Submit to Government

Roger Staubach, who led the Dallas Cowboys to the World Championship in 1971, admitted that his position as a quarterback who didn’t call his own signals was a source of trial for him. Coach ... More


God has established these institutions: the home (Genesis 2:18-25), government (Genesis 9:1-7), and the church (Acts 2). Paul tells us what our relationship to human government is to be. It is God who established the governments of the world, so man must be in subjection to them. To refuse to obey their laws is to resist the God who established government. There are some in our day who would have us believe that because of ungodly leadership the Christian thing to do is to disobey the law, rebel against authorities and not pay our taxes because of ungodly leadership. Paul makes it clear that Christians must be in subjection to the laws of the State, regardless of the leaders. 

According to the FBI there were almost 3.25 million serious crimes committed in the United States during 2002. Between 1960-1966 crimes in the United States increased seven times faster than the population. In those six years the population increased by 9 percent while crime increased 62 percent. Billy Graham says, “It ought to shock us that in many countries organized crime is the biggest business of all.” In fact, in America it is bigger than the United States government.

Even though we cannot always respect the man in office, we must respect the office, for government was ordained by God. Paul says government officials are “ministers of God” (v. 4). There are two big reasons why a Christian must be submissive to civil authorities: (1) To avoid possible punishment (“wrath” v. 4). (2) To maintain a good conscience (v. 5). Of course, the Christian must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29) if the law demands him to do something that the Word of God tells him not to do. The Christian keeps the commandments of the Law, not because they are law, but because they are commandments of the Lord.


Who are the authorities in my life? Do I have more trouble submitting to authorities or obeying God? A person who refuses to obey authorities won’t obey God either.

Romans 13:1-7 (English Standard Version)

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