Problem with Your Authority?
Sermon by KC Liu
Pastor KC Liu shared with the 1.5 Generation congregation at EFCI on the topic of how Christians should exist with the government through the direct instruction from the bible. KC delivered the insights that Paul cares about how Christians behave as citizens. Paul wants Christians to be good citizens of the state, to be a good witness and have good testimonies. He saw many Christians not being good citizens, like not paying taxes, or rebelling against authority, and that concerns him deeply.
Power of the Government Comes From God
Paul teaches the people to deal with the government that is put in place although there’s no perfect ideal biblical government stated in the bible. He also warned that whoever rebels against the government that is put in place is to rebel against what god has put in place.
God is in Control
When Paul wrote this passage to the Jewish believers, I can imagine they cringed as they were reading it. “What?! What do you mean submit to the governing authorities? Don’t you know that all of them are pagans? Don’t you know they all worship idols? How can we, who hold the truth, submit to the pagans? Don’t you know what kind of godless laws they have?”
Paul says, “That may be true. They are not Christians. They worship idols. Nevertheless, they have authority which God established.”
You can imagine the Jews arguing, “No, our allegiance is to Christ and Christ alone. Besides, they persecute us! We must stand up to them!”
Paul says, “You don’t understand. They are in the position of authority and power because God ordained it. God is in control, and he can use pagans as He pleases.”
Regarding Civil Disobedience
If the state commands what God forbids, or if the state forbids what God commands, then courageous civil disobedience is required. In the bible, Daniel’s three friends refused to bow down to the idol made in the image of the king, even though the king commanded it. And Daniel continued to pray even though he was forbidden to pray.
Second principle is if it prohibits you from sharing and preaching the Gospel. Peter makes this principle clear when the Jewish authorities told him to stop preaching the Gospel. Peter said, “We must obey God rather than men!” And they continued to preach the Gospel.