February 2021, Vol. 40, No. 2

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Christians And Earthly Governments

posted on February 1, 2021

[321 words]

Sometimes, it seems that during my daily Bible reading, scriptures come along that speaks to the moment. Politically, the United States has had a volatile year. We have been exposed to political unrest through TV and social media in vivid and sometimes, overwhelming detail. We now have a change through the election of a new president. Some of the voices we are exposed to have been rather extreme, on both sides. What does the Bible say my response as a Christian should be?

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” (Rom 13:1-7).

“…I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life,…” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

Brad Tolbert
Monticello church of Christ
Monticello, AR

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