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Sermon #3335

Christian and The State (2)

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

How the people of God relate to kings, emperors, magistrates, and the state in general has long been a topic in the Christian church. Persecution by the state, unjust laws, along with the emergence of new political ideologies, often lead to a re-evaluation on the topic. Can the Christian say with confidence that there is a biblical view on the relationship between the Christian and the state? If so, what principles should guide them? What are the implications for a hot-button issue like capital punishment? In this sermon from Romans 13:1–7 titled “Christian and the State (2),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues to examine Paul’s message as he tackles this confusing topic by providing biblical and theological principles as guidance. Within what Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the two “extremes” – always maintaining the status quo or anarchy – and paves a way forward that holds together the Christian call to be subject to the state, the limits of being subject to the state, a nuanced understanding of liberty of conscience, and a tempered overall expectation of what the state can accomplish in a sinful world. Dr. Lloyd-Jones is able to soberly look at the complexity of the topic and leave both sides challenged and also encouraged. While ultimately citizens of heaven, Christians are still pilgrims in this world. Listen and learn how to faithfully relate to the state as sojourners and strangers.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Christians should be subject to the governing authorities
  2. There are limits to a Christian's subjection to governing authorities
  3. If the government commands something contrary to God's will
  4. If the government infringes on liberty of conscience and worship
  5. Christians can claim the protection of the law and government
  6. Christians should not glory in any particular form of government
  7. Christians should not expect too much from the government
  8. The government's role is mainly negative, to restrain evil
  9. A Christian's view of the government should not come between them and other Christians
  10. The government bears the sword not in vain, indicating its power to execute wrath on evildoers
  11. This includes the power of capital punishment
  12. Capital punishment upholds the sanctity of life by showing that only God has the right to take life

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.