Christ followers to respond to imperfect human governments no matter how good or bad they might be?
I don’t want to drag out the worst of what this election brought out in our country. I do want to review core biblical truth about what God expect of all who follow Jesus in whatever countries we live in during our time on earth. Here are the highlights from last weekend’s lesson. To catch the whole thing, go to www.parkviewfamily.com.
God gave directions to the early believers during the time Nero was killing Christians in the Coliseum. It would be easy to write off all government and embrace a permanently hostile attitude towards it. They were not to do this. God wanted them to understand it from his perspective. God’s authority & power are above all earthly rulers. God has purpose for what he allows. None rise to places of authority without His hand in it. Jesus NOT government has power to save us. With that in mind followers of Jesus should:
Pray for those God Allows to Govern.
1Tim 2:1-3 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
Pray for their spiritual condition. Leaders are human beings in need of God’s grace & truth like everyone else. Pray for their core heart needs and they will become better people and leader. Then pray for their actions & decisions. Ask God to vie them wisdom to know what to do and courage to follow through. Prayer is our greatest tool to impact any government leader we live under.
Respect the Government by Submitting to Its Rules.
1Peter 1:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority… For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
This can be hard when the rules seem dumb or we just don’t like the leader at the moment. But God commands that we submit to such leaders. WHY? God commands it as a way to limit needless criticism. We are to be good neighbors, citizens, & workers who contribute to community. When we follow the same rules as everyone else we cultivate opportunities to share about Jesus.
Treat Those Who Govern with Grace and Understanding.
Titus 3:1-3 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. 3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
We enjoy our right to free speech a bit too much sometimes. God uses it to present a clear picture of Jesus’ grace. Our mouths & attitudes reflect our hearts AND ultimately reflect on Jesus. So take care how you speak about them. Take care how you speak to them.
God expects believers to have gentle consideration towards others. Those being governed should have empathy with those who govern. Be gracious to rulers even if they are still trapped by sin. Remember what you were without Jesus.
Luke 20:25 And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”