You and the Government, Pt. 1
March 7, 2021
If you are a baseball fan, you know this face — one of the most successful managers in baseball history.
If you are not a baseball fan, you might still recognize his name: Casey Stengel. Casey had an ability to say the right thing in wrong ways that made listeners chuckle at his malaprops. I don’t know when he said this, but his comment on politics is timeless: “I stayed up last night and watched the Republican Convention all night long. I watched all of them talk, and listened to them and seen them and I’m not interested in politics. If you watch them and listen to them you can find out why.”
Stengel was reflecting an idea that living in the world is hard. Living under government — and sometimes inept and corrupt governments — is hard. We see ungodly laws and unrighteous living and it not only saddens us, but we see the encouragement of injustice and it grieves us. We see those who should be upholding moral truth and goodness perverting it, and we anticipate the end of a culture (1:32). So we need to be reminded of how we are to think about and relate to the government.
As we come back to Romans 13, Paul is exceedingly clear in this passage about how we should think about and relate to the government. The last couple of weeks, we saw the responsibility of government to us; today we will focus on our responsibility to government. Simply said,
Every believer should always honor his government.
Or even more precisely, because God has ordained every government, every believer should always honor his government. How will we honor the government? In these verses, Paul identifies three responses for the believer to the government; we will discuss the first of those today and the other two next week:
- Submit to the Government (vv. 1-2, 5)
- Submission is for all people (v. 1)
- Lack of submission is rebellion against God (v. 2)
- Submission is for maintaining a clear conscience (v. 5)
- Do What is Good (vv. 3-4)
- Pay Your Taxes (vv. 6-7)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 13:1-7.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.