Faithlife Sermons

Romans 13

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Review of 12

Paul had just finished giving us overarching categories of obedience
“Live in harmony with one another”
“Do not be haughty”
“Repay no one evil for evil”
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Overview of 13 - 3 main sections

Government and Our Response (1-7)
The Law is about Love (8-10)
Walking Properly (11-14)

1. Government and Our response

Paul explains what government is
What function is gov. supposed to carry out ideally
How Christians should relate to the government
Before we read it, just forget for a minute about thinking of the times we can or should disobey.
Paul wrote this at a time when there were no Christian rulers in the world and Nero was the emperor of Rome, the one who most persecuted the Church.
[READ 1-7]

1-2 The Government’s source of authority

All governmental authority is given by God and wouldn’t be held by any ruler whom God didn’t choose to give it to
This is Jesus talking to Pilate at His trial:
John 19:11 ESV
11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
Daniel 4:17b:
English Standard Version Chapter 4

the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.

Because earthly rulers have their authority from God, we are to submit to it.
Those who don’t submit to it, by extension, resist submission to God and will be punished for it.

3-4 What God instituted Government for

Here, Paul explains what government is supposed to be and do
Government is:
A terror to bad conduct
God’s servant to encourage righteousness and oppose unrighteousness.
V4 The sharp end of God’s judgement against wrongdoing
English Standard Version Chapter 13

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.

John Stott Quote:
The Message of Romans 21. Our relationship to the state: conscientious citizenship (13:1–7)

in depicting rulers in such a good light, as commending the right and opposing the wrong, he is stating the divine ideal, not the human reality.

5-7 The Christian’s response

What’s the “therefore” there for?
In view of the facts that:
Government has its authority from God
Government was instituted by God to encourage righteousness and oppose unrighteousness - this protects its citizens.
We are to be subject to them in everything short of a command or law that is in opposition to God’s revealed Word.
V7 sounds a lot like what Jesus said in Matthew 22:21
English Standard Version Chapter 22

Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

When To Be Disobedient?

Notice first that Paul doesn’t give any exceptions as he writes this.
He knew who was in power at the time
He had faced injustice by the gov. before and knew of Christ’s treatment.
But he still wrote this to those in Rome under Nero.
I’m belaboring this point because we need to understand that Christians are not to be revolutionaries through civil disobedience or violence.
We are to subject ourselves to the law
We are to work within the system to bring about righteous changes.
Don’t sit back and not participate in the political process

2. The Law Is About Love 8-10

We owe love to other people, especially brothers and sisters in Christ.
There is a tendency for people to think that Christianity is all about rules that suck the joy out of their lives.
Do this, don’t do that...
Yes, God command certain rules to be followed, but the motivation is His glory and our own good.
Having the wrong perspective on this causes begrudging, lifeless, joyless obedience
going through the motions day in and day out
Paul says, “No! Don’t you get it?! The law is all about loving your neighbor as Christ loved you!
The Laws of God show us what it looks like to love God and neighbor
That’s why we should know our OT, the rules give us practical ways to love our neighbor:
The Greatest Commandment
Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 25:4 ESV
4 “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.
Deuteronomy 22:1 ESV
1 “You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother.
Deuteronomy 22:8 ESV
8 “When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it.

3. Walking Properly Before Christ 11-14

The call is to “wake up from sleep” because
“Salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed”
The Message of Romans 23. Our relationship to the day: living in the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet’ (13:11–14)

what the apostles did know was that the kingdom of God came with Jesus, that the decisive salvation events which established it (his death, resurrection, exaltation and gift of the Spirit) had already taken place, and that God had nothing on his calendar before the parousia. It would be the next and the culminating event.

And “The night (the old age of darkness pre-Christ) is far gone”
What is “waking up from sleep?”
English Standard Version Chapter 13

So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

He lists some examples of “works of darkness”
Drunkenness - Having our senses dulled and our minds confused
This leads to further sin and a lack of being Spirit-filled
Sexual Immorality - All forms of sexual expression outside of one man, one woman for life marriage.
Sensuality “Self-Abandonment” - This is a lifestyle characterized by excesses of sex and/or food.
Closely related to another word that means “reckless abandon”
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ”
We are to “in Christ”
When you are in something, a car, an airplane, you
Go where it goes
do what it does
“Make no provision for the flesh”
Do not give your flesh any foothold whatsoever that would allow it to cast you back into sin forever.
Hebrews 12:1 ESV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Prayer Requests

Jacob Kite’s dad diagnosed with stage 1a Kidney cancer
Surgery Wednesday to remove it.
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