Pastor Chris Baker, Centralia First Baptist Church
We’ve had to think more about the relationship between God and Government this year than ever before. Our church met outdoors this past Sunday in submission to our local health department’s most recent mandate prohibiting gatherings of more than 100.
We recognize God has appointed our local government, He appointed our local health department, and He appointed them for the purpose of protecting and preserving life.
God, in His sovereignty, appoints government authorities. Doesn’t that bring you comfort, by the way? God is in control, whether we acknowledge it, whether we agree with it, or understand it, God is in control of who is in authority over you and I.
Peter and Paul both speak to the role of government in the life of God’s people:
13 Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the emperor as the supreme authority 14 or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. (1 Peter 2:13-14)
1 Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. 2 So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1-2)
As long as those God has placed in authority over us don’t command us to sin, we obey. If they command us to sin, we obey the higher authority, God Himself. We call Jesus the King of Kings. That means He’s in authority over the authorities in our lives. We obey Him first, and as long as those He places over us don’t command us to sin, we obey them. So we’re holding church gatherings outdoors and we’re praying for our local government. They have a tough job right now.
Peter and Paul combine to give us two primary reason we are to submit to the authority of the government.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.