The following is a listing of the principal lessons to be learned from biblical guidelines about the several levels of government.

  1. God instituted civil government.

    “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” (Rom. 13:3-4).

  2. Omnipotent God is sovereign–His authority is over all.

    In the history recorded in 1 Samuel 8, the Israelites rejected citizenship responsibilities outlined in scripture and asked to be like other nations and have a king. God gave them a king–an arrangement that was second best to His own authority alone, but better than anarchy.

    “But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another” (Ps. 75:7). “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase” (Dan. 4:37).

  3. Government servants are accountable to God.

    “For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing” (Rom. 13:6).

  4. As citizens, we have a moral responsibility to participate and improve civil government.

    “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” (Rom. 13:1-4).

~ D. Norris

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