Tag Archives: submission to government
Over the past few weeks, I have been saddened by pastors and churches ignoring the government recommendations to not gather in large groups and to practice social distancing. Pastors are holding worship services. Pastors are being arrested. All of this is because of the defiance to the government.
There is separation of church and state. There is freedom of religion. There is also free will. God has given us free will. We get to decide if we will listen to the government, if we will obey God’s Word, or even if we want to go a totally different path. We get to decide.
Too often, people cherry pick scripture rather than read all of God’s Word. We select what we like or what fits our agenda. This is a big reason why I always wanted the congregation to have their Bibles open when I preached. It is important for you to know all of God’s Word, not just pieces. It’s very dangerous to blindly follow someone who wants to feed you a piece of God’s Word, but not adhere to scripture found elsewhere. God’s Word is the entire Bible, not portions that favor you.
Whether you love and fear God, or you disbelieve, read Romans 13:1-7. This is what God says about authority. As a follower of Jesus, we are to follow the government unless it is something that defies something that goes against the law of God. This means that when the government says STAY HOME, that you stay home. You are not defying God to stay home and worship in your home. Please understand that nowhere in the Bible does it tell you that you must go to a building to worship. The church is people. We can worship right from our homes. Plus, we have the added blessing today of technology. We can actually join together online, without anyone having to leave their homes, through Facetime, Zoom, YouTube, etc. It’s all there. God has provided.
Additionally, claiming that God will keep you safe from the virus so you can defy the government is also wrong. Yes, God says that no one can pluck someone from His hand (see John 10:28). This actually speaks of the soul of a believer being safe; souls don’t get the Coronavirus. However, Jesus also tells us not to test God (see Matthew 4:7). Remember when the devil tried to tempt Jesus to throw Himself down so the angels would catch Him? We should not live life trying to get ourselves into trouble to see if He will rescue us. He has given us wisdom and discernment. He has given us resources. Faith isn’t declaring that He will keep you safe from Coronavirus and entering a large group of people to show everyone God is keeping you safe from the illness. Faith is trusting that even while this great pandemic is taking its toll on the whole world, you are trusting in God’s plan, you are trusting in God’s Word, and you know that He will use everything for His good purpose.
Not staying home, choosing to go out when you are not essential… This is not love. This is pride. This is ignorance. This is wrong. If you are going to the grocery store more than once a week, there is a problem. Plan a little. Be creative with the items you have in your cupboard. God made us in His image and He is the most creative. So you have creativeness in you. Let it flow. If you feel like you are climbing the walls at home, ask yourself why you cannot stand to be home… let God and you work that out. As you find yourself adapting to a life very different from what you once knew, draw near to God and He will draw near to you (see James 4:8). Repent. Pray. Love. Be a blessing.
“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. – Romans 13:1-7 [NLT]
[Ephesians 5:21 – 6:9]
21 – Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
- To submit oneself
- To be subject
- To be obedient
21 – submitting – to one another
22 – submit – wives to husband
24 – is subject unto – Church to Christ
Must have the Spirit (see verse 18) – can’t do it alone
God puts people in position of authority
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” (Romans 13:1)
Different ways of submission
- Submission to God (James 4:7)
- Submission to government leaders (Romans 13:1-7)
- Submission to church leaders (1 Peter 5:5)
- Submission of wives to husbands
- Submission of children to their parents
- Submission of slaves to masters
Reason We Submit
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. This is a fear that acknowledges that Christ is Lord of all, and everything is under His rule.
- To Accomplish His Purposes
- To Develop Godly Character & Grow in Wisdom
Even God submits
God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All are equal. But they submit to each other to fulfill the Divine Plan. The Son submits to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28). The Spirit submits to the Father (John 14:26) and the Son (John 16:13-14).
- Know & trust God’s great plan
- Submission to human authority is submitting to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-24)
Bible Study Questions:
What comes to mind when you hear the word “Submission”?
How does the world define submission? How is this definition different from God’s definition?
Romans 13:1 says that we are to submit to our government leaders. What makes this difficult? Why must we do this? When should we object if ever? How?
We read that within the Trinity there is submission. What does this mean?
What are the benefits of submission? How does submitting benefit the Church? What have you personally learned from submission?
Read Philippians 2:1-11. How does this passage tell us to submit? How did Jesus demonstrate this best?