sermon: How Does God View Human Government?
As obnoxious as tyrannical power may seem, we as God's people have the obligation to behave lawfully. Even the vilest and basest of leaders have been allowed by God to carry out their will. Our Lord and Savior commanded His disciples, then and now, to render to Caesar the taxes due to him, but to place God's Laws in supremacy if they conflict with man's laws. He also reminded Pilate that his power to govern was established by Almighty God. The apostle Paul reminds God's people to be subject to civil authorities, realizing that these powers, as evil or corrupt as they may appear, have been ordained by God. If, however, these authorities command us to do something against God's Law, we are to obey God and accept the consequences, trusting God to deliver us as had Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Often the demands of the state are heavy-handed and downright foolish, but if they do not conflict with God's Law, we are obligated to obey. As God's called-out ones, we realize that God is sovereign over everything. Consequently, we must obey God and steadfastly resist compliance to social pressure. To be clear as to what God commands us to do, we must be thoroughly informed by scripture and commit ourselves to do what is right even though it costs us our reputation or even our lives. Pilate's fear of Jewish insurrection and the religious leaders' hypocritical claim to have no king but Caesar demonstrated the foolishness of putting mankind on a higher plane than God Almighty, respecting the creature rather than the Creator.
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