Romans 13:1-14

 

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.

 

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

civil order.

 

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 -

Psalm 2:2-3

 

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

well doing!

 

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

beliefs can!

 

"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

 

vs. 6-7

 

In all of life, the religious is to penetrate and sanctify

the secular!

 

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

nuisances

 

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

come!

 

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

immortality approaches.

 

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"

                                    Eph. 1:10

 

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

darkness.

 

Luke 12:2-3

 

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

                                    Ezekiel 8:12-16

 

"rioting and drunkenness"

 

"chambering and wantonness"  - illicit intercourse

and lust

 

"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!