Submit to the Authorities

BY: Pastor Bob Miller


4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

Paul is speaking about the need to submit to those who have been given authority to govern. They have placed in authority to be God’s servant to carry out the good of others. If we obey the authorities and laws put in place for our good we have nothing to fear. It is only when we do wrong that we will face the wrath of those in authority over us. Not only will we face possible punishment but we will find that we will be robbed of peace as our own conscience will bear witness against us.

We are in a time of social upheaval and unrest as many people are taking to the streets to express the outrage of another unjustified death by the hands of those who have been given authority to protect and to serve us. As a Christian, how am I to respond? I’m definitely not to use another’s use of injustice to excuse my own use of injustice! But when we see injustice being carried out time and time again by those who have been placed in authority by God to protect and serve us, we need to be willing to speak out in behalf of those who don’t have a voice and to stand against the injustices in our society. We need to pray for healing, for justice and for those placed in positions of authority over us, that they will be instruments of righteousness and true servants of God.

Lord, I pray for those who are in authority over us, that they will carry out their duties in a manner which brings about goodness. I pray that you will raise up those who will be instruments of healing for those who have suffered injustice and from prejudice. May we not stand by quietly when we see injustice occurring around us. Give us courage and wisdom in these days to be your hand of healing – whether from a place of authority or from the place of a servant. Amen