How We Relate to Government

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:1-4)

In his commentary on Romans 13:1, John Calvin writes that

There are indeed always some tumultuous spirits who believe that the kingdom of Christ cannot be sufficiently elevated, unless all earthly powers be abolished, and that they cannot enjoy the liberty given by him, except they shake off every yoke of human subjection. Continue reading How We Relate to Government

Beautiful Feet

12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:12-15)

There are 4 implications for evangelism that jump out at me here: Continue reading Beautiful Feet

Why We Submit to Government

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1-7)

In his pamphlet Common Sense, published in the midst of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote that “government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.” I’m sure we can all think of examples that prove this to be true. We read of politicians using public buildings and funds to carry on extramarital affairs. We see local police departments using their authority to raise revenue rather than to keep the public safe. Our representatives pass laws that benefit powerful special interest groups but endanger freedom and fly in the face of biblical ideals. Our government gave $1.4 billion of aid last year to countries that own U.S. debt (basically we give free money to countries that lend it right back to us for interest). Continue reading Why We Submit to Government

The Adequacy of God

The following is my chapel message from the other day. The Secondary chapel had been going through a series based on the book Knowing God by J.I. Packer. I spoke on Chapter 22, “The Adequacy of God.” [All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version.]

As Mr. P_____ said, our topic today is “The Adequacy of God.” Now, adequacy isn’t exactly a term we use on a daily basis so someone tell me what it means to be adequate. [students responded] I don’t know why, but to me, the word adequate has a negative connotation. It seems like it belongs between “fair” and “good” on a scale ranking how great something is. I tend to see being “adequate” as being a negative (or at best a neutral) thing, but in actuality it’s a positive thing. The definition we’ll be using for today will hopefully remove some of those negative connotations we assign to the word. And that is this: “to be adequate is to satisfy in terms of quality and/or quantity.” I’ll say that again: to be adequate is to satisfy in terms of quality and/or quantity. I have 3 cups of water on the podium here. [One was only about 1/4 filled with clean water, one was filled with dirty water, and one was filled with clean water.] You’ve just finished soccer, or basketball, or baseball practice; you’re hot and sweaty and thirsty. Which of these cups would be most adequate? [students responded, choosing the cup filled with clean water] Right, it is more satisfying in terms of quantity than this cup, and it is more satisfying in terms of quality than this cup. So when we talk about the “adequacy” of God, we are talking about him satisfying a need or needs, the way this cup of water would satisfy your thirst. Continue reading The Adequacy of God