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Politics and the Gospel

Charlie Boyd - 9/23/2018

I think you would agree with me that the political climate we live in today is worse than it’s ever been. We live in a politically divided country. The question is: Does God have anything to say about it? The answer is, “Yes.” Romans 13:1-8 speaks to the issue of God and government--of Politics and the Gospel. But what you read in this passage doesn’t sound anything like the political rhetoric you hear today. 

The Gospel that saves us is the Gospel for a divided world. Our main calling as a church is to put the Gospel on display in our divided world. But if we’re not careful, our political convictions can easily eclipse the Gospel. Christians today have a unique opportunity to hold firmly to our political opinions with humility and hope, without being mean-spirited. Remember, Romans 12:2—"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” Rom 13:1-8 lays out what this non-conformity looks like in the world of government and politics. 

READ Romans 13:1-8 —

First and foremost, the main idea of this passage is—“Let everyone be subject to their governing authorities.” Why is that true? —because— 

(1) God’s in ___________ or who’s in ____________________ (13:1-2). (cf. Daniel 4:17; Jeremiah 27:5-8, Titus 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-17) 

(2) No political leader can __________ God’s plan. Ultimately, there will be ___________. (12:17-19; 13:3-50

(3) Therefore, we should pay taxes, honor, and respect to our leaders (13:6-8) because our governing authorities do promote good and punish evil (13:6-8). 

Are there any exceptions? Yes, devotion to God sometimes calls for ________________ to governing authorities. When would that be? ”If the state commands what God______________ or the state ______________ what God commands then civil disobedience is a Christian duty.”

The great temptation in hearing a message like this is to dismiss it out of hand because many of us have strong political convictions. But, if we do not live the Gospel in our politics then we won’t live it effectively in the other areas of our lives. 

Jesus lived his life under the rule of Roman authority. And, the Roman authorities crucified Jesus. From the Cross, he asked his Father in Heaven to forgive them. How does Jesus' life and death and the teaching of Romans 13 intersect one another?