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Sermon #3334

Christian and The State (1)

A Sermon on Romans 13:1-7


Romans 13:1-7 ESV KJV
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to …

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Sermon Description

In today’s media-driven culture, the public can witness firsthand the mess of politicians and politics on social media, cable television, and in print media. Cynically, many Christians might find it necessary to simply retreat out of political concerns and government altogether. Perhaps the Christian could justify a retreat from politics by positing the need to focus exclusively on spiritual matters. In this sermon on Romans 13:1–7 titled “Christian and the State (1),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeks to answer such objections. He engages these ideas and other radical ones that call for Christians to abandon concern for the state, government, or politics altogether. In answering critics, Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides a positive Christian view of the state by looking at Romans 13:1–7 and the implications of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Christians understand that the origin of government is not in human evolution but arose from God Himself. Moreover, the Christian knows human nature and how easily sin and evil can deteriorate society. God has instituted government for the restraint of evil and the well-being of society. Dr. Lloyd-Jones insists that the Christian needs motivation to be not only the best citizen, but also to be compelled to participate in government for the promotion of peace and the common good of all.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The Christian's relationship to the world has not changed despite salvation. The orders of nature like marriage, work, and family still remain.
  2. God created the world and still sustains it despite the Fall. He will redeem the entire cosmos, not just save souls. Jesus is the Lord of the universe, not just our personal savior.
  3. The state and government are ordained by God to maintain order and peace. No one form of government is ordained by God. The idea of government itself is ordained by God.
  4. Christians should be interested and involved in government and public affairs. They do not contract out of the world by becoming Christians. Many matters like economics and public health involve Christians like everyone else.
  5. There is no one "Christian" view on political and social issues. Christians can disagree on these matters while still being faithful Christians. A "Christian" political party is misguided.
  6. The function of the state is to restrain evil and promote the common good. It deters evil through punishment and encourages good through praise. It allows Christians to live quiet, peaceful lives.
  7. Christians can work to improve the state and change the government if allowed by law. They can vote, join trade unions, and strike if lawful. But they must honor contracts and only use force as a last resort.
  8. If a state becomes tyrannical, it violates Romans 13 and can be replaced. But force should only be used as a last resort. The state is meant to serve the people, not rule over them.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.