New Testament & Psalms 2019

Romans 13 – Christian Politics

We saw a video clip of a Democrat and Republican Senator praying for President Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast. And at the end of the SOTU message the President spoke these words about God.

And we must always keep faith in America’s destiny — that one nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise and the light and the glory among all the nations of the world! Thank you. God bless you, God bless America. Thank you very much.

And it is interesting the New Democratic House has a committee proposing removing references to God in their oaths:

The Democrat-controlled House Natural Resources Committee produced a draft rules document that removed “So help you God” from oaths required of witnesses before the committee.

Old John Gill at a time long ago wrote this interesting introduction to the first verse of Romans 13.

The apostle having finished his exhortations to this church, in relation to the several duties incumbent upon both officers and private Christians, as members of a church, and with reference to each other, and their moral conduct in the world; proceeds to advise, direct, and exhort them to such duties as were relative to them as members of a civil society; the former chapter contains his Christian Ethics, and this his Christian Politics.

There was the greater reason to insist upon the latter, as well as on the former, since the primitive saints greatly lay under the imputation of being seditious persons and enemies to the commonwealth; which might arise from a very great number of them being Jews, who scrupled subjection to the Heathen magistrates, because they were the seed of Abraham, and by a law were not to set one as king over them, that was a stranger, and not their own brother, and very unwillingly bore the Roman yoke, and paid tribute to Caesar: hence the Christians in common were suspected to be of the same principles; and of all the Jews none were more averse to the payment of taxes to the Roman magistrates than the Galilaeans; see Act 5:37. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

No matter where you stand today in your political views if you are a Bible believing Christian there is much in this chapter, about the government and those ruling over us.

As I have presented elsewhere there are rules for the gentile churches also. I recently commented on these at Pastor Dilday’s Revelation-Poole site, these include:

Enjoying the online course lessons on these verses. Both words remembered and caution raised is well needed in our times.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

I also have observed that there was a time in Acts where similar words were presented as the few “rules” to the Gentiles. It is surprising how often this is repeated in the text. James speaks it, they agree, they write it down, they send back Paul and Barnabas; and two of their own namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas to present the letter and read it and speak it to the people in their own words.

Act 15:20But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

Act 15:25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

Act 15:26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Act 15:27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.

Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

Act 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Paul actually refers to it again when he returns to Jerusalem.

Act 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

This theme message is spoken about repeatedly in the letters, and we even get in Revelation it being repeated to the next church in the chain.

Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Could it be something is important in this message to have it repeated so often?

It is interesting that here in Romans 13 Paul gives one of his extensive lists of “rules” for the church and us as individual Christians:

Romans 13:1  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Rom 13:5  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Rom 13:6  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Rom 13:7  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Rom 13:8  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Rom 13:9  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Obviously his focus is on the whole of the 2nd Tablet of the Law.

Paul doesn’t speak so explicitly here in the words which were given to the gentile church but he did also mention adultery, a subset of fornication, and idol worship back in chapter 2.

Romans 2:22  Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

And of course he opened the book in Chapter 1 with many words of concern…

Rom 1:29  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Rom 1:30  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Rom 1:31  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Rom 1:32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Finally summing up our duties with this statement.

Rom 13:10  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

At the same time we should not neglect the first command and the 1st tablet.

Deu 6:1  Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:

Deu 6:2  That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.

Deu 6:3  Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.

Deu 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Deu 6:5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deu 6:6  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

Deu 6:7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

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