When humans interact, a government of some kind will form…it will be relatively benevolent or terribly wicked…but it will form. Since this is true, how are we to live in a world where Government is necessary and yet often problematic?
Our Objective is to know and understand that the reality of yielding to God actually shows up in the way believers interact with the people/community he has put us in, both personal relationships, as well as government authorities.
As you read the passage, pay attention to the “kind of attitude/approach” we are to take.
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”
Does living a single-story life impact the way a Christian responds to the government? How so?
Terry stated: The prevailing model of our time is that the “Downstairs is real, upstairs is religious”… this of course is nonsense. Question: Why is it so important that we get this right?
Discuss the following statement: The gospel is real knowledge… the gospel shapes every aspect of our lives…how we treat each other…how we go about our work…how we respond to government and even taxes.
The Principle of this passage is: The providential rule of God over everything. What is the starting point for understanding this passage?
The Pattern is: Submission to them (government) as evidence of submission to Him. Talk about the implication found in the pattern… unless you are being asked to directly disobey God…you must comply as unto the Lord. That is clearly what we see in Scripture. This means Speed limits and other traffic laws…as unto the Lord. Taxes, permits…as unto the Lord.
This is “gut check” on what you actually believe about the Lordship of Jesus in everyday life? Where are you at? Are you ambivalent to some of these? If so why?
Priority: The Lordship of Jesus trumps all other human relationships.
How do we live the Lordship of Jesus in a world of competing loyalties?
From what you have just discussed and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?