You and the Government, Pt. 3
March 21, 2021
While there are probably as many different political opinions in this room as there are people, we can all agree that we live in complex and difficult days politically and socially. While there have always been debated issues on the political and social spectrum, the issues before us today are deeply complex:
- Life — when does life begin and when does it end? Does anyone have a right to terminate life at either its beginning or end? Under what circumstances?
- Gender — what is gender? Is it fluid or fixed? And who determines what one’s gender is? Can the gender be altered?
- Justice and social justice — what does it mean to be just? Who determines what is just? Is all justice equal in its exercise? Should justice be suspended in circumstances where greater injustices have occurred? Are things like reparations for past injustice appropriate?
- Ethnicity and race — is the idea of systemic racism a reality? If so, how do we alter it and “fix” it? If not, then what is the effect of how we subjugated a race of people for centuries in our country?
- Sexual ethics — what is pornography, who defines it, and is it wrong? According to whose standard? And what about homosexual conduct and “marriage?” (And what is marriage and who defines what it is?) And what is sexual abuse and how will it be addressed?
- Environment — What does being a steward and caring for this world look like? Should Christians be concerned about endangered species, litter on the side of the road, global warming, the use of pesticides and herbicides, and highway beautification? (Or can a believer say “Christ is coming to renovate the world, so shoot a deer and walk on the grass…?”)
All those things are in front of us just about daily and I haven’t mentioned things like education, gambling, economic theory, capital punishment, poverty, health care, moral standards, war theory, and more!
What is significant about all these issues is not just the complexity of attempting to resolve them, but that government is leading our country in making decisions about all those issues. So we need to think carefully not only about those issues, but how we will relate to the government that is making decisions and laws about all those things, many of which are going to be contrary to what we think and believe about them.
How will we respond? Let’s remember what Paul says about our relationship to government (Rom. 13:1-7):
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:
1. Submit to the Government (vv. 1-2, 5)
2. Do What is Good (vv. 3-4)
3. 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.