July 1/Romans 13

In this chapter Paul gives us Christians four reasons for obeying the government.

Verses 1-4 > Because of Punishment. Governments are put in place to keep law and order. The human race doesn’t seem capable of doing this on their own hence God ordained government. They have the power to punish those who do wrong. Now I realize that not all government officials are honest or people of integrity but we are still to obey the laws they pass unless those laws would cause us to violate scripture. Paul wrote this letter when Nero was the Caesar of Rome. Nero threw Christians to the lions and burned the as candles for his banquets and yet Paul said to honor the government because God placed them there. We don’t have all the information why God allows certain governments and certain people in those governments but he does and by honoring the government we honor God and for the most part we can stay away from being punished!

Verses 5-7 > For Conscience Sake. Why violate your conscience by disobeying the laws of the land. You are a Christian and obedience is a huge part of belonging to the Kingdom of God. A God given conscience helps us to do the right thing. The more you violate it the more calloused it becomes and pretty soon you are sinning and it doesn’t bother you. That is a bad place to be. There are people who feel justified in cheating on their taxes because they don’t agree with where their tax money is spent. We might not agree but we still must obey and pay. Jesus paid his taxes to the Roman government and I am sure he didn’t agree with where all the money was going.

You might believe that government workers are underworked and overpaid but is doesn’t matter we are still to obey and pay our taxes. You can vote, write letters and voice your opinion on the changes you believe should take place but you still must obey. The best thing would be to keep introducing people to Jesus. This would change things.

The IRS has a conscience fund wherein it receives fifty to one hundred million dollars annually from people who feel bad about cheating on their taxes in years past. One note said, “Dear Sirs, enclosed are one hundred seventy-five dollars that I owed from taxes ten years ago. P.S. If my conscience is still bothering me, I’ll send the rest later.”

Verses 8-10 > For Loves Sake. As Christians we are obligated to show love to all people even governments. Jesus showed his love by dying for the world and all government people! Love does no wrong. What would it be like in the U.S.A. if we all lived by the love principle? Pretty sweet right? What if we practiced the love principle in our own families, at work, at school, and in our city?1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (NLT) — 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Verses 11-14 > For Christ’s Sake. Paul says, “Why not obey the government for Jesus’ sake. To me this is the most compelling of the four reasons. I love Jesus!

I remember last year when Cleo was going to go to her 50th high school reunion. She said I didn’t have to go because she I didn’t know anyone there and she was going to get a ride with her girl friend who lived in Fargo. Well that ride didn’t work out and so she asked me if I would take her. Well I really didn’t want to go and I said so. Then she looked at me with her sad face and said, “Would you do it just for me Dan?” I said, “Honey, Yes I will do it just for you.” And I made sure she had a good time and I enjoyed myself.

What do you say to Jesus when he says, “Will you honor your government just for me?”  I’m saying, “Yes Jesus I will.” What are you saying?

God is sovereign. This is His world and believe it or not He is in control!

Psalm 75:7 (NLT) — 7 It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall.

Daniel 4:32 (NLT) — 32… the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.’

Be Inspired Hilltop!


  1. Mark Gundersen says

    The last few verses are a description of what we should look like and how we should act due to love. It encourages us to put on the appearance of Jesus. This is so that when the world looks at us they can see Jesus. The same advice of respecting those in authority was given frequently in both the old and new testament. When Judah refused the authority of Babylon, given by God, many people died instead of living under God’s promises that the invasion served God’s purpose. Jerusalem and the temple were both destroyed due to disobedience.