“Live as People Who Are Free” Biblical Wisdom for Christian Citizens
July 2, 2023
A Chapter a Day
- Sunday, July 2, Romans 10
- Monday, July 3, Romans 11
- Tuesday, July 4, Romans 12
- Wednesday, July 5, Romans 13
- Thursday, July 6, Romans 14
- Friday, July 7, Romans 15
- Saturday, July 8, Romans 16
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Matthew 22:15-22 (The Words of Jesus)
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away. (ESV)
“A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal”
(Baptist Faith & Message 2000, Article XVII)
Amendment I, Constitution of the United States
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
⇒ “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20, ESV)
⇒ So the tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.” 28 The tribune answered, “I bought this citizenship for a large sum.” Paul said, “But I am a citizen by birth.” 29 So those who were about to examine him withdrew from him immediately, and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him. (Acts 22:27-29, ESV)
Romans 13:1-7 (The Words of the Apostle Paul)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (v. 1, ESV)
- The default disposition of Christian citizens should be to those in positions of governmental authority.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (v. 2, ESV)
- If we governing authorities, we should expect bad things to happen to us.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. (vv. 3-4, ESV)
- God has put governmental authorities in place as his for our .
- God has put governmental authorities in place to those who do right and to those who do wrong.
5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. (v. 5, ESV)
- We should obey governing authorities not only to avoid punishment, but because it is the thing to do.
6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. (v. 6, ESV)
- We should our .
7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (v. 7, ESV)
- We should and those who are in governing authority.
Good Christians should be good citizens!
But are there exceptions? , when governmental authorities command what God forbids or forbid what God commands, then we must obey God.
- The Midwives & Moses’ Parents (Exodus 1:15-17; Hebrews 11:23)
- The Fiery Furnace & Shadrach, Meschach, & Abednego (Daniel 3)
- Daniel & the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6)
- Esther & the Plot Against the Jews (Esther 4:16)
- The Wise Men & King Herod (Matthew 2:1-12)
“We strictly charged you not to teach in this name . . ..
We must obey God rather than men.”
(Acts 5:29, ESV)
1 Peter 2:13-17 (The Words of the Apostle Peter)
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (ESV)
- We should everyone – treat every person with dignity and respect as created in the image of God.
- We should be to and honor governing authorities as they fulfill their God-given task.
- We should others in the body of Christ.
- We should God alone – he alone is worthy of our worship and ultimate allegiance.
1 Timothy 2:1-6 (The Words of the Apostle Paul)
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (ESV)
5. We should for all those in governmental leadership to do their jobs so that we might have peace and be free to speak the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ to everyone.