Thursday, June 23, 2011

Perspective on government

How do you believe we should view government today in the dispensation of the grace of God? As a legitimate authority and should be respected, following the laws and tax system? Or, that it is illegitimate, being usurped by satanic policy of evil and our authority is the church; and therefore, we need not follow laws and pay taxes.

Should human government be infiltrated by Christians to affect moral change? Or, do you have another view of human government. Thank you for your insight into this issue.

When it comes to human government the first thing to know is that it was God himself that ordained it for mankind, back in Genesis 9:6. God gave Noah the authority to administer capital punishment/death penalty to protect the sanctity of human life which is made in the image of God. Remember that God gave that authority to man after the fall when man already has a sin nature. Yet, God gave human government to protect man from each other.

That did not change in the days of the Lord's earthly ministry. In Matthew 17:24-25, when Peter was asked whether the Lord Jesus paid tribute (taxes), he immediately says yes! This is under the Roman government, which was as evil as or more than our government today. That was the government that crucified our Lord. Yet, our Lord paid taxes to that corrupt government in obedience to his Father's word to Israel. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself respected the government he was under, saying also in another place to render unto Ceasar the things (taxes) that are Caesar’s.

In John 19:11 he even told Pontius Pilate that Pilate's power and earthly authority over him was because it was given him from above. The Lord knew that Pontius Pilate's power to govern was given to him by the Lord's heavenly Father! The only exception to obeying government was when their laws directly contradicted God's word. In that instance, you obey God's word. Peter makes it clear when instructed by governmental authorities to do something in opposition to God's word, that his duty was, in those cases, to obey God rather than men!

Acts 4:19; 5:29
But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

So what about today in the dispensation of Grace? What does our Apostle Paul have to say about human government? Paul says that we are to pray…

1 Timothy 2:2
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life [not in rioting and protest] in all godliness and honesty.

So in light of that, he writes in Romans chapter 13…

Let every soul be subject to the higher powers [human government], for there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Because God ordained human government back in Genesis, Paul says that we are to obey that ordinance today! When we resist human government (except when they tell us to sin against God), then we are in essence resisting God himself, and will pay the penalty of punishment, jail, etc.

Paul says that God gave government for our good, and because he chose to use sinful man, obviously it won't operate perfectly until the Lord Jesus returns to set up his government in the future. Until then, God's grace is sufficient for us to endure. But, let me assure you, the bible makes it clear that if there was no human government, we all would be in trouble because as corrupt as lost man has made it, it still protects us for the most part. I mean, just the fact that we can leave our homes and not be instantly attacked by others (and if we do, the police, for the most part will try to take care of it), is proof of what God intended for government to be. Anyway, again in Romans 13, Paul says that to fund the government we must all pay taxes (Romans 13:5-7).

God thru Paul re-iterates these instructions in Titus chapter 3 verse 1 when he writes, put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to OBEY magistrates.... Plus, we may use our rights as American citizens for our advantage the way that our Apostle Paul used his Roman citizenship.

Acts 16:37; 25:16
But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.

To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.

So in answer to your wonderful questions, we today in the dispensation of Grace are to view our government as not only legitimate, but as ordained by our heavenly Father, and, as part of his will for our welfare. We should do all in our power to be good citizens and follow all the laws of our land that do not contradict God's word to us today. And although Satan has infiltrated our government thru lost men, we trust God's grace to see us thru as Paul says in Romans 8:31-39..."If God be for us, who can be against us...and that no principalities nor power… can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus! God chose to put human government into the hands of sinful man, so he will make it work for his glory and our benefit.

As far as whether Christians could or should be involved in human government? The answer is simple: “if they want to!” If that believer has the desire, and intellect, and passion to be a member of government, all God wants is for that person to do it to the glory of God—and just to be who God has made him to be in Christ!

Colossians 3:17
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

My opinion is, that if that person is a grace believer in government today, that he won't have that job for long, because of the hostility of the liberal lost world against the truth of God operating in that person's decisions. If he governed according to his Pauline dispensational convictions, he would no doubt have many who would oppose him!

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

1 comment:

  1. This is a relevant post today. And so is this verse:

    1 Timothy 2:2
    For kings, and for all that are in authority; ...Let every soul be subject to the higher powers [human government], for there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

    For our own well-being we need to help our denominational brethren understand that it even though it is a pervasive belief among Christians that God will make sure 'his man' is elected (because in Time Past he chose kings when dealing with Israel and the surrounding nations in the prophetic program),it doesn't matter if they vote.

    But our Apostle Paul tells us that it is the institution of human government that is ordained of God; He doesn't determine who will fill that position of power now in this dispensation of grace. He gives us that freewill choice.

    So it is crucial that conservative Christians get out and vote. 'Evangelicals' traditionally vote in small numbers and that sometimes hands the victory to the left. God's grace will always be sufficient no matter what trial we face, but if we can influence how bad that trial will be, it would be foolish not to. We are blessed with that liberty in Christ.