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October 27, 2020 4:00 am
Government is given the right to inflict final punishment era medial and irreversible punishment. The punishment of death.
God has ordained that civil government bear the sword and the sword means nothing other than did you ever question whether capital punishment is biblical. This person in question that capital punishment is the only appropriate penalty for murder. The eye for an eye, 232 principal. The Bible talks about and maybe you've also heard that the death penalty deters crime but doesn't God save vengeance is mine, I will repay, and how you dismiss all the statistics that seem to show there's no link between capital punishment and crime deterrence today on grace to you. John MacArthur considers the issue of capital punishment from a biblical perspective part of his continuing look at the Christian and government, and now with the lesson here is John were endeavoring to get through the first few verses of Romans 13 on the subject of the Christian's responsibility to the government.
Basically, in verses one through seven. Paul tells us there are two responsibilities that we have one in verse one is to be subject to in verses six and seven to pay our taxes so we are to be subject and pay our taxes. This first point, being subject under the higher powers goes all the way down through verse five, and in this he gives seven reasons why we are to be subject to the government under which we live, and by the way our subjection is unqualified. It's not determined by the kind of government, the benevolence of the government the theology or absence of it of the government.
It is strictly and simply a matter of obedience to the plan of God in which he has ordained governmental authority for the protection of life and property and those of the two basic things as we've seen regarding government there to protect life and property. Now we may not agree with all that they do. We may not like all that they do. We may feel some of our freedoms are encroached upon. But unless they countermand the specific instruction of God in the Scripture we are to be submissive and he lays out for us. The reasons for submission to the government.
Reason number one comes in verse one, and I'll just review it for there is no power but of God. The powers that be are ordained of God. In other words, government is by divine decree, we submit the government because God has designed government for its role, protection of life and property. Secondly, there is a great reason why we want to submit to the government and that is that if number one is true and government is by divine decree. Then point number two in verse two follows logically, resistance to government is resistance or rebellion against God. Whosoever therefore resists the power referring to the higher power referring to governmental authority, resisted the ordinance or the institution of God that leads to 1/3 reason, which flows out of the first two at the end of verse two and it is this.
Those who rebel against the government, which is ordained of God and are therefore rebelling against God will be punished. Verse two at the end says and they that resist shall receive to themselves judgment and that is not only judgment from the government, which has been given the right to exact punishment for those who violate his law but it is the judgment of God, who is behind the government as well so government is by divine decree to resist is to resist God and to resist is to bring upon oneself. Punishment not only from the government but from the Lord as well.
Reason number four is that government serves to restrain the evil.
Therefore, to go against the government is to go against the restraint of evil so point number four. Government serves to restrain evil notice verse three for rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil works that leads us to 1/5 principle we are to be submissive because government serves to promote good, it serves to promote good in verse three. Again, it says will you then not be afraid of the power you want to have it so you're not afraid of government then do what is good and you will have praise of the same. Sixthly, and this is a very important rulers are empowered by God to inflict the severest punishment rulers are empowered by God to inflict the severest punishment in verse four he says just after the first sentence.
If you do what is evil, be afraid, why four. He bears not the sword for nothing, for he is the servant of God and of the avenger to execute wrath on him that do with evil very strong verse and what he is saying here is government is given the right to inflict final punishment era medial and irreversible punishment. The punishment of death civil government is not just a pageant. It is not just a symbol of power is not just a weak threat. God has ordained that civil government bear the sword in the sword means nothing other than death.
If you ever question whether capital punishment is biblical. This verse should and that questioning.
Indeed, it is the sword is always the symbol of death and you go back into Genesis 9 and there we have the institution of this principle. Genesis chapter 9 verse 61 God was laying down some basic matters regarding human government. In verse six, who associate at the man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made a man in other words, man is so sacred, having been made in the image of God that if you take the life of a man, you forfeit your own life without pity, without partiality, and speedily, that should be carried out by government in Matthew chapter 26 Peter took out a sword and started to cut up the first person in line and Jesus said in verse 52, put up again your sword into place for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. What he meant was if you take a life. Peter then you will die because that is the law. So if you try to fight that way then you're going to die and justifiably so. The Lord is upholding their capital punishment if you take a sword theater, you will die by the sword. That is a divine institution over in the 25th chapter of acts, verse 11, Paul appealing to Caesar says, if I be an offender talking to Festus, the governor, if I have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die there again is the apostle Paul say luck if I have committed a crime worthy of death, then I ought to die. Why does he say that because he knows that's God's standard.
That's a God ordained principal, Paul affirms the right of government to take his life if he has violated law, God has ordained that government have the right to take a life.
And so it says back to verse four again he is the minister of God, and part of the ministry of God in government for the good of man is to make evildoers afraid of the sword which is not carried for nothing, but rather he is a minister of God, who further is an avenger. Now listen to me taking the life of a murderer bringing capital punishment against one who has committed the crime of that magnitude is a matter of an avenging and it is an avenging that God requires.
One writer has said what must not be lost sight of is that unpleasant, as is the task of the jailer and the use of the whip to sell the news the guillotine. These things stand behind the stability of civilized society and they stand there necessarily for God is declared it. So in harmony with reality rather than with apostate sociological opinion government with its coercive powers is a social necessity, but one determined by the creator, not by the statistical tables of some university social research staff know society can successfully vote fines and corporeal and capital punishment away permanently. The society which tries has lost touch with the realities of man is fallen, sinful state realities of the world, and the truth of divine revelation in nature. Man's conscience and the Bible and you can't do that and survive. God has ordained government to bear the sword in vengeance belongs to God and comes often through the government.
Remember back in verse 19, dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves. Chapter 12 vengeance is an hours give place under God's wrath for vengeance is mine says God I will repay, and here's one way God says he has to channel his vengeance.
That is, through the government and we as Christians can thank God for government. We can thank God the government has the right to use the sword in mind, I don't like to think of people losing their lives and I think the way to stop it is to make it very very clear and very very certain that if you take a life you'll immediately lose your that protects the sanctity of life. Now when this is not satisfying to watch, listen very carefully what I was saying the next few minutes. When this is not satisfied a nation comes under blood guilt penis.
I want to do little Bible study. Let's go back to Genesis chapter 4 and I want you to listen very carefully to what I'm going to say Genesis chapter 4 verse 10, Cain killed Abel and murdered first murder and the Lord said verse 19, where is Abel your brother is not only a murderer.
By the way, was a liar that figures Satan was the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning. And so Cain was mirroring the one who had no doubt inspired them to do this.
He said I don't know my my brother's keeper and he said, what hast thou done.
Listen to this. The voice of thy brother's blood cries unto me from the ground and now art thou cursed from the earth, which has opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand when Cain killed Abel. Abel's blood cried out to God, it was unrequited blood. It was unsatisfied.
It was a life taken with no life given. There was no retribution in the blood cried out to God. In chapter 9 verse six we come then to that principal and God lays it down whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed and so God later on puts down the principle that a murderer is to lose his life and that and that alone listen now will satisfy the unrequited blood that and that alone will satisfy God. Go to chapter 42 Genesis and I'll just show you another illustration of this. It says and Ruben answered them, saying spoke. I not under you say, do not sin against the child.
Remember, the brother said the soul Joseph River that and of course they're concerned and feeling guilty by now. In the story.
And so in verse 22 Ruben says didn't I tell you. Don't sin against the child and you wouldn't hear. Therefore, behold, also his blood is what required.
In other words, until there is a life for his life. God is unsatisfied, they realize the principle that had been established in Genesis blood for blood. Joshua chapter 2 verse 19 and it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless and whosoever shall be with the in the house, his blood shall be on our head. If any hand be upon him. In other words, again we just want to draw this one principle I don't take the time to go into all the story here about the spies going into Jericho and Rahab and all the things that were happening here, but the point is this where therefore there was guilt in the loss of a life.
Somebody was to pay somebody was to shed blood. And so the statement is blood shall be on our head. If any hand be on in second Samuel chapter 4 and you'll see where all this is going in a moment. Again, this chapter describes a murder murder of issue by shift Saul's son, you come down to verse 11 and the principal is there, how much more when wicked men of slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed. Shall I not therefore now here comes require his blood of your hand and take you away from the earth. If you take a life you give a life and your blood is required for his blood so the pattern is the same all the way through the early part of the Old Testament that blood was required for the shedding of blood. Now I want to destroy the one other book in the Old Testament. That's the prophecy of Ezekiel Ezekiel chapter 7 in verse 20. As for the beauty of his ornament.
He said it in Majesty, but they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things of it therefore have I said it far from the… About the temple, by the way, which they had desecrated and I will give it into the hands of the strangers for prey under the wicket of the earth for a spoil additional polluted. You remember when the Babylonians came in and took Jerusalem they profaned the temple terribly my face while I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place for the robber shall enter into defile it make a chain for the land is full of bloodied crimes. I want to stop there. One of the reasons in the primary reason that God brought judgment on the nation Israel in the Babylonian captivity was because the nation was full of bloodied crimes. In other words murderers for which there was no retribution and the blood was crying out to God in the city is full of violence, usually a place where they don't deal with murderers and they don't execute those who commit severe crimes and I'll show you a place full of violence and that is exactly what Ezekiel saw.
Wherefore, I will bring the worst of the nations and they shall possess their houses. I will also make the pump of the strong to cease in their holy places shall be defiled destruction, then they shall seek peace and there shall be none. Mr. shall come upon mischief and rumor upon rumor then shall they seek a vision from the prophet. But the law will perish from the priest and counsel from the agents the king will mourn the principal because of desolation the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled. I will doing to them after their way and according to the desserts. Will I judge them and they shall know that I am the Lord.
In other words, God says I want to come in and bring a terrible judgment because there is a land full of bloodied crimes full of violence where judgment is not executed on evildoers and Ezekiel is a book chapter 18 verse 10 says if you beget a son that is a robber. The man is a son that's a robber, a shutter of blood. That's a murder and do it the light to anyone of these things and that do it, not any of those duties but even as Eaton upon the mountains and defiled his neighbor's wife has oppress the poor and needy has spoiled by violence is not restored the pledge that is keeping his word as lifted up his eyes to idols has committed abomination has given forth upon interest has taken increase. That is, extortion shall he then lived and he shall not live he had done all these abominations he shall surely die. His blood shall be upon them, and there's an idea. Blood guilt penis. It must be requited is required that those kinds of crimes be paid for with blood. Why does God do that because God hates people know because God knows that that when executed properly becomes a terror to evildoers and restrains them from doing evil and men need restraints because men are basically so vile and wicked you can see the same thing in Ezekiel 36 of the point is this all away through your God requires the death penalty you say is that so that God can kill people know that so that people will not have to die that so that there are no victims and there are no criminals understand that if you make the law of the land.
According to the law of God.
It restrains the criminal and therefore there are not victims and their are not perpetrators. That's the whole point. But where there is bloodshed and where that blood is unrequited blood. The nation becomes guilty and God moves in to judge, listen the numbers 3533 so you shall not pollute the land, wherein you are for blood defiles the land and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein but by the blood of him that she had it.
Did you get that your market down numbers 35, 33, the land will never be cleansed of the blood that is shed until the blood of the one who shut it is shed. You ask yourself why America is in the mess that it's in, and I could give you a myriad of reasons. One major reason is that this nation is under the judgment of God for unrequited blood. The ground of the United States of America cries out to God for retribution against murderers and robbers, and those are worthy of death and were they properly dealt with, there would be the minimizing of victims and perpetrators, but instead we do the very opposite in our land is blood guilty and friend. I want to tell you. I believe with all my heart that abortion is murder and that we are guilty to an absolutely inconceivable extent in the matter of massacring unborn children.
Pacifism finds no advocacy in the New Testament government is given the right to use a sword.
It is true that when harlots were converted. Jesus said, go and sin no more. But when soldiers were converted. He didn't say go and soldier no more government has the right to the sword doesn't use it. The land cries out for unrequited blood in this land cries out from the blood of millions upon millions upon millions of those who are unborn and many who were born killers of which have never been brought to retribution and I believe that is reason enough for God to bring against us judgment even as he did against Israel, for we have become a land full of bloodied crimes, a land filled with violence. Finally, we are to submit to the government for conscience sake, for conscience sake verse five. Wherefore, you must needs be subject our back to the key idea from verse one. You must needs be subject not only for wrath, not only because you fear God as God acts through the government, not only because you don't want to feel the vengeance of God brought for conscience sake. Also, not only because you fear the consequence, but because you know what is right is so is all negative.
This should be the highest motivation.
Yes, there has to be a fear factor.
Yes, there has to be a judgment factor of vengeance factor. Yes, there has to be punishment, that is, without pity, without partiality and without delay. Yes, there has to be blood for blood. An eye for an eye to for to the hand for hand, foot for foot, yes, yes we are to conform because we fear, but on the other hand, what a much higher motive.
It is that we conform in submission not only for wrath sake, but for conscience sake. That is because we know what is right because we have a conscious regard for love. For the law. The conscious commitment to obey God. This is a higher motive. This is a pure motive and that's what it means in first Peter 213, submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord say not so so you can avoid the consequences for the Lord's when you think about obeying the law, you think about it because you're afraid it will happen if you don't you govern your life by fear or do you think about not breaking the law for the sake of honoring your Lord. That's the higher motive. I mean we need him both, but I hope you've come to the commitment to the higher one is what we learn here, the conscience is that that inner voice, the conscience is that that little place inside of us were God speaks to us of what is right and wrong it is and that conscience that inherent sense of what honors God and we should find our strongest motivation is no place for rebellion on the part of the Christian no place for lawbreaking, no place for uprising and resistance where to do what is right to submit this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us.
The Christian in government. That's the title of John's current study from Romans chapter 13 along with teaching each day on the radio. John also serves as Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. As you heard today when a nation is lax in using capital punishment is in danger of God's judgment and of course in Scripture. You can see exactly how God judged nations.
But what is perhaps less clear is how God judges nations today whether he's even doing that. Is he judging nations.
Now I know you have a perspective on that John and it may surprise our listeners.
Yeah, he is absolutely judging nations now, and we even know specifically when and how that happens because of Romans one, Romans one says the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness and that is a statement about the wrath of God in one specific category that's described in Romans one as the wrath of God against those who hold the truth in unrighteousness and the way God shows that wrath is by giving them over. It says that three times. That verb is used in Romans 118 to 32.
It's basically a legal term meaning turning someone over to a sentence. And when God turns a nation over. First of all it says he gave them over to sexual immorality, so there will be a sexual component that literally takes over a culture but then God says secondly he gave them over to another kind of revolution where men did indecent acts with men and women lusted after women in the third time in Romans one we hear that verb.
He gave them over to a reprobate mind. It actually means a useless worthless nonfunctioning mind, it gets to the point where they don't even they don't even know how to describe what is right, the brain, the mind doesn't work, there's no way back. Now there's no way back because it's a nonfunctioning useless mind. That's this culture where aberration upon aberration upon aberration. That's a laugh that and it it it's so scandalous you would think it would horrify people, but instead it's a joke that's a reprobate mind. There's no way back in the reprobate mind dominates the culture to the degree where they make laws to support immorality.
They begin to pull back from restraining the evil in every form. So that's Romans once aware under that kind of judgment. Right now I want you to get a copy of the booklet brand-new called chaos, corruption, and the Christian response. It's available for the first time ever from Grace to you to anyone who asks free of charge friend.
This practical booklet is a quick read but it will show you in clear detail God's design for government and how you can honor the Lord with your government is righteous or evil, for your free copy of chaos, corruption, and the Christian response, contact us today request your booklet by calling our toll-free number 855 grace or go to our website TTY.org chaos, corruption, and the Christian response considers important questions like, should Christians join public protests and political movements should you pay taxes. If your government is abusive and corrupt and what does God expect from you is a citizen and what duties do you have toward your government again. Will send you this booklet, chaos, corruption, and the Christian response for free. Just call 855 grace or visit TTY.org and when you visit TTY.org. Make sure to download this study Bible app this free app gives you the full text of Scripture in the English standard King James and new American Standard version along with instant access to thousands of online resources. The study Bible app is free to firstname.lastname@example.org now for John MacArthur in the entire Grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson. Thanks for making Grace to you part of your day and be here tomorrow for godly wisdom on what to do when your government uses your tax dollars evil. John continues unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Wednesdays racing