Submission to Authority

Submission to Authority

Barrack Obama just won the election. You and I know some of the reactions we’ll hear from Christians—and they won’t all be Christian (I know this from the Clinton years). So let me take this as an opportunity to remind you (and myself) that all authority comes from God. This is clearly explained by Paul in Romans 13:1-7 (ESV):

1 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.

We are to submit to governing authorities. Paul says here that all authority is established by God (Even leaders like Pharaoh were brought into that position for God’s purpose—Romans 9:17). John MacArthur says that God has instituted 4 authorities on earth1

  1. government over citizens
  2. church over believers
  3. parents over children
  4. masters over employees

2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

Disobedience to the government is disobedience to an institution established by God, which will result in punishment by the government. The government has the right to inflict judgment on those who do evil.

5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

Not only should we be submissive because of God’s authority to avoid punishment, we should do it because it’s the right thing to do.

6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Taxes should be paid, even to evil governments. We should pay, respect, and honor those in authority over us.
Paul also says in 1 Timothy that we should pray for our rulers:

1. First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

So what should your action be when Obama becomes president?

Money Advice

My church is going through one of Dave Ramsey’s finance programs to help people get out of debt and better manage their finances. Naturally attendees must pay a fee to get in. So, here’s some free advice from Ben:

Make more than you spend.
Have a budget, or a reverse budget. Make sure your saving, meeting your basic needs, and set some aside for fun.

Have some money in the bank ready for an emergency. Keep some cash stashed away in case you can’t access your bank account.
Save for retirement. Save for short term. Save for long term. Diversify your savings. Put your short term savings in high yield checking/savings accounts.

Spread your money into several bank accounts.

Don’t get into debt over something that’s not worth more than the debt.

Your time is worth more than your money.

Take a photo of everything in your wallet/purse.

ESV – Less restrictive than NASB

Being an NASB fan (but still using KJV on my computers and mobile devices because of the copyright issues) I’m excited to see that the ESV’s copyright is much less restrictive.

I use an iPhone, Blackberry, Windows, OSX, and Linux so it’s just not practical to purchase the NASB for each and every operating system. The ESV can be downloaded for free with programs like BibleDesktop, e-Sword, GnomeSword, etc. and the ESV has opened up an API for developers to access the ESV directly… resulting in webapps that are usable on mobile phones (the offical ESV Mobile website works great on BB, and iBibleSpace for the iPhone)

With fewer restrictions, an ESV Study Bible coming out later this year, and better covers Crossway Bibles is going to give the Lockman Foundation some serious competition.

Top Ten Greatest Comebacks of All Time: True

Last Sunday Doug Metzger (Minister of Single Adults at Immanuel) mentioned that Sports Illustrated ran an article listing Jesus Christ as number 1 in their list of top 10 biggest comebacks of all time.

“Jesus Christ, 33 A.D. Defies critics and stuns the Romans with his resurrection.”

Sports Illustrated, Bouncing Back Big-Time, November 12, 2001

Here’s the article:

Sports Illustrated Bouncing Back Big-Time

The article is Bouncing Back Big-Time.  Here’s the issue with the article at Amazon.

While the article might be interesting, it’s not a comeback in a sense because Jesus was never “behind”. His death was part of God’s plan since before the world was created. God sent his Son for the purpose of saving the world and giving His life was part of the plan from the beginning. As Paul says:

Men of Israel, hear these words:

Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

Acts 2:22-24

Paul expounds on this later in 1 Corinthians. Because of the resurrection, death holds no power over those who repent and believe in Christ.

O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?

1 Corinthians 15:55