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“A Word for this Week” - Pastor Bill Mugnolo
Week of September 11-17, 2023: “Let Every Person Be Subject”: Romans 13:1-10
When we attend a Church service, we would hope that it would be a refuge from the everyday world of partisan politics with all its brazen bickering. But even as we look to realize this, we find that Scripture, in the first part of Romans, Chapter 13, speaks of the proper role that Christians are to have in being subject to the civil authorities.
First, St. Paul tells us that the civil magistrates have been put in place by God Himself. This even includes bad and immature rulers as God may be using them to chastise a land that has turned away from Him (Isaiah 3:4). Even these rulers serve to establish law and orderwithout which society cannot exist. This law and order must be enforced, even to the point of the state having power over life and death itself. This is necessary because our evil inclinations, as sinners, must be curbed and, if necessary, punished.
While civil government can provide both infrastructure and social welfare, the establishment of law and order is the principal reason why God has given to us the governing authorities. As St. Paul goes on to say in Romans 13, we are called to fund the civil authorities by paying our taxes. We are not obligated, however, to obey the laws of government if they command us to disobey God and His Holy Law (Acts 5:27-29).
When it comes to God’s Divine Law, Paul, as we move along in Romans, Chapter 13, speaks of our looking to fulfill itespecially in carrying out the command, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). But here, we are all lawbreakers deserving of an eternal death sentence. But the greatest authority of them all, Our Lord Jesus Christ, has suspended our sentence having paid for it by His cross and resurrection. He has now made us citizens of His heavenly Kingdom (Ephesians 2:19, Philippians 3:20).
May we be both righteous citizens on earth and love one another, as brothers and sisters in Christ, as we look forward to the perfect government of Christ’s Kingdom to come.
Replace today's negative thoughts with God's eternal truths
The world says: "Its impossible." God says: "All things are possible." (Luke 18:27)
The world says "I'm too tired." God says: "I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30)
The world says: "Nobody really loves me." God says: "I love you." (John 3:16, 34)
The world says: "I can't go on." God says: "My grace is sufficient." (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15)
The world says: "I can't figure things out." God says: "I will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5- 6)
The world says: "I can't do it." God says: "You can do all things." (Philippians 4:13)
The world says: "I'm not able." God says: "I am able." (2 Corinthians 9:8)
The world says: "It's not worth it." God says: "It will be worth it." (Roman 8:28)
The world says: "I can't forgive myself." God says: "I forgive you." (1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1)
The world says: "I can't manage." God says: "I will supply all your needs." (Philippians 4:19)
The world says: "I'm afraid." God says: "I have not given you a spirit of fear." (2 Timothy 1:7)
The world says: "I'm always worried and frustrated." God says: "Cast all your cares on Me." (1 Peter 5:7)
The world says: "I'm not smart enough." God says: "I give you wisdom." (1 Corinthians 1:30)
The world says: "I feel all alone." God says: "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)