Honour to whom honour is due
The Bible directs that we should give to everyone his due, honour, respect and reverence. Paul’s teaching in Romans Chapter 13 is about being in submission to the government authorities, those that God Has allowed the privilege of being in the government and it appears that the government being addressed here is the civil government but then, we can borrow from this and apply it in other areas of human relationship.
All institutions of government are ordained by God (Romans 13:1) and therefore every Christian is to be subject to the government authorities, because God is the Sovereign Who ordains all human governments. Consequently, whoever rebels against a government authority is rebelling against what God Has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves (Romans 13:2). Paul writing to Titus, an early Christian missionary and church leader, a companion and disciple of Paul the Apostle, instructed him to admonish the brethren to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient and to be ready to do whatever is good (Titus 3:1).
Jesus established the fact that government authorities should be submitted to and obeyed by its citizens. A good example is when the Pharisees, chief priests and the scribes wanted to entrap Jesus so that they will deliver Him to the Roman Government for punishment and they sent spies to ask Jesus a politically-motivated question, as recorded in Luke 20:22, “Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” At that time paying taxes to the Roman Government was a politically- controversial issue. Rome was an enemy state that was occupying Israel by force, not by the will of the people. A few years earlier in A.D. 6-10, a rebel named Judas (not Jesus disciple) led a revolt against Rome and called anyone who paid taxes to Rome a “coward” because he argued that God alone was the ruler of Israel and urged that no taxes should be paid to the Roman Government. Jesus answered and said unto them, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God” (Luke 20:25).
If someone is to have an honour of being addressed as a father in the Lord, such one must show evidence of his fatherhood. It is not enough to answer father in the Lord without anything to show and nothing to underscore the fact that this person is not just a physical father but a spiritual father. A spiritual father in the Lord is someone who first of all has given his life to Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul writing to the Corinthian church reminded them that he begat them through the gospel and God had blessed him with the privilege of being their father in the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:15). Paul told the Corinthian brethren, “Are you yourselves not my workmanship in the Lord?” (1 Corinthians 9:1)
Whatever process is followed to choose human rulers, they are ultimately placed in their positions by God. That goes for the vilest of them as well as the most virtuous. The prophet Daniel made that very clear, “He God removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:21). And God Himself reinforced the same truth to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon: “…the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men” (Daniel 4:17). There is no question about it, the powers that be are ordained of God.
Today’s Nugget: The powers that be are ordained of God
Prayer: Lord, help me to be a law-abiding citizen
Prayer lines: 08054477940.
Rev. Pastor Ejikeme Ejim, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Nigeria
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