Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
One of the greatest lessons I learned as a young person was the importance of authority. Authority played a big role in my life. They helped shape me and my character into what it is today. I owe much to the men and women that God placed in my life.
Obeying and being under authority as a young person was not easy. It didn’t come naturally. God placed people and events in my life to help me understand and realize that I needed authority to help me.
Here are some principles I learned that help me understand the importance of authority:
1. All authority is given by God.
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
It doesn’t matter if they are saved, unsaved, good, bad, fair, or unfair they are ordained by God. Remember in John chapter 19, The Lord was questioned by Pilot. Pilot said in John 19:10, ”…knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?” Christ replayed in verse 11, “…Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above…”
All authority is given by God! Most of the time, we don't submit to earthly authority because we don't submit to God’s authority.
2. Understanding and submitting to authority takes faith.
In Matthew 8:10, “When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”
Why did Christ marvel? Why was He amazed? I truly believe that He marveled because of what happened in the verse prior. “For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.” I believe that Christ was amazed at this centurion because he understood the principle of authority.
Sometimes we don’t see life as the Lord sees it. We don’t understand why God put people or situations in our life. When we understand that God is in control and that He has placed us right where He wants us—that is faith!
When we complain about our boss, husband, teacher, or whatever authority God has put in our life, we are in a sense saying, “God, you don’t know what you are doing!”
In closing, I am not saying to obey “blindly.” I am not suggesting you break God’s law to obey man’s laws. I am not suggesting you bow to governmental rule if the government asks you to not obey God’s law. What I am saying is that God uses the authority in our lives to help us, protect us, and direct us in life.
I want to encourage us to be under the umbrella of God-given authority. Wife, be under the authority of your own husband. Children, be under the authority of your parents. Student, be under the authority of your teacher. Church members, be under the authority of the pastor. Citizens, be under the authority of the government.
Pastor Esposito would often say, "What we do in moderation, our followers will do in excess".
What clear commands in scripture am I violating that will cost me and my future generations?