The Good News of Bad Government (Romans 13:1-3)
- In order to understand this passage, we have to develop Theology for it.
- The first rule is developing Theology is to make sure the whole of scripture agrees with it.
Let’s look at 1 Peter 2:13-15. Peter and Paul seem to be in agreement here.
- They both use very similar language.
- Then in Mark 12:17: This is a statement about paying taxes.
- Jesus, Peter, and Paul, all agree with this idea to obey government.
- Look at Titus 3:1-2 Paul again tells the people to be subject to rulers and authorities.
- To be obedient to them.
- And to slander no one, in the context of rulers and authorities.
- The New Testament is in agreement with this idea.
- We could certainly find plenty of Old Testament examples as well.
- Daniel 4:17 God is saying that He gives rule over nations to whom He wants.
- The Old Testament is full of brutal government leaders.
- Start with
- He was a brutal leader that caused great pain and suffering to the Hebrew people.
- Yet God wove Pharaoh into His redemptive history.
- Without Pharaoh, there is no Passover.
- We can also look at Nebuchadnezzar or Tiglath-Pileser.
- Romans 13:1 Paul is using very broad language to include all the people who will read this letter.
- Then Paul says “be subject to governing authorities.”
- Keep in mind he was talking about the Roman government.
- The Roman government wasn’t exactly Jewish or Christian. They weren’t following God.
- God is working out His redemptive purposes through the Roman government.
- The verb in the Greek here “submit” is in the passive voice.
- Continuing in the verse: All government is established by God.
- This is Good News!!!! God is in Control.
- Look at John 19:10-11. The government here is Pilate. But Jesus says that Pilate’s authority comes from God.
- Jesus isn’t holding Pilate accountable; He is holding Judas accountable.
Verse 2 If all authority is from God, then if you rebel against that authority, the you are rebelling against God.
- If we obey the government authorities, then we are also obeying God.
Verse 3 As is usually the case, Paul here is drawing from the Old Testament.
- God used government authority to punish the Hebrew people when they went astray. Think
Biblical Example of honoring bad government:
David and Saul: 1 Samuel 24:3-7