There is No Power but of God
Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
· This message is intended to show solidarity with Pastor James Coates and those that have been arrested simply being faithful in their service to their flocks.
1. Let Every Soul Be Subject to Earthly Governments
a. What does the word subject mean?
i. It does not mean blind obedience, but rather a submissive spirit that is bound by allegiance and duty
1. We honor the Lord by being compelled to follow His law out of love not fear. - Romans 8:7
2. We do not blindly obey other believers - Ephesians 5:21
3. Wives are not to blindly obey their husbands - Ephesians 5:22
4. Citizenries are not to blindly obey their governments, but to honor them by doing good works. - Titus 3:1
b. What is the duty of government?
i. To protect the rights of its citizenry. The following are the rights of every human as outlined in scripture.
a. The protection of life is one of God’s first ordinances and is the primary duty of a legitimate government. - Genesis 9:5-6
a. God gives the right to individual sovereignty to every human. He also holds them individually accountable for their actions. - Genesis 1:26-28
3. Property (or pursuit of happiness, because the founding fathers wanted to ensure the welfare of those that did not own property as well)
a. The very fact that there is a command not to steal implies that man has been given the right to personal property and that those rights should be protected by their governments.
i. Exodus 20:15
ii. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness” – Declaration of Independence
c. What is the current government you are under?
i. You are not under a monarchy but a constitutional government, which means your allegiance as a Christian is owed the constitution not to an elected official who will only temporarily be compelled by oath to defend it. – Lex Rex or the Law is King
1. “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – the Preamble to the Constitution
2. 1 Peter 2:17
d. What do we do if government abuses its power?
i. In Paul’s time he lived under the tyranny of an absolute monarchy which believed in its own divinity. You however do not live under a monarchy and are compelled by the law of the land (your king) to keep your elected officials accountable that law.
1. “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” – Declaration of Independence
2. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – The first Amendment of the Constitution
e. Is Paul forbidding any resistance to government?
i. Absolutely not, we could not count the times that Paul suffered for practicing civil disobedience. - 2 Timothy 1:8
f. When is civil disobedience necessary?
i. When government forbids what God commands - Daniel 6:7-10
ii. When government commands what God forbids - Daniel 3:16-18
iii. When government begins to interfere with jurisdictions that are not given to them by God - Matthew 22:21
g. How do we behave when practicing civil disobedience? - 1 Peter 2:17-21
2. All Earthly Governmental Power is Given by God
a. Who is the true King to which all governments must answer for the treatment of their citizenry?
i. It is the duty of the church to warn governments of their violations of God’s law and the coming of a righteous King and Judge.
1. Psalm 2:1-12
b. What is the Law by which all governments derive their authority?
i. The Law of God is the authority by which men govern. When they command us to disobey God’s Law, we are compelled disobey their command because of our ultimate allegiance to God.
1. Acts 5:28-29