God · government · Theology · Uncategorized

Romans 13

Properly understood we can see God’s providence, and common grace demonstrated in these verses.  Through the ordination of governmental authority the people are restrained from being as evil as they would be if left with no law and order.  This grace is afforded both to the lost, and the saved, thus His grace in common to both.  This is not a mandate to submit to a Godless secular government if it demands that we violate the faith, or the word of the true and living God.  The exhortation at the end compels us to live in a practice of righteousness, and to seek to please God, in such a way that a Christian would not be concerned about incurring the ire of the government, as they would be beyond reproach.  I hope that helps.

Romans 13
New American Standard Bible

Be Subject to Government

1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.7Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9For this, “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 saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

11Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.13Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

 

cultural · love · marriage · Repentance · sanctification · Uncategorized

Adults Who Desire to Run Away.

Lately I’ve noticed on social media quite a few adults expressing the notion of running away.  I’m at a loss.  I have no understanding of what that feels like, or even how it would be desirable.  I’m just not getting it.  Is it a real desire to run away from life and responsibility?  Is it a desire to run away from the pain of relationships that don’t measure up to your expectations?  Is it the desire to run away from the mundane?  Is it some combination of the these things?  I just don’t know.  If you are one of the people who desires to, “run away” please clue me in to the reasons for this desire, where it comes from, what you think it would accomplish, how it would make your life better.

As a mature man (Old Fashioned Man) I have learned the value of dogged determination, tenacity, reliance on God, fighting the good fight, standing when others shrink back.  This is something that I am.  I see myself as a gatekeeper, or a sentry.  I protect my family, the weak, and defenseless.  I know other men like myself.  We value the same qualities.  We value the company of others like us.  We put personal problems behind us to accomplish the difficult tasks.  We don’t squabble over trifles.  We only feel entitled to what we have earned, be it good or bad.  We take both equally well, acknowledging our shortcomings.  Running away from our situation never crosses our minds as viable option.  It is completely foreign to us.  If you are one of the people who thinks of running away, imagine explaining what darkness is to a person who has lived in the light.

It seems as if people no longer value these qualities in a man.  It seems that the only people who care about these things are the men themselves.  We’re the last of a dying breed of American men.  The relativistic, secular, humanists have taken over.  They are redefining what it means to be a man, or to be strong, or moral.  If you are white then they scream, “white privilege!”  If you are an old fashioned man they call you a, “misogynist.”  If you are a Protestant Christian they call you, “homophobic, intolerant, hater, etc.”  So being one of the last straight, white, Protestant, men on the planet, I feel a bit lonely, but never think of running away.

I stand my ground and try to do what is right according to God and His word.  I can see the value in that.  The temporal cost is nothing compared to the eternal end of the saved man.  The challenges in the Christians life are God ordained.  He sanctifies and grows us through them.  They are the way in which we are matured.  Ask Jonah how running worked for him.  So when others sin against us, do us wrong, hurt us, take advantage of us, we can’t see them as the bully or the enemy.  We have to see them as the slave of sin that they are.  We need to see that what they have done to us is such a small thing in comparison to what we have done to Christ with out sins against Him.  For us He was crucified, to redeem us from slavery to sin.  What Christ sets out to do, He succeeds and finishes.  Trust in Him, and His goodness.  Don’t look at the situation you are in as a reason to flee.  Be bold, and stand in the face of adversity.  Stand for God and His truth.  Be a man for God.  Be a woman for God.  See others as better than yourself.  Serve others in the way that has been exampled for us in Christ.

Relationships are also to sanctify us.  You have the spouse you have for a reason.  God gave them to you for your growth.  God knew exactly what you needed, perhaps not what you want, but what you needed.  You have the exact children you are supposed to have, because as they grow so do you.  You have the co-workers, and friends you are ordained to have as well for the same reasons.  Trust God, do what is right according to His word.  Learn to love like He does.  Learn to offer grace to those who don’t deserve it, just like He gave you grace.

Are you suffering the mundane drudgery of life?  Well, stop it!  Realize how miraculous the gospel is.  Realize how dramatically God saved you.  Marvel at the power of God’s creation.  You are made in the image of God.  Be in awe of Him and His work.  If you can be in His word and see His works, then you’ll realize there is nothing mundane about living for Christ and the expansion of His Kingdom via the preaching of the gospel, and the saving of sinners.

I hope none of you are seriously thinking about running away from your lives.  I hope it is just an emotional statement of being tired or exhausted.  If this is the case, take comfort in knowing the rest of Christ.  He has fulfilled the law for us.  Every moment is the Sabbath for those who are resting in the righteousness of Christ and not relying on their own works to save them.  I hope that if any of you are having problems that seem overwhelming that you would seek help from brothers and sisters, or look for your answers in God’s word.  Find your purpose, identity, and comfort in Christ.