2001-12-09 - Passages About Obedience to Earthly Laws
On rare occasions, God calls us to disobey the law, but we need to do that very carefully -- and by far, most of the time, we are to obey our "Earthly authorities." But every day, people - including Christians - break the laws we are to honor. We fail to pay child support. How loved will a child feel, if he finds out his parent had to be forced to help take care of him? We drive without liability insurance And if that is not unloving of a neighbor, what is? We "fudge" our taxes a little bit - after all, "everyone does it," right? We use copyrighted material (songs, devotionals, names) without permission, which is a violation of federal laws - not to mention unloving of our neighbor to steal his work. We drink more than we should and drive - after all, everyone does that, too-right? We run Stop Signs or defiantly (and self-righteously, even) refuse to follow a judge's order. We should be more eager than others to obey the laws - as a witness and in honor of God, our Ultimate Authority. We are also to pray for our authorities - police officers, judges and others who serve us in our local justice systems, as well as our national leaders. Today we will read some passages related to "Earthly authorities."
Romans 13:1-7 (NASB) 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. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 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; 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. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 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.