The apostle Paul says that civil government, like the
church, is a Divine institution and is for the maintenance
of order in the world, and is to be submitted to and obeyed
by Christians within the whole sphere of its legitimate
Authority is of Divine origin and right. Divine Fount -
government is traced to its source - God
Order is Heaven's first law - disorder ill befits Jehovah!
In other words the attitude of the church in regard to
v. 1 - It is of God's ordering that there should be human
government and human laws - in submitting to
them we are submitting to God!
In extent - "Every soul" - resistance is to God and entails
just punishment and retribution.
In our day, individualism is carried to such an extent that
authority is often disdained and defied, even by those who
are by no means dregs of society, who make pretensions
to intelligence and virtue.
To rebel, to disobey is to cast off allegiance to God -
Many Christians keep aloof from public involvement
because of public corruption and party strife - others
jump headlong into the fray but seem to leave their
religion behind them - the result is a sad want of Christian
statesmanship and Christian legislation.
vs. 2-5 - All civilized governments are to uphold justice
and only punish what is wrong.
Government is ordained for the protection of life and
property - for the repression of crime - "rulers are not
a terror to good works but to the evil" - v. 3 - wise rulers
will not only repress crime, they will seek to encourage
All in government - leaders, legislatures, judges, citizenry,
have a solemn responsibility - "all must appear before a
higher tribunal" someday.
George Washington said "it is impossible to rightly govern
the world without God and the Bible"
Jude 14-21 II Peter 2 - esp. vs.9-12, 14,17-19
Carelessness to the "general welfare" is a CRIME!
Civil government is to be an institution which professes
to favor morality, and if it professes anything else,
IT WILL BREAK DOWN!
Church and state have two distinct spheres - It is as
false to put the Church against the State as to confound
the Church and the State - The Church recognizes the
state as a moral institution for securing justice, and the
State should recognize the Church as a Divine institution
for securing love - the State enforces justice by penalties,
the Church promotes love by persuasion. There need be,
and should be, no confusion between them!
Apparently, what the "separationists" do not understand
is that government cannot stop crime but a person's religious
"he beareth not the sword in vain" is recognition of
the legitimacy of capital punishment
We are to pray "for kings, and for all that are in
authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life
in all godliness and honesty" - I Tim. 2:2
In all of life, the religious is to penetrate and sanctify
vs. 8-10 - passing from public to private relations - the dues
we owe to one another.
*The right of life - the sacredness of existence
*Don't tamper with the conjugal union - doing this loosens
the whole national fabric.
*The right of property
Love is the radical cure for human ills - he whose
heart is filled with true love will neither covet nor
steal his neighbor's goods, nor take his neighbor's
life, nor make inroads upon his neighbor's domestic
happiness, nor in any way inflict injury upon his
neighbor's interests or deprive him of his rights!
Adultery, murder, covetousness, in desire and behavior,
imply that men are careless of another's happiness if
they can secure some additional gratification to themselves?
To make oneself the sole factor in our consideration is to
rend the ties of society and ultimately ruin our own enjoyment!
"Owe no man anything" would help business and prevent
bankruptcy - but there is a debt which can never be entirely
liquidated - "owe every man love"
The debt which can never be discharged - a blessed law
laid on us in perpetuity - good haters are usually public
For to love our fellow-men is to count their welfare as our
own and to do unto them as we would they should do to us.
The Law says sternly - "do no ill to one's neighbor
Love says "give all good"
vs. 11-14 - The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ
Through all the declarations of Scriptures there mingles
this warning - "the Day of God will come" - II Peter 3:10
Men seem to have their day, and work their will; God will
have His day and work His will - whenever God interferes
amid the doings of men and shows His power - His day has
A startling summons to a more watchful & spiritual life!
A call to watchfulness and holiness in all relations in life!
Christians are addressed as those who know the seasons -
who discern the signs of the times, whose hope is in their
Lord's return to save and judge.
This present world is fast passing away - thus the
duty of watchfulness!
The Day has not yet come but Christians are viewed
as already in the radiance of its dawn. The true light
is shining, and the radiance is illuminating the darkest
shores, the night is departing and eternity, resurrection,
a new heavens and a new earth are about to dawn.
The night of life is nearly spent and the day of
SALVATION IS AT HAND!
We are to walk as in the day and be on watch and
not surprised nor asleep.
In the first Advent of the Lord the day dawned and
many were in darkness to it and not in the light -
"the light shined in the darkness but the darkness
comprehended it not" - John 1:5
"cast off the works of darkness" - sin loves concealment.
What a night-time the world has had - "men loved darkness
because their deeds were evil"
"put on the armor of light" - do not fight the world with
its own weapons - hatred, bitterness, deceit - let our
weapons be those of truth, justice, love.
v. 11 - "now is our salvation nearer than when than
when we believed"
"the restitution of all things" - Acts 3:21
"the manifestation of the sons of God" - ch. 8:19
"the regeneration" - Matt. 19:28
"the gathering together in one of all things in Christ"
An inspiration and comfort to those who are often
oppressed by present circumstances - in place of abortion,
drug culture, crime and violence will be the resurrection,
reunion, new heavens, new earth, wherein dwelleth
righteousness - all power, riches, wisdom, strength,
honor, glory and blessing to the Lamb of God!
v. 12 - How time slips through our fingers as it does
with those who are asleep - life is earnest and
no time should be lost in dreams!
former habits of life are here regarded as
clothing once worn - though not a part of real
self - instead we are to put on new clothing -
the graces and virtues supplied to us from God
and His Spirit -
I Thess 5:8 I Cor. 6:7 Eph. 6:11-18
In all these passages the new clothing to be
put on is designated as armor - a Christian
being a soldier on a watch of the night, awaiting
daybreak, equipped with heavenly armor -
careful not to sleep on their post or to allow
themselves in revelry or any deeds of shame,
such as done in the night under the cover of
The living present demands all our energy -
from inactivity to zeal - "cast off the works of
darkness" - the sins or negligence which are so
inconsistent with true spirituality.
v. 13 - "let us walk honestly" - with decorum
A walk opposite of ch. 1:21-32 and Eph. 5:11-12
"rioting and drunkenness"
"chambering and wantonness" - illicit intercourse
"strife and envying" - jealousy
v. 14 - "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ" -
weaving into their nature the character of Christ
as the apparel of the eternal day! Oh to be found
clothed in His spiritual attire as with a garment
without seam, woven from the top throughout!
Eph. 3:23-24 Col. 3:12
To prepare for Him by being like Him is the sum
of all preparation - He will come to be glorified in
His saints - "Ten Thousand times ten thousand, and
thousands of thousands" of reproductions of
Himself! - Revelation 5:11
"and make not provision for the flesh to
fulfill the lusts thereof"
Pleasure is not to be the Pole Star of life!