Saturday, February 14, 2015

Romans 13:1-7 Confuses Me, I Need Clarity!

Has God Given His Authority To Oppressive Governments And Dictators Too, Knowingly?

Question : I ran across these scriptures that really confused me. It's Paul addressing the Roman Church in verses Romans 13:1-7. I don't believe God gave authority to the Law of man, there were so much racism, hatred and injustice even then. So how could Paul teach to the people that God has given these Authority to those who oppress? I came to this reading in New living translation of Romans 13...Please need clarity!

Answer : Greetings to you in Jesus wonderful name! Here is the Scripture that you have referred in NLT Version, "1 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 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. 4 The authorities are God's servants, sent for your good. 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. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. 6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 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." (Rom 13:1-7, NLT).

God has instituted the government of man way back in the time of Noah just after the flood to execute His judgment on earth against all the murderers including beasts that kills and all evil doers whoever might shed man's blood, because humans were created in the image of God and that nobody has the right to kill a human except God who created them and the One sustains their life (Gen 9:6). This is the reason Paul says in Romans, "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God." (Rom 13:1).

The above verses clearly says that God gave authority to the local government in all the nations of the world and power to exercise it to punish those who do what is wrong and be an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil, and also they are appointed to do what is right for all the people within their authority and honor those who do what is right. God is the one "26 ...[who] has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us." (Acts 17:26-27). The purpose God has separated each people group by language, color, environment, culture and then all kinds of differences is to make them seek God for security and purpose in life rather than be satisfied by who they are on earth and then because of it miss the eternal salvation and friendship with God for which they have all been originally created. So in our world no man is perfect because all humans have in one way or the other have been affected in their thinking, action and words by the sin nature in which they have all fallen because of sin mingling in the blood of our forefather Adam because of his disobedience to God (Rom 5:12). God uses imperfect humans to fulfill His perfect will because the fall of man came after His original plan has been laid and God never changes His original plan or His will no matter what happens (Rev 5:9-10; 1 Peter 1:20-21), so even if there are bad things in man God in His omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience works all things which includes even the evil government that has racism, hatred and injustice for the overall good of all His children who have believed Him and are living in subjection to His will under them willingly for the sake of the God whom they love and cherish who has no racism, hatred and injustice ever in His thought, actions or words (Rom 8:28). One day all men who were in authority and ruled people with racism, hatred and injustice in their heart will have to give account to God for what they have done on earth (Acts 24:15-16; 17:31; Heb 9:27; Rom 12:19; Eccl 12:12-14; Rev 20:11-15). And all those who were given much authority by God will be punished by Him severely because "to whom much is given, much will be required" (Luke 12:47-48).

The only place of time as Christians we cannot submit to the local authority of the government of the Law of man is when it is opposition to the direct revealed will of God which is given to us through His Word, and also when we are restricted to not to worship our Father God through our Lord Jesus Christ privately and confess Him publicly to others (Matt 10:32-33; 28:19-20; Luke 24:47-49; Acts 1:8; 4:18-20; 5:18-20). The apostles were told by Jesus to go in to all nations of the world to preach and teach the good news of the gospel and make disciples everywhere, when the local government representative forced them and told not to do this, they openly said to the local governing authorities that they must rather obey God than to obey them. The same happened during Daniel and his three other friends who did not submit to the local king at that time when He forced people not to pray and then to bow down to idol which was against the revealed will of God (Exod 20:1-5; Dan 3:12, 15-18, 24-25, 27-28 6:10, 16-17, 22-23). In all of the above instances, God overruled the local governing authority to help these people and rescue them from death and danger. They were willing to obey God even if God will not rescue them from imminent death and danger because of their love for God and His Word which they showed to all through their actions.

So the bottom line is that we cannot deny the God given authority to the Law of man and fail to be subject to the will of God just because there are and were so much racism, hatred and injustice now and even then were present. Paul could teach to the people of God that God has given these Authority to those who rule and even oppress, because he as God's servant and special messenger had the revelation that God was in control of everything and that one day He will bring in to judgment all the evil things people have done and will punish them for it. God also brings His judgment and justice in the present time for many governments and dictators by tragic death, insurrection and bringing other governments and giving them a chance to rule righteously, and still in many other places He chooses leaders of the government through the vote of people in democracies, etc....In other words, the heart of the governing authorities are in the hands of God, and He can decide to do in the present time whatever righteous thing He wants by influencing them to do His will (Prov 21:1). Did God give the authority to govern people and oppress them? God is a righteous God and He wants people to be loved, blessed and be prosperous in His will and know Him as the One who provides for them, but the heart of men is already corrupt because of sin (Jer 17:9), so God even though knowing these things before time in His omscience, takes the risk to give His authority and power to those who rule expecting these broken earthen vessels to try their best and leave the rest in to His hands through which He runs the whole world (Eccl 12:13-14; 8:2-7). Every matter has God's time and judgment, until that time we should pray that good things of God's might come through all humans especially authorities (Matt 6:10), and that repentance first might come as God desires to those who oppress and work evil or else judgment might come to all evil doers and wicked people in His time (1 Tim 2:1-2, 4; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Peter 3:12; Psa 34:16). May God in His time and in His way take vengeance against all those who act as our and God's enemy by doing and working evil against us. As much as possible try to live in peace with everyone (Rom 12:18), overcome evil with good always by acting in unconditional Love of God rather than reacting to people's evil actions by retaliating, let go and let God take vengeance and repay in His own way against the evil of the evil oppressors and doers (Rom 12:20-21). Praise the Lord!

Much Blessings....


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