May 14, 2023

The Good News of Bad Government

The Good News of Bad Government

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