SUBMISSION TO CIVIL GOVERNMENT IS A BIBLICAL MANDATE

(read 1 Pet. 3:1-7; Rom. 13:1-2) Christianity is a re-orientation of our world view. It introduces the concept of submission which is exactly the opposite of what we culturally think about individual human rights and the worth and dignity man. Something has changed in us. As believers, now we are to be submissive to earthly government even when we do not agree with it. Submission goes against the grain of human nature. Submission is diametrically opposed to everything that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil stood for; that polluted our hearts and minds into thinking that “whatever i want, whatever I need, I have the right to do”. The fall has caused all of us to turn inward – “what’s in it for me?”, “What do I get out of it?”, or “how do i control my own life?”. Submission is the way to keep score that Sin is no longer predominant in our lives. The purpose of submission is primarily evangelism. We submit not because we are weak, or we don’t have our own opinion and authority. We submit to show that there is a difference in the Christian life. We submit so that the Kingdom of God might be lifted up through our lives as a witness to the lost and fallen world. We must realize that God is sovereign in human governments, not just in history but in the formation, the continuation, and the limits of human government (cf. 2 Chronicles 36:22; Isaiah 44:28; Daniel 2:21). God is in control of human governments. That does not mean that they are spiritual entities. It simply means that God has purposed that human government exists for the purpose of keeping law and order in a fallen world. Therefore He establishes them and controls them. God’s people are repeatedly admonished to submit themselves to these human governments, even invading occupying governments for that matter (cf. Daniel chapts. 1-4). God’s people are also admonished to pray for civil governments (cf. Jer. 29:7) lest men would swallow each other alive (cf. Sayings of the Fathers 3:2).Christians are to give unto civil governments that which rightly belongs to them because it is God Himself who sets governments up, but give to God what belongs to Him whenever the state claims ultimacy (especially in the sense of the deity of the emperor cf. Matt. 22:21; Romans 13:1), and the state has gone beyond the bounds that God has given it. And therefore we cannot submit to that, yet there is a realm in which we are to submit as unto the Lord to civil authorities, not necessarily that we agree with them, but we are to do it because we are Christians, and how we act affects evangelism and ministry. Everyone must obey the civil authorities as a matter of attitude. It’s a Biblical attitude of reverence and submission to others because of our relationship with God (cf. Eph. 5:21). No authority exists except ordained by God. All human governments have only the authority that comes from God, because God is the only source of authority. This is not to assert the divine right of governments, it simply means that God prefers government order than chaos. Human governments are under God’s control and God’s appointment or ordination, and anyone who resists its authority sets himself against God. To rebel against civil governments is to rebel against God. The basic attitude of Christians is reverence, honor, respect, and duty towards civil governments.