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Romans 13 - Wake Up

Romans 13 is the famous teaching on the relationship between Christians & the government, but don't miss the wakeup call at the end.


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Romans 13 Summary


This is the famous passage calling Christians to submit to the government, but like every other passage in the Bible, it's important to understand it in the context it was written: the heading for chapter 13 actually comes in the last verse of chapter 12: overcome evil with good.


Even though the government may often seem like it's operating far outside the scope of God's will, God may actually be permitting it to do so for His purposes (8:28). God used the ungodly governments of the Egyptians, Canaanites, Persians, and even the Romans to carry out His will in the past, so it's not unprecedented for Him to be using our present governments even if we do not understand how.


We also read this passage understanding that even the most powerful earthly government must itself ultimately submit to God's higher authority (v1, 2), and that you are never obligated to submit to the government when doing so would compromise your ability to submit to God's law.


Dig Deeper


Because this passage is so often associated with the Christian's relationship to the government, a key teaching that has nothing to do with the government near the end of the chapter often gets missed:

the hour has come for you to wake from your slumber (v11)

Paul's not just referring to sleepy teenagers who don't want to get up. He uses the word hypnos, from which we get hypnotized to describe people who are going through all of life's functions oblivious to the massive truths of the gospel.


Since you know the truth, stop wandering through life hypnotized by the world's empty attractions. Rather, as Paul continues in v12,

cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.


AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God our Father, the one who has appointed all authority on heaven and on earth;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to draw you out of your darkened slumber and into the light of His truth.

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

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