On the back of the $1 bill that I have in my wallet (that’s the currency that I see the most of!), I read the phrase, “In God We Trust”. In our study today, we look at the believer’s responsibility towards their government (Romans 13:1-7). Obviously, since the middle of the first century, Christians have lived in many different cultures and under the authority of many types of government. So, it is clear that the way we, who live in the United States today, posture ourselves towards our government may vary from other believers in other eras and areas. The real issue is not the type of government, but how to obey God in the type of government you are under.
Peter writes pretty clearly on this issue (1 Peter 2:13-17), as does Titus (Titus 3:1). The Holy Spirit who inspired Paul (2 Timothy 3:16-17) tells us that all world leaders are ordained by God (Romans 13:1). There is nothing fuzzy or vague about that! One lesson that proud Nebuchadnezzar needed to learn when he attempted to defy the fact that God was the reason for his success, was that he was only in power because of God’s sovereign purposes (Daniel 4:17,25,35).
There will never be a perfect form of government under heaven any more than there will be a perfect local church. In both cases, it all boils down to my personal obedience to God. I can’t change the church and I can’t change the world, but how I conduct myself in the church and in the world can make a difference.
My trust is not in the church or in the government, but in The God who ordained them both and is forever on His throne! In God’s polling station there are two levers – obey (His will) or disobey (choose my will). Which one do you pull?