Episode #130. Today we’ll read Romans chapter 13 together. Paul describes our Christian duties to government, what our primary duty is, and that we are to put on Christ.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #130. Today we’ll read Romans chapter 13 together: Paul describes our Christian duties to government; what our primary duty is; and that we are to put on Christ.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
I Timothy 2:1-4 tells us this: “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” I gotta be honest. Nothing I’m seeing on the news or social media could realistically be described as dignity.
If you’re listening to this podcast or reading the transcript or blog in real time, this country is gearing up for the 2020 Presidential Election. And when I say gearing up, I mean getting louder. And frankly, more hateful. Riots, racism, and Covid-19 have fueled the fire. We all have opinions, me included. But if we are Christ followers, we cannot set Paul’s directive aside in the file labeled, “I don’t want to do this.”
Hey, if we can genuinely say in our hearts that we can take our political stands while at the same time praying that God give His direction to our leaders, then by all means, politic away. If we can criticize decisions, while praying he or she exercise Godly wisdom, go, hop on social media. If we can pray with sincerity that our President, Congress, and local leaders be saved and we will love them like a brother or sister despite our differing opinions, perfect. But if not…?
Oh, and by the way, if you are listening or reading in the future, I pray the lessons we learned in 2020, cause us all to check our behavior. It’s good to imagine that day when God calls us to give an account. Just sayin’.
Romans Chapter 13
A Christian’s Duties to the State
Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For it is God’s servant for your good.
But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For it is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath but also because of your conscience. And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.
Love, Our Primary Duty
Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not covet; and any other commandment, are summed up by this commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.
Put On Christ
Besides this, since you know the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, because now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the day is near; so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daytime: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires.
Certainly, Romans13 ties into our opening comments. Gonna be honest again…when I think of some of the people in office, I find myself blurting out to God, “Lord, I don’t understand!” But then again, Habakkuk (he’s in the Old Testament) didn’t understand why God was gonna use Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans to punish Israel either. And Job definitely didn’t understand why he was being so mistreated.
But we are called to obey and trust that God knows what He’s doing. It is God’s will that each of the people in authority are where they are as God’s servants. I know…it’s a little bit of a struggle to wrap your noodle around that one. But as Romans 13 continues, the verses remind us that our primary duty is to love. Everyone. Finally, we are to put on Christ. Paul tells us not to allow any room for the flesh. I’m still learning that one…I’m going to assume that we all need prayer for that one. Let’s do that.
Oh, Jesus, it’s difficult to imagine that day when we will see You and be like You. It feels so unattainable sometimes. Even still, I feel like I should be so much farther along. Lord, forgive us for allowing room for the evil desires of the flesh. I’m afraid it’s as familiar to us as it is foreign to You. Help us in our weakness, Lord. Your word tells us that in our weakness we are strong because of You. Help us to be pleasing to You. Help us to love one another as You would have us do. And remind us that every person in authority was put there by You. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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