Let Every Soul Be Subject To The Governing Authorities
Originally posted: February 15, 2010 in another blog by DThrasher
The Apostle Paul writing to the Christians in Rome said, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” (Romans 13:1-2)
It is God who appoints offices for men to hold. The men who fill these offices serve God’s purpose and fulfill His plans for that country and its people. Pilate, a Roman official in Jerusalem had a faulty perception of his authority (as many world leaders do) and on the day Jesus was crucified, Pilate said to the Lord, “Do you not know that I (with all of the power of Rome behind me) have power to crucify you, and power to let you go?” And Jesus responded to the Roman representative, “You could have no power at all against me unless it had been given you from above.” (John 19:10-11) Thus clearing up a misconception for Pilate that he (or the Roman government) had the power to do as they pleased. To the rest of the world the power of Rome was great and to be feared, but to Jesus who understood the power structure on earth; Rome was only as powerful as God allowed it to be. No man or government can do but what has God’s stamp of approval on it. They cannot exceed the limitation of the authority He has given to them. And governments, such as Rome, Babylon, and Assyria in their heyday, and Russia, China, and the United States of this present day have only the amount of power God has given to them to fulfill his plans on the earth. No more and no less.
You hear men talk of the earth being destroyed by nuclear bombs or military might; and to natural man this power might look magnificient and instill fear in the hearts of the unbelieving, but the power they possess is for all intents and purposes useless in the sight of God whose plan for the future of this earth does not include it being destroyed by the weapons of mankind. Whether we understand it or not; men do what God wants and not the other way around. God is the master puppeteer who pulls the strings, and men dance to His tune. (Proverbs 21:1) “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord. Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever he wishes.” And whoever resists (or fights against) these earthly authorities brings judgment upon themselves because they are not resisting the ordained governing authority of men put in place by God, but they are resisting the authority of God who put these powers into place. He promoted each of these governing authorities and ordained them to fufill a role in the life of men. He judged those of the past, and He will judge those authorities of today according to what they did with the power He gave them.
The conversation Jesus had with Pilate the day He was crucified was for our understanding. And what He means for us to understand is that, we, as children of God have nothing to fear from the power of men or their military might that was delegated to them by our Father. It is our Father we are to fear if we resist the governing authorities He ordained to rule on the earth. You might be thinking, “Some of these countries are ruled by dictators who take great joy in hurting people. Are we to obey them?” The laws governing most countries are good, it’s the men who become a law unto themselves that are bad, but if their commands are contrary to God’s laws, we are to obey God rather than man. The Apostle Peter and John faced a similar situation for preaching in the temple of God in (Acts 5:28 & 29) The religious leaders said to them, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s (Jesus) blood on us!” But Peter and the other aspostles answered and said, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians who were in Rome which was a heathen government that killed Christians for sport and had one of the poorest human rights records in the history of man; they were to obey the authorities, but if the demands of those authorities would cause the Christian to sin, then the Christians were to obey God’s Law even if it cost them their lives.
We as men do not have a say in who we are born to, or in what country we are born, nor the color of our skin, but we do have a say in how we live our life. It is the choice of every person regardless of what circumstances they may find themselves in to be obedient to the laws of their land, and to do what is right by their fellow man. And if we practice these things, ultimately we will encounter the Lord God and come to know we made the right choice instead of becoming a rebel. For this we will be rewarded and not punished. DThrash