GOD AND GOVERNMENT
Do we dare include the name of God and the word government in the same sentence, especially when we are speaking of earthly government? What if we make it the government, the Roman government, or better, the American government? After the abuses of Watergate, many Americans are wondering about the wisdom of having any government.
The relationship between our God and earthly government was a very live question among the early Christians. Because so many of the early Christians were Jewish, they brought with them resentment against the government of Rome. Some of them actually advocated the kind of attitude expressed by the Zealots of Israel, a total rejection of and commitment to the overthrow of the government of Rome. But what position should a Christian take? If becoming a Christian makes him a citizen of heaven, should he have any concern about a citizenship in an earthly kingdom? The text we have come to today gives us the best statement found in the Bible on this subject. Before we begin however, to discuss the duties of the Christian as a citizen, I want us to look carefully at the thing which underlies the duties outlined‑‑the relationship between God and government. You will never accept the words of instruction
about your duty to your government until you see clearly this relationship that exists between God and government. Two primary things are placed before us in this passage. We are told that government is of divine origin, and as such has a divinely bestowed purpose. If you will see these two things clearly, you will never think lightly about your citizenship duties again.
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