Statements on the Bible and Civil Government
Oct 23, 2020
Dear church family,
If your news feed is like mine, you have probably been inundated with contradictory messages, predictions of doom, and pleas for support. So many voices. Clarity through the fog of our times comes as we live and think Christianly. The Bible gives direction in understanding how to relate to the government. When we work through the applications from each of these statements below, we become free from political motivation and focused on our call as God’s instruments of grace in this world. If we wake up on November 4 a markedly angrier or happier person than on November 3, then it reveals we may have lost our kingdom focus. Christians are called from the world in salvation and into the world as Jesus’ ambassadors. Here are a few, brief summary statements on the Bible and civil government:
CIVIL GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE
- Our government authorities have been instituted by God (Romans 13:1).
- Government is to exercise justice by punishing evil and promoting good (Romans 13:3-4, 1 Peter 2:14).
CHRISTIANS AND CIVIL GOVERNMENT
- We are to be subject (submissive) to governing authorities (Romans 13:1) unless it means disobeying God (Acts 5:29).
- Christians are to pray for our government leaders and lead peaceful, quiet, godly and dignified lives (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
- The Christian faith was born under government far worse than what the US has experienced (Matthew 2:16).
- Jesus said to seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33) and that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).
- Christians are to be about God’s glory and agenda and not anyone else’s (1 Corinthians 10:31, Matthew 22:37).
- Christian maturity and kingdom growth are not dependent on the good or bad of civil government (Matthew 16:18).
- A Christian’s highest allegiance is to our true and eternal King (Philippians 3:20) and the Bible is our highest constitution (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- God sovereignly rules over all things, including civil governments (Daniel 4:35).
- A Christian’s enemies are not flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12) but the world, the flesh, and the devil (Ephesians 2:1-3).
- Christians are not to withdraw from the public sphere nor are we to conflate the purpose of government with the purpose of the church (Ephesians 4:11-16, Matthew 28:19-20).
- Christians are called to apply the gospel to pressing world problems (Ephesians 2:10).
Lord, keep Christ Community from viewing politics as the world does. Let us daily be seeking Your kingdom and holding on to Your promises. Let us engage our culture with truth and love. Let us live out the gospel of peace and let us tell the gospel of grace. Make our joy dependent on eternal truths (Psalm 16:11) and make our purposes align with Yours. Amen.