(#441) Romans 13 - Do Christians HAVE TO Obey Human Authority?

ROM-388-181118 - length: 79:43 - taught on Nov, 18 2018

Class Outline:


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Rory Clark



Good Morning!


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. 


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Do Christians HAVE TO Obey Human Authority?


Yes, we do.  But people who are both free and mature don’t talk in HAVE TO’s and YA GOTTA’s…they talk in WANT TO’s…is there any reason who you wouldn’t just WANT to obey human authority like you obey the Lord?


The Lord Jesus Christ is the ultimate authority.  He is the Sovereign God of the Universe and He created you…John, Chapter 1, Verse 3…


JOHN 1:3 ALL THINGS came into being through the Lord, and apart from the Lord nothing came into being that has come into being.


In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ is in control of divine history. Hebrews, Chapter 1, Verse 3…


HEBREWS 1:3 And the Lord Jesus Christ is the radiance of God the Father’s glory and the Lord is the exact representation of God the Father’s nature (He has the same essence as the Father), and the Lord Jesus Christ upholds all things (in the universe) by the word of His power (divine omnipotence). When the Lord Jesus Christ had made the sacrifice for the purification of sins, the Lord sat down at the right hand of the Majesty (God the Father) on high (in the heavenlies)…


You may think all is wrong with the world…you may be upset with things you see happening here on earth…I assure you…the Lord Jesus Christ…the Sustainer of the universe…is neither upset with nor surprised by what is happening here. Everything is as He allows it to be…nothing happens on this planet without His permission.  He does not cause all things that happen, but He certainly allows what happens.


This God we’re talking about sees you a certain way.  It’s called perspective.  What is God’s perspective concerning you?  In other words, if you go behind God’s eyes and look at you, what does God the Father see?  What does the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ see?  What does God the Holy Spirit see?  When each of the members of the Triune Godhead looks at you, they each see the exact same thing!


If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, first and foremost, they look at you with love because they love you UNconditionally.  UN…a love with NO conditions.  You don’t have to do anything to please God.  You can’t disappoint an omniscient God who knew all you would be and do before He even created you.  Hebrews, Chapter 6, Verse 10…


HEBREWS 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work (on His behalf) and the unconditional love which you have shown toward His name…in having ministered in the past…and in still ministering in the present to the saints (believers in Christ).


If you are a believer in Christ, God sees you as a SAINT, not as a sinner.  Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 7…


ROMANS 1:7 (Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, writing) to all who are the beloved…(the divinely loved ones) of God the Father…resident in Rome…those who are called to the privileges of election and predestination as SAINTS…grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.


If you are a believer in Christ, God sees you as RIGHTEOUS, not as unrighteous.  Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 21…


SECOND CORINTHIANS 5:21 God the Father made the Lord Jesus Christ who knew no sin to be a sin sacrifice on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God the Father in union with Christ.


Absolute righteousness, which God credits to your account at the moment of salvation, is a free gift from God and is your admission ticket to heaven.


If you are a believer in Christ, God see you as a part of Himself…IN UNION WITH CHRIST…you are no longer in union with Adam as you were at physical birth.  Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 17…


SECOND CORINTHIANS 5:17 Therefore when anyone is in union with Christ, there is a new creation…the old things passed away (they died)…behold, new creation things have come.


Truly, if you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ you have no right to see yourself in any other way than the way God sees you.  Welcome to a place where you can learn to see yourself as God sees you by having your mind transformed through the study of the Word of God.


If you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s a pleasure to remind you each week how God sees you!  Here’s MercyMe to tell you that God sees you as FLAWLESS!



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Mercy Me



Let us pray...


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


Father…thank you for Your perspective…thank you for looking at each of us with divine eyes and with thoughts that are higher than our thoughts… thank you for planning for us, for protecting us, for providing for us in ways only You can…because You know what is perfect for each of us that You created…


Father, help us to see ourselves as YOU see us…help us to put aside all the pettiness that we allow to govern our lives and our thoughts…help us to grow in the sphere of Your unconditional love, Your grace, and Your forgiveness…help us to set our will aside in obedience to You…help us to trust that You ALWAYS know what is best for us…


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



TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Do Christians HAVE TO Obey Human Authority?


Our commitment is to obey our Lord, thus our commitment also is to obey authority!  It’s not a HAVE TO proposition…it’s a WANT TO proposition.  


We are studying the first passage of Romans Chapter 13, Verses 1 to 7…


ROMANS 13:1 Every BELIEVER IN CHRIST is to be in subjection to the civil authorities in power. For there is no civil authority in power except ones that were put there by God the Father…and those civil authorities which exist in power are established by God the Father.


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) they will receive (both divine and civil) condemnation upon themselves.


ROMANS 13:3  For rulers (in authority) are not a cause of fear for those who have goodbehavior (for those who obey)…but rulers are a cause of fear for those whoindulge 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 and capital punishment) for nothing…for the authority is a minister of God…an avenger…who brings wrath (punishment for wrongdoing) on the one who practices evil.


ROMANS 13:5  Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection to authority…not only because of (the) wrath (wielded by those in authority…an external reason)…but also for your conscience’ sake (an internal reason…because your conscience is always imploring you to obey God).


ROMANS 13:6  For because of authority you also pay taxes (literally…you pay tribute)…for rulers in authority 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’re studying the subject of authority in Romans, Chapter 13, and you may ask, why did Paul have to deal with this issue in first century Rome? Well the bible is interpreted in the time it was written, and at that time the leaders of The Jewish Race, God’s chosen people, did not want to obey the Roman Gentile rulers of the day.  The Jews thought that Gentiles were beneath them. Actually, no one could blame The Jews for not wanting to listen to or to respect the likes of Herod, Nero, and Pontius Pilate.  Christians in the first century church had the same feeling… “Do we really have to listen to these guys?  They’re rather evil!”  Paul wrote this part of the letter to clear things up.


In Romans, Chapter 13 Paul is really addressing the issue of church and state.  There is a difference between civil government, which is temporal… and church government, which is spiritual.  As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are citizens of heaven…Philippians, Chapter 3, Verse 20…


PHILIPPIANS 3:20 For our citizenship (as believers in Christ) is in heaven…from which heaven also we eagerly wait for (the return of) a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…


Like the Philippians of the day, we are citizens of another realm. The Philippians were colonists in Philippi (in Greece, near Macedonia) but their citizenship was in Rome.   As believers in Christ, our citizenship is in heaven…yet we live here in the world…in Satan’s kingdom.  Heaven has a government and earth has a government.  So as believers in Christ, to whom are we required to listen?  Do we HAVE TO obey human authority?


Paul actually lays out the issue of church and state in Romans, Chapters 12 AND 13.  The two chapters need to be viewed in combination.  Romans Chapter 12 outlines a Christian’s duties to the church. Believers in Christ are spiritual beings, we have a spiritual gift, and we are in unity with others in the body of Christ…other believers.  You’ll remember from Chapter 12 that we are to present our bodies as a sacrifice…we are to keep on having our minds transformed by God…we are to think highly of ourselves but not too highly…we are to love the brethren unconditionally…we are to recognize our function in the body…a function different from and critical to others…and while we are to love each other, we also are to love our enemies just as our Lord loved His enemies.  Again, Romans Chapter 12 outlines a Christian’s duties to the church.


Romans Chapter 13 outlines a Christian’s duties to the state.  In the first passage, Romans 13, Verses 1 to 7…we are exhorted to be in submission to the governing authorities.  In the second passage, Romans 13, Verses 8 to 10, we are reminded that we are citizens of the state.  As such, we must have a genuine concern for others…unconditional love. In the final passage, Romans 13, Verses 11 to 14…we are told to be mindful that the Lord is on His way back to establish His kingdom.  Until then we are not to get upset about the things going on in the world.  Instead we are to influence these things by imitating the Lord.


So what is the Christian attitude toward the authority of the state? It is described well in Daniel, Chapter 4, Verse 17…


DANIEL 4:17 “This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers and the decision is a command of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High is the Sovereign ruler over the realm of mankind (kingdoms)…and the Lord bestows authority on whom He wishes…and the Lord sets over mankind…in authority…the lowliest of men.”


What is Daniel saying?  He’s really repeating Romans, Chapter 13, Verse 1…


ROMANS 13:1 Every BELIEVER IN CHRIST is to be in subjection to the civil authorities in power. For there is no civil authority in power except ones that were put there by God the Father…and those civil authorities which exist in power are established by God the Father.


And whom does God put in power?  THE LOWLIEST OF MEN!  I’ve been telling you that forever!  As believers in Christ we are to respect the state and those that govern the state, even when they are evil.  And lest there be confusion, if there is a contradiction between what civil authority says to us and the Word of God…we obey God’s authority…He always comes first. So when evil authority establishes anti-biblical laws, we respect the authority but we do not follow anti-biblical laws.  


Well, speaking of lowly men, when we get back from the break, Deacon Denny Goodall will take the offering and we’ll continue with our study of Romans, Chapter 13.



Five Minutes


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Do Christians HAVE TO Obey Human Authority?


God the Father loved the whole world unconditionally…and He loved the world so much that He GAVE…you give too!  Here’s Deacon Denny Goodall.



Deacon Denny Goodall




GENESIS 3:8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.




Dave McClure, Instrumental


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Do Christians HAVE TO Obey Human Authority?


Welcome back!  


What is your attitude toward government?  What is your attitude toward authority?  I think a lot of us could use a change of heart.  Here is the Maranatha Praise Band recommending that we go to the One who changes hearts with their song CHANGE MY HEART OH GOD.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Maranatha Praise Band


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Do Christians HAVE TO Obey Human Authority?


We continue our study of Romans, Chapter 13 at Verse 1….


ROMANS 13:1 Every BELIEVER IN CHRIST is to be in subjection to the civil authorities in power. For there is no civil authority in power except ones that were put there by God the Father…and those civil authorities in power which exist are established by God the Father.


The apostle Peter puts it so well in First Peter, Chapter 2, Verses 13 to 17…


FIRST PETER 2:13 Submit yourselves to authority for the Lord’s sake (to honor His name)…to every human institution…whether to a king as the one in authority…


FIRST PETER 2:14  …or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.


FIRST PETER 2:15  For such is the will of God…that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.


FIRST PETER 2:16  Act as free men act…and do not use your freedom as a cover up for evil… but use your freedom as bondslaves of God.


This is interesting…be free but be God’s slaves.  Nice oxymoron.


FIRST PETER 2:17  Honor all people (everyone)…love unconditionally the brotherhood of believers in Christ…fear (respect) God (with awe and revenerence)… (simultaneously) honor the king (especially because a king is put in place by the God we respect).


This was quite an exhortation from Peter, to first century Christians who were being sent to the Coliseum in Rome by their governors to be ripped to shreds in front of a crowd of onlookers by lions…who were being burned to death in the square because they were “the light of the world” as Nero liked to put it.


So a few principles for our consideration from our study of Romans, Chapter 13, Verse 1…God set up human government…just as there is divine government…and He appointed people to be minsters of it…some are evil and some are good.


The bible makes it clear that these are lawless days…the foundation of sin is lawlessness.


Lawlessness is the spirit of refusing control…the very definition of sin in God’s eyes.  A simple example of contempt for authority…“That’s Old School!”


God put authority in place as a control…for our benefit…the same reason He does everything else.


What happens to the soul when Christians wander away from their authority…God…and His Word?  Chaos! Nothing good!  


Do Christians have to obey human authority?  The Lord Jesus Christ submitted to authority when He was arrested on the night before He went to the Cross.  John, Chapter 18, Verses 7 to 11…


JOHN 18:7 Therefore Jesus again asked the Romans cohort (who were there to arrest Him), “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”


JOHN 18:8  Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He…so if you seek Me…let these (my disciples) go their way…”


JOHN 18:9  Jesus said this to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom God the Father has given Me, I lost not one.”


JOHN 18:10  Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear…and the slave’s name was Malchus.


JOHN 18:11  Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword back into the sheath…this cup which the Father has given Me…shall I not drink it?”


The Lord Jesus Christ submitted to authority by suffering unfair treatment.  John, Chapter 19, Verse 4…


JOHN 19:4 Pilate came out again and said to the crowd of unbelieving Jews, “Behold, I am bringing Jesus out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.”


The Lord Jesus Christ submitted to authority in a miscarriage of justice. Philippians, Chapter 2, Verse 8…


PHILIPPIANS 2:8 Being found in appearance as a man…the Lord Jesus Christ humiliated Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death…even death on a Cross.


Do Christians have to obey human authority?  Yes!  It is what our Lord did, and it is what He would have us do.


One of the great functions of authority is to restrain lawlessness. We’ll learn more about that next week.



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The closing moments of our study are for 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.  


What does God want for you?  First Timothy, Chapter 2, Verses 3 and 4…


FIRST TIMOTHY 2:3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of the God who is our Savior (the Lord Jesus Christ)…


FIRST TIMOTHY 2:4  …who desires all men to be saved and for all men to come to the knowledge of the truth.


God provides you with the bible, which contains the truth…His exact thinking…so you can know what He wants from you.  John, Chapter 20, Verses 30 and 31…


JOHN 20:30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book (the bible)…


JOHN 20:31  …but these things written here have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah)…the Son of God (in human form)… and that by believing in Him you may have the resurrection life in Hisname.


Well, maybe you don’t believe in the Lord Jesus Christ…and maybe you don’t think the bible is His exact thinking.  Maybe you don’t even think you need to be saved.  The bible says that saving is exactly what all humans need from the moment of physical birth.  Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 1…


EPHESIANS 2:1 And (at physical birth) you (all mankind) were spiritually dead in your trespasses and sins…


First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22a says…


FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:22a For all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human who comes to earth) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…


The bible says you need to be saved when you are spiritually dead.  The Lord Jesus Christ volunteered for the task of saving you.  Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verses 4 and 5 say…


EPHESIANS 2:4-5 But God the Father, being rich in mercy, because of His great unconditional love with which He loved us (all mankind),//even when we were spiritually dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with the Christ (by grace you have been saved)…


When you were spiritually dead, as an ungodly, unrighteous unbeliever here’s what God the Father planned for you…Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 8…


ROMANS 5:8 But God the Father demonstrates His own unconditional love toward all mankind, in that while we were yet sinners (as spiritually dead, ungodly, unrighteous unbelievers), Christ died (as a sacrifice) for us.


Because of the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, right where you sit right now, you can have eternal life…the resurrection life…and it’s this simple…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.”


Heed the warning in 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.”


Acts, Chapter 4, Verse 12 says 


ACTS 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else…for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved (except the name of the Lord Jesus Christ).”


Titus, Chapter 3, Verse 5…


TITUS 3:5 The Lord Jesus Christ saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in self-righteousness, but according to His mercy…by the washing of regeneration and by the renewing by God the Holy Spirit…


There is no excuse for not knowing…being saved is SO simple. Why?  It is because God does the saving for you. All you have to do is invest your gift of faith…a gift you received from a loving God…and place that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation.  Do it now!  There is no time to waste.


Here’s June Murphy with our closing song…FEAR NOT.




June Murphy



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