Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.1 Peter 2:13-15 NIV
Submitting to human government is a touchy topic today, at least in the United States where I live. I think most of us recognize the necessity of government. But we would prefer a government that stays out of our lives, letting us live as we please. While at the same time providing us with all of the protection and services that we believe are our inherent rights as citizens. All without having to pay for it.
But, as a follower of the Lord Jesus, I am called to be in submission to the human government I find myself under. Not just if I happen to agree with it. But even if I believe it is ungodly. I am to honor God as the supreme authority in my life. And that includes submitting to my human government. So long as that submission is not in violation of the higher authority.
Submission to Government
The reason Peter gives here for submission to our government is lost on many of us today. Many people in the first century saw the Church competing with Rome, advocating a Lord to take Caesar’s place. And the Roman government was ruthless in stamping out any opposition to their rule. But, believers could demonstrate that they were good citizens by submitting to the Roman government, silencing the ignorant talk of foolish people and their charges of insurrection.
And I think that is a good principle for us today. In many countries, we have the privilege to vote for our leaders. But we also have the responsibility to be in submission to them. And not just when we agree with them. We serve in a kingdom that is not of this world. And our King calls on us to submit to the lessor human authorities he has appointed over us. Rather than demanding what we perceive as our rights, we should live in such a way that God is glorified. And give no occasion to the world to speak against our God and his Church.
The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.
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