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Sermon #3332


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

What are the Christian’s duties and responsibilities to government and the state? In this sermon on Romans 13:1–7 titled “Relationships,” this is the perplexing question that Dr. Lloyd-Jones seeks to address. While Christians are citizens of heaven and the kingdom of God, they still live on Earth and are subject to the earthly authorities. When believers disobey the government or refuse to honor earthly powers on the basis of their new citizenship in the kingdom of God, they bring dishonor to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians must seek to be faithful to God by obeying his commandments rather than humanity’s, but they also are to live at peace with all. Many Christians have misunderstood this teaching and brought contempt to the name of Christ. Paul says that the government is a minister of God to bring about righteousness. When the government commands what is not contrary to Scripture, Christians should obey and live as good citizens. Natural relations are not destroyed by a believer’s new relationship with God, but it encourages believers to live in a peaceful way as far as they can. This is ultimately so that God is glorified and honored by the lives of Christians in all aspects of life.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is continuing his teaching from Romans 12 about living peaceably with others.
  2. This section on submitting to governing authorities is a logical continuation of Paul's discussion on not taking vengeance and allowing God to punish wrongdoing.
  3. Paul is writing to Christians in Rome, including both Jews and Gentiles. Many Jews struggled with submitting to Roman rule, as the Old Testament said they should only submit to a Jewish king.
  4. Many early Christians thought their faith dissolved natural human relationships and roles, like the relationship between husband and wife, parent and child, or master and servant. Paul has to correct this view.
  5. Paul discusses the Christian's relationship to the state to provide guidance on living in the world, the extent of subjection to rulers, potential rebellion, capital punishment, pacifism, church-state relations, the role of government, and more.
  6. Paul's argument for submitting to governing authorities:
  7. They are established by God (v. 1)
  8. Rebelling against them is rebelling against God (v. 2)
  9. No need to fear them if you do good (v. 3)
  10. They are God's servants for good (v. 4)
  11. Subjection is a matter of conscience, not just fear of punishment (v. 5)
  12. They serve God by promoting order and justice (v. 6)
  13. Pay what is owed: taxes, revenue, respect, honor (v. 7)

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.