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The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 6 October 2022 – Obedience To The Authorities
TOPIC: Obedience To The Authorities
READ: Romans 13:1-7 (NKJV)
- Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
- Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
- For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
- For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to [execute] wrath on him who practices evil.
- Therefore [you] must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
- For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.
- Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes [are due,] customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Paul always teaches that Christians must obey established authority in the context of the household and the government, because these institutions are ordained by God (verse 1). Paul’s teaching here is in line with that of Peter in 1 Peter 2:13, 14. Jesus Himself also teaches about obedience to authority (Matthew 22:15-22). Paul wants to ensure that believers act as good citizens and avoid civil conflicts. However, this does not mean blind obedience. The Bible sometimes depicts people going against public authority in order to obey God (Exodus 1:17; Daniel 3:10-17; Acts 5:29). God has ordained the authority to be an agent of justice, to restrain evil by punishing the wrongdoer and to protect the good in society.
A proper Christian response to authority reflects positively on Jesus. For the sake of Christ’s reputation, Christians should be submissive to the authority. God has instituted government because in this corrupt world, we need certain restraints and authority to protect us from the chaos and lawlessness that is a natural result of sin. But when the authority requires something contrary to the word of God, Christians must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:28, 29; cf. Daniel 3:16-18; 6:6-10). Some of the ways to obey the instituted authority are listed in verse 7, “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour.”
PRAYER: God give me grace to perform my godly civic duties in Jesus’ Name. Amen.