(#437) Romans 13 - Do We Have to Respect Authority When Authority is Evil?

ROM-383-181021 - length: 79:19 - taught on Oct, 21 2018

Class Outline:


Welcome To 


a Christian Church

Rory Clark



Good Evening!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…a Christian Church that makes a difference.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries, our God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We make a difference by teaching the Word of God from God’s perspective, and not from man’s perspective. 



Do We Have to Respect Authority When Authority is Evil?


Remember when we used to respect authority?  Well today there is not much question that individuality is the order of the day. We are listening to ourselves, unfortunately, and not listening much at all to leaders.  We make up our own rules as we go.  We decide what is good and what is evil. We assume God’s Sovereign prerogative as the righteous judge.  Yet only our God is the ruler of the universe…He is the ultimate authority. We turn away from His direction, and we scratch our heads wondering why our made up universe isn’t working.


Our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, created all creatures…angelic and human…and He placed His creatures under authority…His authority.  Clearly, God expects His creatures to respect authority.  Matthew, Chapter 23, Verses 1 to 12…



Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples (during a debate with the religious leaders of the time)…




…saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses (they teach the Mosaic Law)…”



“…therefore all that they TELL you (about the Mosaic Law), DO AND OBSERVE (respect their authority)…but DO NOT DO according to THEIR DEEDS…for they teach things and do not do the things they teach.”


He is saying respect authority, but follow God and not men.



“The scribes and the Pharisees tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move the heavy burdens with so much as a finger.”


They are unbelievers…they are not righteous…they teach legalism yet they don’t follow their own legalistic teachings.



“But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men (self-righteousness) for they broaden their phylacteries (pouches for Scripture…to have them noticed by people) and they lengthen the tassels of their garments (to have them noticed by people).”



“They love the place of honor at banquets and they love the chief seats in the synagogues…”



“…and they love respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi (or other labels like father…teacher…scholar) by men.”



“But do not be called Rabbi…for only One is your Teacher (God the Holy Spirit), and you are all brothers.”


The relationship among believers is to be a relationship of brotherhood…not a relationship of superiority. Even though I have the gift of Pastor-Teacher, I am not above you.  I am beside you.  There are no human positions of honors like the Pharisees sought.



“Do not call anyone on earth your father…for only One is your Father…God the Father who is in heaven.”


MATTHEW 23:10 

“Do not be called leaders…for only One is your Leader, that is, Christ.”


MATTHEW 23:11 

“But the greatest among you shall be your servant (diakonos-the one in authority who serves you).”


MATTHEW 23:12 

“Whoever promotes himself (relying on his own self-righteousness) shall be humbled…and whoever humbles himself (relying on God’s righteousness) shall promoted by God.”


Welcome to a place where you can learn the importance of respecting authority, even evil authority.


To whom do you listen? Who is your rudder in this life? For believers in Christ, our authority is Christ…He is our rudder…He is the one we listen to by studying His Word…and when we do, we can see life through His eyes.  Let’s listen to Brandon Heath tell us what happens when we make this request of God… GIVE ME YOUR EYES.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Brandon Heath



Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Father, thank you for putting authorities into our lives… authorities like husbands in marriage, parents in the family, government in the nations, teachers in school, police officers and fire fighters on the street, and the military establishment, just to name a few…thank you for putting authorities into our lives to govern us and to lead us.


Teach us to be obedient to You and to all other authorities You place in our lives…help us to understand the importance of the obedience You want from us…remind us that there is no authority except that which You have established…and we are to respect authority even when the authority is evil…for just as You let Satan’s evil play out…so You let evil authority in the world have its day, even if you don’t let it have victory over us…help us to know that the reason You ask for obedience to authority is because You love us…help us to not lose heart when we are rebuked by authority, knowing that those You love You also scourge with a whip… 


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s




Do We Have to Respect Authority When Authority is Evil?


Yes we do.


There are three passages in Romans Chapter 13…Verses 1 to 8…Verses 8 to 10…Verses 11 to 14.  Let’s listen to the whole chapter...and then we’ll continue our study of the first verse of this chapter.


PASSAGE ONE:  Romans 13, Verses 1 to 8



Every person is to be in subjection to the authorities in power. Why? For there is no authority in power except ones that were put in power by God… and those authorities in power that exist are established by God.



ROMANS 13:2 

Therefore whoever rebels against authority has rebelled against the ordinance of God…and they who have opposed the ordinance of God (are rebelling against God as well…and) will receive (both divine and civil) condemnation upon themselves.


ROMANS 13:3 

For rulers are not a cause of fear for those who have good behavior (those who obey)…but rulers are a cause of fear for those who indulge in evil (those who disobey). Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the authority…


ROMANS 13:4 

…for the authority is a minister of God (a diakonos…a deacon)…given as a grace gift to you for your own good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid… for the authority does not bear the sword (firearms) for nothing…for the authority is a minister of God…an avenger…who brings wrath (punishment for wrongdoing) on the one who practices evil.


Governmental force…used properly...is just.


ROMANS 13:5 

Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection to the authority…not only because of (the) wrath (wielded by the authority), but also for your conscience’ sake (which is always imploring you to obey God).


ROMANS 13:6 

For because of the authority you also pay taxes…for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very service (full time)…the service called ministering.


ROMANS 13:7 

Render to all authorities what is due them…tax to whom tax is due…custom to whom custom is due…respect to whom respect is due…honor to whom honor is due.


We are commanded to respect authority.  Are we?



ROMANS 13:8 

(While on the subject of debt…of what is due) Owe nothing to anyone (have no outstanding debts) except (the debt commanded by God) to love one another unconditionally…for he who loves his neighbor unconditionally has fulfilled the Mosaic Law.




ROMANS 13:9 

For this (is in the Mosaic Law), “You shall not commit adultery…you shall not murder…you shall not steal…you shall not covet” … and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this one saying, “You shall love your neighbor just as you love yourself…unconditionally.”


ROMANS 13:10 

Unconditional love does no wrong (no harm) to a neighbor…therefore unconditional love is the fulfillment of the law.




ROMANS 13:11 

Do this, knowing the time (the divine season…know how near we are to the end…know that the immanency of Christ’s return is upon us)…it is already the hour for you to awaken from your slumber (your lack of alertness)…for now deliverance is nearer to us than when we first believed in Christ.


ROMANS 13:12 

The night is almost gone (Satan’s time…the darkness…is nearly over), and the day is near (the time of the return of Christ). Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.


ROMANS 13:13 

Let us behave properly (in lifestyle) as we would act in the daylight…let us not behave in the deeds of darkness like carousing and drunkenness…not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality…not in strife and jealousy.


ROMANS 13:14 

But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ (with His righteousness,


His purity, His holiness, His blamelessness)…and make no provision for the (gratification of the) flesh in regard to its lusts.


The passage is filled with DO’s and DON’T’s…just like Romans, Chapter 12…it tells us what to obey and what not to obey.




DO be in subjection to the governing authorities put in place by God.


DO what is good if you want no fear of authority


DO pay your taxes




DO respect customs


DO respect leaders


DO demonstrate honor




DO keep the commandments


DO love unconditionally


DO lay aside the deeds of darkness




DO put on the armor of light


DO behave properly




DON’T resist or rebel against authority


DON’T resist the ordinance of God

DON’T do what is evil




DON’T carouse


DON’T get drunk


DON’T engage in sensuality




DON’T be promiscuous


DON’T engage in strife (fighting)


DON’T get jealous




DON’T make provisions for the flesh


DON’T engage in lust


We began the study of the first passage a couple of weeks ago by asking the question, sarcastically, I might add…“Remember when we used to respect authority?”


When we get back from the break, we’ll take the offering, and then we’ll see what God has to say about respecting Evil authority.



Five Minutes



Do We Have to Respect Authority When Authority is Evil?


When you hear the word “philanthropy” what comes to mind?  For many people what comes to mind is a wealthy person, called a philanthropist, engaging in the practice of philanthropy, which is giving money to charitable causes.  


Philanthropy actual comes from two Greek words…philosand anthropos.  Philosis brotherly love (Philadelphia)…and Anthroposis man (anthropology).  Literally, then, “philanthropy” is an expression of your love for mankind.  Money is not implied in the word at all.  By that definition, all of us are philanthropists.  Giving is your chance to engage in “philanthropy.”  It’s your chance to give your time, your talent, AND your treasure…all three…as an expression of your love for all mankind. Specifically, the offering is a chance for you to express your love for all mankind with your treasure.


When you give to Barah Ministries we direct your generosity to the benefit of people all over the world…people we don’t even know or see…courtesy of the internet…people who need to hear the gospel message and who need to learn the Word of God.  Be generous in your “philanthropy!”


Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with this week’s offering message.



Deacon Denny Goodall




FIRST JOHN 4:18-19

There is no fear in unconditional love…but perfect love casts out fear… because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in unconditional love.//We love unconditionally, because He first loved us unconditionally. 




Dave McClure, Instrumental



Do We Have to Respect Authority When Authority is Evil?


Welcome back!  Why do we respect authority, especially the authority of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?  It’s easy…His Word is truth…and God the Holy Spirit is the VOICE OF TRUTH. Here’s casting Crowns to tell us about the Spirit’s still small voice!



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Casting Crowns



Do We Have to Respect Authority When Authority is Evil?


We continue our study of Romans, Chapter 13, Verse 1.  When we think of the subject of authority, it poses a dilemma in the minds of many. They wonder, “If I don’t like my authority, do I have to listen to them?”  Romans, Chapter 13, Verse 1 answers the question from God’s point of view...



Every person is to be in subjection to the authorities in power. Why? For there is no authority in power except ones that were put in power by God… and those authorities in power that exist are established by God.


As a Pastor, I am the mouthpiece of The Voice of Truth, God the Holy Spirit. I have nothing of value to say on my own…God speaks through me…this is His lesson.  It’s funny to hear what new people think about our lessons. “My God…why do I have to listen for a whole hour and a half?  That’s a lot!”  Yet people can easily binge watch television programs for a whole day…or watch football games for a whole day…or watch the World Series for five hours…without a single complaint.  


We don’t like listening to authority because many times the voice of truth is standing us in front of a mirror and it is asking us to confront the evil in our lives.  We really don’t like it.


Someone told me recently that the United States of America is a country that was built on rebellion against authority.  That assertion is completely untrue, and anyone who has ever read and digested The Declaration of Independence knows this assertion to be untrue.  Listen to a few excerpts from the declaration to see if this seems to you to be a rebellion…  




We hold these truths to be self-evident…that all men are created equal…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…that among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


We have freedom.




When a long train of abuses and usurpations (by authority)…pursuing invariably the same object…evinces a design to reduce (free and equal people to be) under absolute Despotism (Tyranny)… it is their right…it is, in fact, their duty…to throw off such Government.


Taxes…Casinos…Lotteries. We tolerate them.  We accept them.  WE indulge in them.  We don’t throw them off.




All experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than they are to right themselves by abolishing the forms of government to which they are accustomed.


We would rather join evil government than beat them.




To prove this (assertion), let the following facts be submitted to a candid world…


There is a list of usurpations that follow.




We have warned the British Government from time to time of our displeasure at the attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.




The British Government has been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.


We told them respectfully…they are not listening.




And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.


What seemed like rebellion was simply a Declaration of Independence…a declaration for which men risked their lives…they weren’t just bitching on Facebook.


Did the Lord Jesus Christ respond like a tyrant would when Satan rebelled against a perfect God’s authority?  Human history says NO.  Human history is an exact duplication of angelic history, and the Lord Jesus Christ is offering Satan a chance to prove that the Lord is a Tyrant, unfit to rule free creatures like Satan and his fallen angels.  


The Lord did not have to allow Satan’s rebellion.  He could have crushed them for disobedience.  Their disobedience was imperfection, and a perfect God had every right to demand perfection.  He didn’t. Let’s see what He did.


As the authority of the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ gave His angelic creatures the clarity they needed to function in freedom.  


He created them in perfect condition (because everything the Lord does is perfect).


He made it clear what conduct was obedient and what conduct was not obedient.  (If we’re being lazy, we can just say He told them the rules).


He offered them the freedom of choice to obey or disobey.


Creatures sinned, and God allowed it, even though He didn’t have to allow it.  He condemned them.


After their disobedience, He gave them a chance to recover, offering them the freedom of choice to select salvation (the chance to reconcile) or the choice to remain in condemnation. 


God placed us in Satan’s kingdom.  Satan is the most evil creature ever to rebel against God.  God expects us to respect leaders, even when they are evil.  Colossians, Chapter 3, Verses 22 to 24…



Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.



Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…



…knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.


That does NOT mean, however, that we have to do everything evil authority recommends.  If we want to know what direction fro evil we need to obey, all we have to do is compare what evil authority is demanding of us to what the Word of God says.






In the spiritual life, Satan’s temptations for us to do evil.


To these things we don’t have to listen.  We can be respectful without obeying.  We’ll continue our study of authority and our relationship to it in the next lesson.



…to Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The closing moments of this study are for the benefit of anyone who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 


How often do you think about eternal matters?  


It’s easy for human beings to be deceived…to get sucked into the trap of thinking we are important. When things are going well for us, we seldom prepare for the time when things will not go well.  The bible tells us that Satan, the enemy of God is the one who deceives us.  First Peter, Chapter 5, Verse 8 says…



Be of sober spirit…be on the alert. Your adversary…the devil (Satan) prowls around like a roaring lion…seeking someone to devour.


Satan busies us with things that distract us from eternal matters.  He diverts our attention to meaningless things like material wealth. The bible tells us the deception of material wealth pervaded the church at Laodicea.  Revelation, Chapter 3, Verses 15 to 18…




“I (the Lord Jesus Christ) know your deeds…that you (like the water in your homes) are neither cold nor hot…I (the Lord Jesus Christ) wish that you were cold or hot.”



“So because you are lukewarm (like the water in your homes)…and neither hot nor cold…I will vomit you out of My mouth.”


The Lord loves commitment. The Lord abhors half-heartedness in all its forms…



“Because you Laodicean believers say, ‘I am rich…and have become wealthy…and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are (spiritually) wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked…”



“I (the Lord Jesus Christ) advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich…and white garments so that you may clothe yourself (not the black wool that made you rich)…so that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed…and I advise you to buy from Me eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.”


Material wealth often hides spiritual poverty.  What is it that the Lord wants the wealthy to see?  He wants them to see what He says in Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 24…



“No one can serve two masters…for either he will hate the one and love the other…or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”


The Lord wants the wealthy to see that there are only two ways to get to heaven.  The first way to get to heaven is to be perfect like God is perfect, because God demands perfection from us…not wealth.  Many wealthy people think their wealth makes them perfect.


Once we sin, we are no longer perfect.  James, Chapter 2, Verse 10 says…


JAMES 2:10

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of breaking the whole law.


The second way to get to heaven is by means of God’s grace.  God’s grace is free of charge.  In John, Chapter 14, Verse 6, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said… 


JOHN 14:6

…to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am the truth (through the Word of God…the gospel message), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”


Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation makes you perfect.  At the moment of your salvation, the Lord imputes His absolute righteousness…His perfection…to you.  Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ’s grace gift of eternal life offers salvation. As a result of the Lord’s work at the Cross…work that paid for the sins of all mankind including yours…sin will never again be a barrier between you and God.  Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 21 says…



God the Father made Jesus Christ who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in union with Him.


So if you are imperfect, and you are if you don't have a relationship with Christ, you can be made perfect by asking God the Father to credit your account with spiritual wealth…His own righteousness…His own perfection...and that will make you spiritually wealthy.  God will honor your request, and you will be saved.  Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


John, Chapter 3, Verse 17…


JOHN 3:17

For God the Father did not send God the Son into the world to judge the world…but God the Father sent the Son into the world that the world might be saved through Him.


Take the free gift of eternal life right now!  There’s no time to waste!  God wants you.  Real wealth happens when you know how much God loves you and when you decide to enter a relationship with Him. 


Here is June Murphy with our closing song…DESTINY.




June Murphy



Let us pray...


Thanks for coming!

Thanks for watching!

Thanks for listening!



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