Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (2) Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.Romans 13:1-2
The child of God is sincerely and clearly a citizen of heaven first and foremost. Our first allegiance is to the Lord. There are some that would take that truth and make the claim that we have therefore no allegiance or responsibility to any governmental institution. Paul has been predominantly speaking of how we relate to those inside the body of Christ in chapter 12. In chapter 13 he begins to speak of the responsibility of the child of God to the “governing authorities” or human government. Paul makes several observations about human government.
1. Human government has a deligated authority from God. Any authority in the world has authority because God has allowed it and even appointed human government.
2. To resist governmental authority is to resist God’s authority. God has instituted this authority in the world and we should obey this authority. This does not mean that everything a government does is right. There is a time for civil disobedience when the governing authorities compel us to disobey God.
3. Those who resist the authority that God has deligated to human government will “incur judgement”. This means that even believers who disobey government will endure the consequences of that disobedience.
This is a particularly interesting subject to read and write about right now as I am writing this post while under the “stay at home” order of the state of Ohio. To be honest, I’m not in love with the order. But I know that to obey this order, at this time, is God’s will for my life as He has instituted this government over me and my house.
Take a few moments and thank the Lord for the blessing of having some civil order that comes from the common grace of human government.