CIVIL AUTHORITIES ARE FOR GOOD WORKS
For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation
(Romans 13:3 AMPC).
God’s Word teaches that we obey civil authorities because they’re established by God (Romans 13:2). So, whether it’s the king, the
prime minister, the president, the governor or mayor, etc., we’re to obey them, but only in the context of God’s Word.
1 Peter 2:13-15 says, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of
evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” Peter, by the Spirit, shows us that these ordinances were set
up for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
However, we’re in a world where some government leaders do the exact opposite of what the Word says. That’s why it can become a problem if you leave the definition of “right” or “wrong” to the government. The Word of God is what determines right and wrong. In
Romans 13:1-4, the Spirit of God, through the Apostle Paul, admonishes everyone to obey state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission.
But He didn’t stop there; He went further to spell the responsibilities of the state: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:3-4).
You may then ask, “Doesn’t it follow that whatever a leader does, therefore, is from God?” Absolutely not! You have to apply the right contextual understanding; otherwise, where would you place the likes of Stalin, Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler? Their actions were ungodly. So we understand that not all leaders please the Lord.
Civil authorities are to promote a righteous cause; they’re for good works not evil. Proverbs 29:2 & 4 (AMPC) says, “When the [uncompromisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but
when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh…The king by justice establishes the land, but he who exacts gifts and tribute overthrows it.”
Dear Father, I pray for those you’ve placed in positions of authority, that they’ll promote human rights and dignity, peace, fairness, righteousness, and a conducive atmosphere for the preaching of
the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Proverbs 29:2; Ezra 7:10; Proverbs 21:15
1-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Acts 1:1-26 & 2 Chronicles 1-4
2-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Mark 16:1-11 & Deuteronomy 7