Part 17 – The Believer’s Attitudes Towards Authority, Fellowmen and the World
Series: The Book of Romans
Lesson: Part 17 – The Believer’s Attitudes Towards Authority, Fellowmen and the World
Speaker: Dr. Benny M. Abante, Jr.
Text: Romans 13:1 (KJV)
Service: New Life Bible Class
Date: August 25, 2016
BOOK OF ROMANS CHAPTER 13
Lesson No. 31 THE BELIEVER’S ATTITUDES TOWARDS AUTHORITY, FELLOWMEN AND THE WORLD
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. —Romans 13:1—
The Bible calls the life of every believer on earth “peculiar” (1 Peter 2:9) – different from the usual because believers are known for their genuine moral goodness. It does make a difference what you believe. Our attitude should always bear the marks of the Lord Jesus. We should constantly remind ourselves that we are just pilgrims in this world, our citizenship is in heaven. Hence, the world should see the difference in us.
1. Our attitudes toward Authority [the powers that be or the existing authority] (vv. 1-7). The premise: Believing that powers are ordained of God and that powers are established by law:
1.1. We are to be subject to it under normal circumstances in which our God-given freedom is not threatened nor curtailed.
1.2. We are to be law-abiding citizens especially when human law agrees with the divine law. We firmly believe that divine law is higher and moral than human law. If one day this will be reversed and persecution comes, what shall we do as believers of Christ and upholders of the divine law? What were the examples of the believers in the book of Acts?
1.3. Governments are set up by God to protect the good and punish the evil. Today, more than any time in the history of mankind, we see how crisis in governments all over the world as well as difficult changes in economy and the ills of society greatly affect our daily lives. Corruption, crimes, rebellion among others surround us every single day and we see and feel them more than any unsaved person can. So what should believers do? We are to pray because God is still Sovereign (1 Tim.2:1-4) and we should preach the Gospel because only the truth can set men free (Rom. 1:14-16).
1.4. Our solemn duties to our government: PAY our taxes and dues; EXERCISE [get involved] our constitutional right to elect and put righteous leaders in government and our constitutional right to become government leaders as God’s ministers for good like Moses, Joseph, Joshua, Daniel, Samuel and even David; LOVE our country; and RESPECT the leaders of the land.
When we say, “under normal circumstances in which our God-given freedom is not curtailed,” we mean that the only reasonable time to disobey the law is when our spiritual convictions are in danger and our freedom to worship God is at stake (Acts 5:29; Daniel 3:16-18). This is quite different among our people in hostile countries when we are but guests.
2. Our attitudes towards our Fellowmen (vv.8-10). It should be LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR.
2.1. Being in debt negates that love— e.g., borrowing knowing that you are unable to pay (v.8).
2.2. The last five (5) provisions of the moral law speak of our love for our fellowmen (v.9).
2.3. The love that God gives us will always bless and become a blessing to others. Never take advantage of anyone at any given time (v.10).
3. Our attitudes toward the World (vv.11- 14). The world will never be sympathetic to the believers. “Riding in tandem with the flesh,” they only seek to destroy us and our testimony. Therefore, we should:
3.1. Know the signs of the times (2 Tim. 3:1-7).
3.2. Wake up from our spiritual slumber (v.11).
3.3. Get out of worldly life and gear up for a spiritual battle (v. 12).
3.4. Walk honestly with God and do not allow the flesh to have control over you (v.13).
3.5. “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ” – this is the only power against the world and the flesh (v. 14).
To be all of what Romans 13 tells us to become and do, we should go back to Romans 12:1-2 and present ourselves before God. I know the world and the flesh are getting stronger each day and not only individual believers are being swayed by them but even churches as well. They make use of power, wealth, fame and success to tempt us and even control us. Pride and greed lurk their ugly heads ready to swallow us but God gives us a gentle and yet firm warning in 1 Peter 5:6-11. “Knowing the time…the night is far spent, the day is at hand…” (vv.11-12), for all true believers of the Lord, it is time to be serious in serving, sacrificing and sowing the seed for God’s honor and glory, for the expansion of His kingdom and for the growth of His ekklesia, “until the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).
—BMA’s Messages, 09.04.16