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Romans Chapter 13:1-4

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
March 18, 2023 1:00 am

Romans Chapter 13:1-4

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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March 18, 2023 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 21109-1


You know, if you have somebody that's not a Christian, that's not a believer, I mean, you're not supposed to submit to them. That's not what this verse says.

Let me help you out too. Paul wrote this to the church at Rome. Do you know who the leader was at this time?

It was Nero. You want to talk about excuses for not submitting? Boy, that guy gave some good ones. And yet in that, Paul says we're supposed to submit. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. We may not agree with everything our government or those in authority above us do, but the truth is that God has given them that authority for a reason. Find out more about this as Pastor David continues in Romans 13 with submission. Here's Pastor David. Turn with me to Romans chapter 13. There's some verses, as you're teaching verse by verse, you just come across some verses that you could be in a church for 30 years that teaches topically and never hear them. And boy, these verses that we're going to be talking about today probably fall into that because it's just some tough stuff. And so here we go.

Romans chapter 13 verse 1 says, let every soul be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. You know, the Bible is an interesting book. As I read it, there's, you know, some verses I read them and I'm just so encouraged and, you know, get the warm fuzzy and, you know, come back to them and, you know, those are the kind of verses you put, you know, on your fridge or, you know, you got a little cross stitch pillow or something.

I've never seen this verse cross stitched on any pillow. Why? Because it's, it's really convicting. And here's the thing.

Somebody emailed me and stuff about the, you know, the teaching and where we are and, and this is the way the human mind works. Okay. That's what it says. What are the exceptions?

When do I not have to do this? That's what happened. Probably everybody in here just now said, okay, but what about Hitler? What about Mussolini?

What about Castro? What about these people? Well, let's understand there is, and I'll, I'll do my best to describe the term civil disobedience, but gang, we need to understand that we're a little uh, strike that reverse. We are a lot too quick to claim civil disobedience because God here is saying, Hey, this is what you're supposed to do. Now there's a couple of places in the Bible where we see obvious civil disobedience being called for, but it is a very rare thing in the Bible and friend, let me say it is a very rare thing in life. In Acts chapter five, they told Peter, they said, do not speak in the name of Jesus.

Do not teach in the name of Jesus. And Peter responding said, I got to obey God and not man in this. But see, sometimes we use that as kind of a launching pad and we think, well, if I don't, this, if I disagree with somebody, then I'm going to claim this verse. I'm supposed to be God and not man. And see, that's where we get in trouble.

And, and, you know, and, and rarely is life so cut and dried as Acts chapter five. You know, I know some Christians that say that, well, they have an issue with paying taxes to a government that's not completely Christian. Well, isn't that convenient? That'll save you what, 20, 30, 40, 50% of you got a healthy, wealthy income. So you have a vested interest in disagreeing with the tax system.

So here's what happens. Your clear perspective just got removed because you stand to benefit a large portion of your income back if you disagree with taxes. Now I said, you know, the human mind tries to find the way around and, and in a couple of verses, it's going to encourage us to pay taxes, which is kind of interesting because if you think about it, most of us every year do what we spend money to find our way around paying taxes.

Accountants get extremely busy. Now I'm not saying that's wrong or that's bad. I mean, you don't necessarily want to pay more than you should. And, and if you can't keep up with all the tax laws now.

So, I mean, that's, that's a, that's a valid thing, but you do want to pay what you owe. And so some of the things, you know, if, if the, if the government came in and said, well, absolutely don't read your Bible and don't own a Bible. Well, that's obvious to me that we should engage in civil disobedience that, you know, brought about the reformation because they said, no, we're not going to obey that. And, you know, they were actually murdering people for possessing Bibles for reading Bibles.

And so people engaged in civil disobedience, but again, the human mind, it, it just, it just, okay, well, it says this, but what's the way around? Jesus said, love your neighbor. And you know what the guy said that was talking to him? Well, who's my neighbor immediately trying to figure out, well, obviously I'm not supposed to love everybody.

And then Jesus, interesting placement, then tells the story of the good Samaritan and the Samaritans and the Jews hated each other. So Jesus was saying, basically that guy that you hate that lives miles and miles away from you. He's your neighbor.

He's your neighbor. Bible says we should fellowship with one another. The human mind goes, well, when is it not okay to fellowship? Let's understand that. We, we have that disposition.

And, and of course, part of that depends upon your personality. If, if you're quiet and meek and, and, and, you know, um, then you may submit when perhaps you should be submitted more to God than man, but most of us have rebellion locked away in our heart. And the moment we read a verse like this, we go, when's it not okay? Well, you know, if you disagree with the president, then I guess it's okay to rebel. It's not what it says because our hearts contend towards rebellion.

We try to look for excuses to be rebellious and we usually find them going. Now you're sitting here going, well, yeah, but you know, if you have somebody that's not a Christian, that's not a believer, I mean, you, you're not supposed to submit to them. That's not what this verse says.

Let me help you out too. Paul wrote this to the church at Rome. Do you know who the leader was at this time? It was Nero.

You want to talk about excuses for not submitting? Boy, that guy gave some good ones. He persecuted Christians.

He literally put them in his garden and lit them on fire at night to illuminate his garden. And yet in that, Paul says, we're supposed to submit. You think about Pontius Pilate, you think about Herod, you think about the leaders of the day, and yet you see Nero ends up killing Paul, Pilate killed Jesus, Herod killed James, but we see biblically these godly men all submitted to the people who executed them.

That's a staggering thought. And yet sometimes in an employer-employee relationship, we look at our boss and say, well, I'm not going to submit to him. He's not a Christian or he's not really saved. You need to understand when you do that, you are on unbiblical ground. Now, obviously the Bible is talking about submitting here to governing authorities, but here's the life lesson. We should submit to authority. We should submit to authority.

Again, there is a line that could potentially get crossed in the future of this nation. If somebody comes in and the government says, well, pastor David, you can no longer teach the Bible, okay? Pastor David is going to jail because pastor David is going to teach the Bible. They came in and said, you can't talk about Jesus anymore. Again, pastor David, he's going to jail because pastor David is going to talk about Jesus.

But gang, it's not always cut and dried. And we need to understand that nothing is catching God by surprise. I think one of the most convicting and probably one of the most beautiful acts of submission that we see in the Bible happened with David and David, you know, he had every reason not to submit. Not only before Saul, if you remember, when Samuel came to find out who was going to be king, he knew he was supposed to go to the house of Jesse. He went to the house of Jesse and said, hey, I want to see your sons.

One of them is supposed to be king. His father did not even call David in from the fields. Later on, we see David's father keeping him behind during the battle, sending him into the battle when they were standing around watching Goliath and his brothers made fun of him and all these things. And yet David evidently was submitted to his father. Later on, David is under Saul's leadership, Saul who consulted a witch, Saul who tried to kill him, Saul who did all these things to David. And yet David always stayed in submission to Saul. Now he had every excuse in the world, every reason even in the world, but he still submitted to the point that twice God arranged situations where Saul was in front of him and David could have taken him out. And David's friends were standing around going, do it, do the deal, man. Take him out. Praise the Lord.

He put you right in front of him so you could kill him. And David said, I will not touch the Lord's anointed. Huge test.

David passed with flying colors. How are you doing with the Sauls in your life? We have a book and I think everybody ought to read this book. It's called the tale of three Kings. Those three Kings are Saul, David and Absalom. Everybody in leadership here is required to read this. And one of the things the book brings out is that what God was doing in this process is it was trying to kill King Saul, not King Saul personally.

He was trying to kill the King Saul that existed in the heart of David so that when he became King, he wouldn't be like Saul. That's a tough thing. But again, we need to understand that this is what God calls for, for us to be subject or submitted to governing authorities because God put those authority structures in place.

And again, you know what? This is, it's probably not going to be one of our most popular teachings because it's really hard. I mean, you know, some verses you read and go, some verses you read and go, oh, hallelujah. Like that one. This one, you go, oh, got to do that.

Supposed to do that. This is Paul speaking and Paul was being beaten and jailed and et cetera, et cetera, by the government. Had seen Jesus saying that had happened. And notice it says the authority is from God. Now immediately we think of unjust rulers. Now this verse is not saying that God approves the activities of some of the world's horrible leaders. Separate that, but God allowed them or placed them into positions of power. And what they did with that power is they're accountable for that. Now, the authority is given by God.

That's tough, man. When, when you, you know, I try to keep up with the news and when you think about things going on in Washington and stuff like that, remember this verse. See, because here's what can happen. If you start getting freaked out about everything that happens in Washington, you're just going to stay freaked out and understand that you are approaching everything with your own personal preferences and biasness. See, now you, you may, depending on who you vote for, whether you're Democrat or Republican, you know, you, you look at this verse and you go, oh yeah, well, I can see how the president, the president today, I can see how God would put him in office, you know, but then there's other people going, that ain't God.

Or you go back a few years ago. Well, yeah, now there was a godly president. The Lord put him in office, I can tell you.

Well, according to this verse, you put both of them in, put both of them in, ordained by God. Hi, this is pastor David, and I want to share something that's on my heart and the solution for a growing problem in all of our communities across the country, down the street, and probably in your own backyard. I'm talking about the issue of homelessness and what sometimes goes with it, substance abuse. And perhaps you've seen people at street corners and intersections, and you're not sure the best way to help. Well, we're now providing food and shelter in our communities to those struggling with these issues.

And we need your help. Not only are we providing food and shelter, we're sharing Jesus with them, teaching them the Bible and discipleship, helping them with job skills. The needs are overwhelming, but if we all do something, if you do something, we can help so many.

The Bible said we're to be doers of the word, not just hearers. And Jesus said, what you've done to the least of these, you've done for me. Please help us reach these people in our nation and our communities who are dying every day without our help. Please commit to give monthly or a one-time gift to The Bridge House by going to our website at That's, or call on 877-458-5508.

That's 877-458-5508. And together, we can change the world. Now let's return to David McGee's verse-by-verse teaching in the book of Romans. Verse two, therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God. And those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Well, just got harder, didn't it? Because this verse clarifies that if you resist, then you are resisting God. Now chapter 12 talked a lot about how we're supposed to relate to one another. We come into Romans chapter 13, and Paul is beginning to talk about how we are to relate with the government. When we look at this again, you're bringing your perspective, you're bringing your views into this, and it's really hard for us to judge sometimes about civil disobedience.

Granted, there may be times coming where we're caught upon to be civilly disobedient. But, you know, let's look again at the context of this passage. And let me give you, if you're really wanting to dig into the Bible and get to know the Bible, let me give you a couple of questions. Whenever you read a passage to ask yourself. First of all, who is the author?

Is a good question to ask. Second one, who is he writing to? And the third one is, what problems is he trying to address or questions is he trying to answer? Who is the author? Who's he writing to?

What problems is he trying to address or questions is he trying to answer? Paul is the one who wrote the book of Romans, there's no doubt about that. And who is he writing to? Well, he's writing to the Romans, the church at Rome.

That's not a hard one. The third one, what problems is he trying to address or questions is he trying to answer? Paul is writing to the church at Rome and he's dealing with this because under Claudius, the guy before Nero, the Jews had revolted against the government. And they had, the Jews as well as Jewish believers or Jewish Christians had been kicked out of Rome. They had rioted against Rome. They had done all these different things.

And again, when you think of the Roman government, powerful? Yeah. Strong? Yeah. Widespread throughout the world? Yep. Godly?

No, not at all. They got into this deification of their leaders. The Roman governments, they would come in and first what happened is they would come in and they would come in after their death and declare that the Caesar before that had now died was now God. That led into declaring why they were still living, that the Caesar was a deity. That came into the fact that they had to worship Caesar and many people lost their lives. Was Paul saying that they should worship Caesar? No, that was the line. That was the line that was drawn. But Paul, I believe is saying, but don't riot.

And of course we think of Jesus and how we act in front of Pilate. It's a good verse three. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same.

And this is such a convicting portion of scripture, isn't it? Now I think back and you know, there was a time in my life when, um, how can I delicately put this? Um, I did things that were illegal on a daily basis. And so during that time, when I saw a police car or a flashing light or a uniform, I was afraid, you know, and my buddies, we were be doing whatever, you know, you know, and then it was cops, cops, you know, why? Because I was doing wrong things were the cops wrong.

No, I was doing something that was wrong. Another example, this, what happens in your heart when you see a light, a blue light behind you? I mean, are you, you, you, you see that and go, Oh, praise the Lord. This is glory. Oh, this is great.

No, it's like, Oh no, this is not good. Now, today I don't engage in those same illegal activities. I used to engage in, I don't, I don't fear cops. We have cops that come to this church, friends, great guys.

I, I, so I praise God for him. Now, let me ask you a question. Did the cops change?

No, I changed. See, authority is, again, it has a lot to do with our perception. If we want to do something wrong, guess what? We're going to think of authorities. We're going to be afraid. If you're not paying your taxes, what are you going to do when you, what's going to happen in your heart when you get a letter from the IRS?

But if you're doing what's right, you're going to go, Oh, maybe it's one of those stimulus checks. I don't want anybody to fear me as pastor. Let me say that again. I do not want anyone to fear me as pastor. There is the rare occasion that somebody comes in here to hurt people, to divide people, to confuse people. I'm not a hireling. I'm a shepherd. When that happens, I'm not just going to smile and wave and leave the church.

I'm going to dig in and I'm going to fight. And I go from, from feeding the flock to protecting the flock. And in those cases, what happens in that individual is they may feel fear towards me. Now, again, I don't want anybody to feel that way, but if a wolf comes in amongst us, I do want them to feel that way. I want them to be afraid of the God given authority.

Why? Because God set up the authority structures to protect us. Now we may not like that at times. You know, when you're a little kid and your parents, I mean, anything they said, you went through that phase where just everything, you know, they could have said anything. And you're like, no, no. You know, when you learn that word, no, no, you know, and you may think children aren't born in sin if you don't have any, but once you have kids, you know, and they start looking at no, no. And you know, and you say, don't go play on the road. And what's the first thing they do when you say that? Oh, got to go out to the road. Go out to the road. That, and you think, oh yeah, but we grow out of that.

No, we don't. I mean, looking at this passage of scripture, when we read this passage of scripture, we go, okay, okay, well, what are the exceptions? What's my way out?

What's my way around this? Hmm. Verse four. For he is God's minister to you for good, but if you do evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain, for he is God's minister or God's servant, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Now let's understand, we're talking about God-given authority, talking about God-given institutions. This life lesson here is a little long, but God established in his Bible, he established three institutions, home, which includes marriage and family, two, the church, three, the government. God established those things in his word. He not only established those things, but he also says, here's how it's supposed to work.

With the home, he said, look, this is what a marriage is, and this is what a family is, and he says, this is what a church is. Here's the authority structures, elders, deacons, pastors, leaders, Ephesians four, the five-fold ministry in Ephesians four, and then he says the government. And okay, so God established these things, okay? That doesn't mean that God is responsible for every evil that happens in a house, happens in a church, or happens in the government. It means God allowed that person to be in a position of power.

Because you know what, gang? Here's the thing, you read the book of Revelation, you understand what's going to happen? God is going to place in power the world leader that we refer to as the antichrist.

He's not sneaking in the back door. God is allowing that. I think back to, to Saul and David, and how David treated Saul. But let me, let me bring you a new testament for an amazing version that, that somehow Jesus submitted to Pilate in the execution and the crucifixion. Think this through with me. Could Jesus have kept Pilate from executing him?

Absolutely. He said in the garden, you know what, I could call like 150,000 angels right now. He didn't do that.

We read in the Bible that one angel in the Hebrew scriptures wiped out 185,000 people in a day. Now you may say, well, he wasn't really submitted to Pilate. Well, you could debate that, we could discuss that. But one thing you can't, he was submitted to the will of his father. And he said, father, nevertheless, not what I want, not what I will, but what you will. In front of Pilate, John 19 verse 10, then Pilate said to him, are you not speaking to me? Do you not know that I have power to crucify you and power to release you? And Jesus answered, you could have no power at all against me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore, the one who delivered me to you has the greater sin. Jesus right there is saying, God put you into a position of power, Pilate. Did God know what Pilate was going to do? Absolutely. Jesus picked Judas knowing what he was going to do. Jesus put Judas in power, knowing Judas was going to be a thief and Judas was going to betray him. Are ungodly people going to be in power? Yeah, sometimes. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.

And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said he would not turn anybody away who comes to him.

And he came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If this was your first time praying that prayer with Pastor David, we would love to hear from you. You can call us toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Jesus. Also, if you have been blessed by the ministry of Cross the Bridge and David McGee, would you consider supporting us with a financial gift? This month, when you give to Cross the Bridge, we will send David's powerful booklet on biblical fatherhood, entitled, A Father's Blessing. The number to call is 877-458-5508.

That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to Did you know one of the keys to spiritual growth is to daily be in the Word of God? I want to help you to do that. You see, I send out an email every day with a Scripture passage, a life lesson, a directed prayer, and some encouraging thoughts. All you need to do is go to and sign up for our absolutely free devotional. And also, you'll receive prayer support. You let us know if you have a prayer need, and you'll get specially discounted offers. God in His Word promises that His Word always produces fruit.

Always. So let's get started. Go to and sign up for our devotional. You'll be glad you did. Thanks for listening today. We pray you will join us next time as we cross the bridge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-18 00:40:53 / 2023-03-18 00:51:35 / 11

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