• Established by God Devotional

    Romans 13:1b

    As we will see, God’s authority supersedes the authority of the civil government, so we must have a nuanced view of civil obedience and disobedience. Still, that the Lord establishes civil governments reveals that government is not evil in itself. Evil governments may appear at times, but the general existence of authorities to preserve law and order is a good thing. Let us thank God for the gift of government, which protects us from civil anarchy. View Resource

  • The Christian and the Government Devotional

    Romans 13:1-2

    Dr. Sproul has noted that although we may easily grasp the principle that we must obey the state unless it commands us to do something God forbids or forbids us from doing something God commands, applying it correctly is not always so easy. However, we can say that our general approach should be to go out of our way to obey the law of the state. At times, we may have to disobey the state in order to obey the Lord, but those occasions should be relatively rare. View Resource

  • Civil Obedience Devotional

    Romans 13:1–2

    It is easy to obey God’s command to submit to our earthly rulers when they rule wisely. It is much harder, on the other hand, to submit when we think our rulers are corrupt. The Lord often calls us to do hard things, however, and this includes obeying the rulers with whom we disagree. They are not to be followed absolutely, that is, we cannot justify sin by saying “the government told me to do it.” But the civil magistrate is to receive our deference and honor. View Resource

  • Civil Obedience Devotional

    Romans 13:1–2

    Some of the laws and regulations in your country today may seem unnecessary. Nevertheless, in obedience to Scripture we must obey even these unless they lead us to sin. We should not be known as those who try to find ways around the laws of the land; rather, our scrupulous obedience should be a model for the unbelievers around us. We must never give the ruling authorities just cause to view us as a lawless people. View Resource

  • Civil Government Devotional

    Romans 13:1–3

    In the face of evil government, Christians can hide from view and keep out of the way as much as possible. Though many formerly enslaved nations have been set free in recent years, there are still Christians who live in fear in places like Cuba, China, and Vietnam. Pray for these brothers and sisters in Christ today. View Resource

  • Obedience to Civil Authorities Devotional

    Romans 13:1–7

    Civil authorities do not have to be perfect or even Christian for us to obey them. We are to obey even the mandates we consider silly or onerous if doing so does not require us to break God’s law. In rendering such obedience, we bear witness to the final authority of the Lord, for bowing to His authority means submitting to the civil government. View Resource

  • Submitting to Earthly Authorities Devotional

    Romans 13:1–7

    Those who are under the authority of others are not allowed to wait for perfect leadership before they honor their supervisors, parents, church elders, and other leaders. Insofar as our leaders do not command us to do something God forbids or forbid us from doing something that God commands, we have no excuse not to obey their directives. Let us honor those in authority over us and ask for the Spirit’s help to make us eager to serve others. View Resource

  • When to War? Devotional

    Romans 13:1–7

    Just War theory tells us the government is not supreme. We cannot defend our participation in an unjust war simply by saying, “I was only doing my duty to the government.” We are never allowed to say, “My country, right or wrong, my country.” Yet when the cause is just, we must obey our authorities. Consider who has more authority in your life, God or the state. Ask the Lord to help you discern how to obey Scripture in the matter of armed conflicts. View Resource

  • God’s Servant for Our Good Devotional

    Romans 13:3-4a

    Not until eternity will perfect justice be dispensed on earth. According to His own wise counsel, the Lord has determined that all of the unrighteous will receive their just deserts at the resurrection of the dead. Until then, however, He works through the imperfect means of secular authorities to keep society safe and to protect His people from harm. May we be encouraged not to show antagonism toward the state but rather humble submission when it does things right. View Resource

  • The Sword and the Keys Devotional

    Romans 13:3–7

    Based on the distinct vocations of the church and the state, the principle of the separation of church and state, rightly administered, is biblical. Unfortunately, the separation of church and state in our day is often distorted into the separation of the state and God. The state has no right to establish a state church, but it is still responsible to our Creator, and it must carry out its authority lawfully. It is never wrong for the church to rebuke the state for not doing its job. View Resource

  • The Sword and the Keys Devotional

    Romans 13:3–7

    Chapter 23 of the Westminster Confession of Faith is an excellent summary of the biblical teaching on the relationship between the church and the state. According to the confession, Christians may lawfully engage the government and serve in its various offices. Yet we must do such things with wisdom lest we come to expect the state to manifest God’s kingdom. The sword cannot call lost sinners to God, only the Gospel can. View Resource

  • The Government and the Sword Devotional

    Romans 13:4b

    There is a division of labor between the state and the church. The state punishes evildoers with the sword, and the church preaches the gospel. The state may not do the church’s job, and the church may not do the state’s job. However, that does not mean the church may not speak to the state. In fact, the church is to be the conscience of the state, calling it to do its job of protecting human life and punishing criminals. View Resource

  • War and the Christian Devotional

    Romans 13:4–7

    Just war theory can get rather murky and difficult to apply, particularly when a nation is whipped up into an emotional fervor. Be certain that you reach your decisions based on careful, sober, biblical analysis and not on media hype or political party affiliation. Encourage your political leaders to do the same. View Resource

  • Submission for Conscience’s Sake Devotional

    Romans 13:5

    Doing good for any reason is better than doing evil, but the Lord does not find our doing good pleasing unless we are doing it for the right reasons. Only those who have been transformed by the grace of God can do what is right for the right reasons. As Christians, we are called to have consciences trained by the Word of God, so that we might more and more seek to serve the Lord because it is right for us to do so and not only because we fear His discipline. View Resource

  • Paying Our Taxes Devotional

    Romans 13:6-7

    God calls us to pay taxes, not to approve of everything our tax money pays for. In Paul’s day, tax money was used to pay the salaries of soldiers and other officials who persecuted Christians and committed other evils. Nevertheless, Paul told the church at Rome to pay its taxes anyway. Paying our taxes is not a sign that we endorse everything the government does with our money; rather, it is one way we fulfill God’s command to submit to the state. View Resource