Sunday Night 2/12/2012

Posted by Sherry


Politics, Government & Exercise of Authority Part 3
Romans 13:1-7 (3-4)
CBC 2/5/12 SN
INTRO: God gives clear instructions as to what those in positions of authority are required to do.
3For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation.
    4For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, [you should dread him and] be afraid, for he does not bear and wear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant to execute His wrath (punishment, vengeance) on the wrongdoer.
  • COMMON MYTHS
    • idea that politics don’t matter & is unimportant
      • Paul takes the time to discuss & explain so it is important
    • idea that politics doesn’t need the Bible to govern and that if Christians would just leave the politician alone they would eventually figure it out
    • idea that we can merge the worship of God and service to the State and that there are no distinctions between the two. (there are differences)
    • idea that Jesus is King of kings & Lord of lords, but that He has nothing to do with politics...(aren’t kings & lords political figures?)
    • idea that theology apart from the Bible is used to help the political figures govern the people
      • monument in Washington DC to a pastor - MLK
      • why? was part of combining pulpit & politics movement
      • monument b/c he was more political than pastor
      • his legacy: Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton’s of the world who hold the title Rev. over people’s heads so they can be trusted and yet hold to political doctrine that runs directly opposite to the Bible
      • essence of MLK theology? Black Liberation Theology rooted in Marxism. One of the sons of that movement was a pastor named Jeremiah Wright. His disciple of 20 years was Barak Obama. Currently operating with the theology of Black Liberation rooted in Marxism. Exercising his theology & his faith in the office of President of the USA.
      • Conservative Christians say, “politics is not a place for us”. 
  • LIMITS OF GOVERNMENTAL JURISDICTION
    • Home: bears rod of correction
    • Church: wields the keys to the kingdom
    • State: wields the sword
    • all ordained by God and must be respected
    • Home is checked by both the Church & State
      • if there is abuse in the home, the State can exercise its authority against the person violating the law and abusing their jurisdiction 
      • Church can respond to abuse within the home...& disciplines that person
    • Church is doing something out of line & breaking the established human law the State can exercise authority to make things right
    • there are people who agree with that but don’t believe the State has anyone to keep it in check.
    • God did not make 2 institutions with limited jurisdiction and 1 with Unlimited jurisdiction
    • Jurisdiction of the State has limits and must also be checked
  • LIMITS OF GOVERNMENTAL INFLUENCE
    • Government is:
      • not responsible for the Great Commission
      • not the place where we fulfill the Great Commission
    • Home is not responsible for the Great Commission
    • Church was given the Commission to evangelize the world
      • evangelism is not done independently or outside the jurisdiction of the church
      • if we try to use the State in order to expand the Kingdom of God we are outside our jurisdiction
      • if we try to use our Government Authority & Office to expand the Kingdom of God we are outside our jurisdiction & that’s wrong
      • If your goal is the advancement of the Gospel, there’s a place for that...it’s called the CHURCH
      • If you goal is to benefit our fellow man because he’s made in the image of God, then political office is a great place to do that.
  • that’s why Paul explains this in vs 3-4
    • rulers are NOT a terror to people of good conduct
    • Paul is talking about ROME!
      • God’s servant for your good (any ruler not just Christian ruler)
      • bears sword not in vain
      • executes God’s wrath on the wrongdoer
    • this applies to Government at any time of history on this planet
  • it is not possible to govern apart from theology, religion, morality, & ethics
    • politics doesn’t exist out there in a vacuum 
    • politics encompasses who we are as ethical, religious & moral people
    • Paul is relaying from God what the job description of the State is
    • God spoke to the issue of “unjust scales” among all people, not just His people
    • Daniel 5:Bel-sha-zzar using Jewish Temple vessels for wild party/handwriting on wall/Daniel interprets/22And you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart and mind, though you knew all this [knew it and were defiant].
    •     23And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven, and the vessels of His house have been brought before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know; but the God in Whose hand your breath is and Whose are all your ways you have not honored and glorified [but have dishonored and disgraced].
    • Bel-sha-zzar was not a Hebrew, but he was held accountable...God is sovereign & holds all in authority accountable!
    • God does not need your vote to demand your allegiance
    • All authority comes from God. Every ruler will bow before God.
    • OPPRESSION OF THE POOR
    • Eze 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom (not Israel): pride, overabundance of food, prosperous ease, and idleness were hers and her daughters'; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
    •     50And they were haughty and committed abominable offenses before Me; therefore I removed them when I saw it and I saw fit.
    • Romans 2:  God will render to each one according to his works...
    • Is there an “exception” for those who “govern”? Certainly Not!
  • God is going to hold those in Government accountable for how they serve Him through their office.
  • CHRISTIANS KNOW WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW IN ORDER TO SERVE APPROPRIATELY
  • CHRISTIANS NEED TO BE A BLESSING TO THOSE THAT LEAD US & TO THOSE WHO MAY LEAD
  • CHRISTIANS NEED THE LEADERS TO BE A BLESSING TO US
  • THEREFORE, CHRISTIANS MUST TELL LEADERS WHAT WE KNOW
  • EXERCISE OF GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY
    • Government authority is service to God and to one’s fellow man
    • vs 3-4
    • remember Paul is referring to Rome...applies to us
    • if you seek public office remember to acknowledge God
    • if you cast a vote for someone seeking public office, they should acknowledge God
    • We know their job description (servant of God), we can’t in good conscience vote for anyone who doesn’t acknowledge God
    • President can’t stand before God and plead the reason he supported and encouraged homosexuality was b/c it was his personal theology....WRONG ANSWER
    • Not only must the public office holder acknowledge God, they must know what God says is RIGHT & WRONG
    • Officer to encourage Good Conduct & execute God’s wrath on Bad Conduct vs 3-4
      • President’s speech:
      • good conduct - open homosexuality in military
      • bad conduct - don’t ask, don’t tell
  • distinction should be based on God’s Truth & view themselves as acting under God’s authority
    • praise & reward good conduct
    • execute swift vengeance against bad conduct
    • what is “social justice & wealth redistribution?
      • an attempt to forcibly execute the laws of the OT as it relates to the way we treat the poor.
      • but they want God out of politics
    • what is “hate crimes legislation”?
      • that is judging the intentions of a man’s heart based upon a distinction that you can only make if you have a biblical framework (hate is something a person has in their heart)
      • rehabilitation - Bible knows nothing of rehabilitation outside regeneration. The Bible knows restitution & vengeance.  (you can’t make a person a new creature through the power of the State)
      • Criminal Justice - making a man pay his debt to society on societies dime
      • ARE YOU HEARING HOW RELIGIOUS ALL OF THAT IS?
      • Romans 13 says the duties of office is really simple
        • avenging God and the godly
        • protecting the godly
        • striking fear in the hearts of the wicked
        • remove threats when necessary (Gen. 9:5And surely for your lifeblood I will require an accounting; from every beast I will require it; and from man, from every man [who spills another's lifeblood] I will require a reckoning.
        •     6Whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God He made man.)
        • Life can only be taken if it is for a “cause” that GOD HAS ESTABLISHED
        • Ps 82:2-4 How long will you [magistrates or judges] judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! 3Do justice to the weak (poor) and fatherless; maintain the rights of the afflicted and needy. 4Deliver the poor and needy; rescue them out of the hand of the wicked.
  • INFLUENCE & EXERCISE OF GOVERNING AUTHORITIES
    • have the privilege of being a part of a Constitutional Representative Republic
      • duty to know & exercise your rights as a citizen
        • ballot box with Romans 13 (not who we thought could win)
        • we don’t get better candidates because we don’t demand it
        • we don’t stand for anything & take God at His word
    • some of you need to be involved in the political process
      • more important who our Sheriff is than who our President is
      • If Federal Gov’t passes an immoral law our Sheriff is the public defense & can oppose the law and not enforce it in Nevada County cause it’s not right. You and I can’t do that, but the Sheriff is obligated to. Might be important to know who that guy is!
      • if we have someone in office that is not doing right, we are blessed in America to:
        • vote them out of office
        • or run against them
2 CONSIDERATIONS:
  • What about the Revolutionary War
  • What about the Civil War
    • both wars were right
    • 13 colonies governed lawfully
    • duly elected authorities of the colonies believed there was a higher authority across the ocean that was abusing his authority
    • they, not as individual Christians who were avenging themselves, wielded the sword in order to protect citizens that were being mistreated, even if they protect them from another person who wields authority
    • they voted & wrote a legal document confirming that they went through the biblical process: APPEALED TO GEORGE, CONFRONTED GEORGE & NOW WERE DEFYING GEORGE at risk of losing liberty, property & life
CIVIL WAR
  • did the Southern States have the right to terminate their participation in the Union
    • if they didn’t then the Declaration of Independence should have been burned from the get go & thrown away.  Our country was founded on the same principle
    • the South had more right to terminate from the Union than the Colonies had to terminate from England in the first place. South was terminating based on a document within their own Government that was based on a termination from England.
    • was not “individual Christians” taking up arms b/c they were fed up w/ government.
    • it was duly elected leaders that followed the biblical process: appealed, confronted & finely defied at risk of losing liberty, property and life...and some did
    • it’s important to know who the people are that are asking for our vote so that they can govern us.
    • why do so few in our country vote?
    • is it b/c 
      • politics doesn’t matter?
      • politicians will eventually figure it out for themselves?
      • politicians don’t need the influence of Christians?
Romans 1-11 written how are lives are to be lived in light of the fact of our redemption
Romans 13 written after that as an opportunity for us to live correctly

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