Dr. Oscar T. Moses
Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago
W.A.R. Bible Study
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Christian Family Value System – Part 5a
Establishing Christian Responsibility to Civil Community and Governmental Society – (Motivation)
“This lesson is designed to teach the members of Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago; Glorifying the Kingdom of God is motivation for how Christians represent themselves to the world.”
If respect for authority is taught in the home as a part of the Christian Family Value System, the world would have more respect for God. When parents fail to emphasize respect for authority; children will reflect insubordination publicly as a result of what has been neglected as a Christian Family Value learned from their parents.
Parents that demonstrate a lack of respect for employers, government, law enforcement or even clergy, send a clear communicated message; “Nobody can tell me what to do!” This is not the standard that God has designed for His people. God is a God of order and He commands His people to respect governmental authority and those He has placed in positions of leadership. It is imperative to establish the Christian responsibility to the civil community and those within the governmental society. This principle is implemented within the Christian Family Value System because RESPECTFUL Christian behavior in society is a reflection of the Kingdom of God.
Dr. Oscar T. Moses
It was a rebellious time in Jewish history when this text was penned around 58 A.D. The Roman Government issued a decree to ban Jews from Rome because they had become rebellious towards government. Jews would not submit to governmental authorities because they felt superior. Christianity was often recognized by Rome as a sect of Jews that posed a potential threat as well. Paul knew if he wrote this letter it may fall into the hands of the Roman magistrates. He wrote this letter with the intentions that the Roman magistrates would see the transcript and know that Christians were respectful; not seditious or revolting against authority.
Paul cleverly sides with the authority and supports government rights to deal with those who are of any disturbance to the peace and protection of the land. Paul’s intent was to give Godly principles or rules for getting along in an ungodly world with minimal distractions. Paul emphasized how respectful Christian exchanges with the government and neighbors impacts the choices we make in every day life.
Christians must realize the motivation behind their actions is to represent the Kingdom of God in a fallen world. Paul climaxed chapter 12 by saying, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” … because vengeance belongs to the Lord. In chapter 13, Paul goes a step further with Christian conduct. He shifts the focus of his teaching from chapter 12, how we should interact with one another as Christians to how we should interact with the world in chapter 13. By the “world” I am suggesting people that are not Christian. He outlines this chapter with 3 distinct markers; Law Acclimated, Love Activated and Lord Anticipated. Today, I want to deal with Law Acclimated in verses 1-7.
Verse 1 – 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. – Every believer (soul) is to have proper respect for those in authority for God permitted them to be in the position. God often claims and asserts that He sets up one, and puts down another – Daniel 2:21 (KJV) – And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
Verse 2 – Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. – God shall reward them that recklessly rebel against those in position of authority. Note: Let me be clear that we are to obey God rather than the laws of man. However, our deportment and the way we interact with the world should represent God and not stoop to levels of debauchery. There are instances in scripture when civil disobedience was mandated. In the Old Testament Daniel was told not to pray. However, Daniel knew that his strength, direction, forgiveness and his relationship with the Lord was connected to his prayer life, so Daniel prayed. This passage is talking about those who seek confusion and overlook the execution of the law.
Verse 3 – For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: The NLT2 says: “For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you.” Note: When you live without boundaries you bring negative attention to yourself. If you want respect, you have to give respect.
Verse 4 – For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. NLT2: “The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good (whether they are good or not. God has a purpose – my insert – OTM) But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.”
Verse 5 – Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. What does this mean? Behave rightly so that you will avoid punishment and know at the end of the day, you did the right thing in your heart and mind.
Verse 6 – For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. NLT2 –“Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do.”
Verse 7 – Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. NLT2 – “Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.”
The Civil Rights Movement was birthed out of the evil thoughts of government officials. However, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not create a platform of disrespect in response. His motivation was constructed on the fact that his response would represent the Kingdom of God. God condones Civil Disobedience that honors His word. Civil disobedience is the refusal to comply with laws that opposed righteousness in a peaceful manner; respectfully.
- Why should Christians remain respectful to those in authority even if they disagree with their policies or ideologies?
- How does a Christian respond to those in authority that call for an abandonment of God’s Word?
- Explain verse 3.
- Why should Christians not be afraid of those in authority?
- How does verses 6-7 show a Christian’s respect for God?
How we behave in this world should reflect what we value in the Kingdom of God. There may be times when those in authority may act out of evil but our response should represent the Kingdom of God. When you are cursing people out, causing anarchy and division, confusion and chaos, plotting ways to overthrow leadership, trying to discredit people you are not representing God’s Kingdom. You are representing Satan’s kingdom.
Life Application Questions
- Why do you think this lesson was implemented as a part of our Christian Family Value System?
- What is the Christian motivation in being respectful to those in authority?
- How does our response to authority honor God?
- How should the Christian respond to crooked police officers?
- How can a Christian Family Value System have a positive effect on a community?
- How can the absence of a Christian Family Value System cause property value to go down?
- Why is it important to show respect at all times?
- How does a Christian Family Value System represent the Kingdom of God on earth?
Because of Him!
Dr. Oscar T. Moses
Rights reserved by Dr. Oscar T. Moses – “Christian Family Value System” – W.A.R. Bible Studies – 2019