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The Bible and Politics

Chester Clark III


The Bible says a lot about how we should relate to one another. But what about how we should relate to authority figures in our lives?


This is another in a continuing series on the Book of Romans.


Chester Clark III

Pastor, Evangelist, and Educator



  • December 13, 2014
    11:00 AM
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well if there is one thing a minister probably can get trouble doing its preaching and all politics so today I hope I can stay out of trouble in this sermon is not entitled Chester Clark and politics in it simply entitled the Bible and politics right and so as I share today I will be sharing of course you'll be seeing some of of where I come from but I hope that it's mainly you see how the Bible teaches we should relate as citizens as inhabitants of a nation as a end habitants of a country as having to deal with the world in which we live and the Bible does talk about that in our series that we've been on occasion when we have the opportunity looking at and from the book of Romans we learned a lot about the gospel we learned a lot about the world we learned a lot about the church and here in Romans chapter thirteen were almost finished with the book of Romans Romans chapter thirteen he talks about how we should relate to the authorities that we find in our lives today were going to be looking at that would be taking a look at Romans chapter thirteen I want to assure you that this is not a a a a a a sermon about the Bible and political party I'm firmly convinced more and more convinced that neither of the parties or any of the parties whether we're in America or in other countries political parties in this article do not have the answers to the service prompts there's one party only one party that has the answer and that is in the political party back at the party that you and I are invited by the kids that wedding supper of the Lamb I want to be in that part Yellowknife you that party is going to solve the problems and none of the other parties political party that we see in this world have a lasting enduring solution to solve the problem that doesn't mean we disengage that doesn't mean we don't look for solutions but we have a better solution a final internal solution the only eternal solution for this words and worlds ills less of our heads as we begin father in heaven as we as we open your word we want to pray for your spirit to be here we want to pray that your word would become clear to us that we might see that there is something for us to do and did you have a priority for us to focus on that there is a responsibility that we have a gorgeous help us to understand how we can balance these things in the world in which we live we pray for this in Jesus name amen well we talked about how that marriage supper of the Lamb is the final answer the eternal lands of this worlds problems I want to be there I hope that you want to be there but if you're going to be there were going to have to take counsel from God 's word and organ have to see what does God 's word say to us how are we to live our lives while we're here on this Earth because the Bible does say that we are to occupy until he comes right we are to be here as a part of this world were to be in the world but not of the world and how can we do that while I believe that there are plenty of verses in the Bible that speak about how God has great desires for hit for the nation not just for as individuals before nations as well noticeably Robert seven fourteen and verse thirty voices righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people so the nation would prosper one is any image righteousness right after he cleared in the Bible here Probert chapter fourteen Robert the twenty eighth of the land friend rather it has many rulers a succession of rulers this instability by that of a man of understanding with a man of understanding and knowledge instability will long continue this is the English standard version but in the little bit of a contemporary language of you can tell you can look that up in your your translation see that outrage but clearly the Bible is saying that there is a correlation between right principles and right government is pretty clear and we see there's a correlation with white principles and right government in fact I one estimate make something very clear I believe is my personal conviction that a nation is blessed not when its government is Christian but when it's people are Christian you understand the difference between these two you see it's one thing for a person for a government to say we are a Christian government there's a problem with that we'll look at some of that here just minutes there's a problem with that but it isn't a totally different thing when it's people by their own convictions through their own experience are living Christian lives now we can really have this discussion without making one thing very clear and that is that I believe that there ought to be accurate in America there is a separation between the powers of church and state I believe that I believe that the biblical principle Jesus said in March after twelve over seventeen render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God there's a problem when the government starts collecting archives or the church starts collecting taxes yet is Dallas what's wrong with that there's there should be a distinction delineation between what is Caesar's and what is God what we owe to Caesar and what we owe to God and by the way there's also responsibly I want to get too far into this because I believe that as citizens this could be a whole neither hold other cerebral another Sunday driving we also have a responsibility don't we not only to get the tithe to God to give a free will offering to help those who are need and I don't want to go too far down the rabbit trouble let me just tell you one thing I think sometimes sometimes the Western world the church has been at fault in relinquishing its social responsibility to help those in need solely to the government and giving up helping others target is not the same blessing from paying your taxes help those in need as there is from giving of your own free will to help those who need and God has said the true religion undefiled is to help those were need right the widows and the orphans those who are who are in so great need of help in something without going too far down that subject I just want to make it very clear I believe that we have a responsibility and an opportunity at citizens to render two hundred indices are the things that are seen as the God the things that are God and to give and to enjoy the blessing and the joy of giving to help others so as we see the separation between church and state we recognize that an ethical population will lead to an ethical government entered a following and ethical population will lead to an ethical government but is not necessarily true the other way around at ethical government will not necessarily lead to an ethical or moral population get down and saying because as a collective body we can make decisions about what our government will be but a government can never change at the very heart who its people are who they are in their heart of hearts there is only one power that can make people ethical and moral and that is the power of the blood of Jesus Christ is a net so Jesus is the only one that can change this selfish greedy heart of mine and make it and make it all a heart that will oh you have analyzed will they I love the things of righteousness is the pulpit that holds the key to the restoration of ethics and a rollicking in America are not distinct if the pulpit in times past when the power the pulpit waned when truth seems to be taught and the and God 's law was forgotten even by the church the pulpit became so powerless to influence the populace that the church turned the state to enforce morality and that my friends will never bring about a godly society history tells us that when the church combines with state in an attempt to enforce morale of the on the people instead of the government being sanctified by the church the church is corrupted by the government that's what sister tells us it doesn't work for the church to bring about righteousness donation through the government it must the people bring about the change what is needed is not a government they give lip service to religious truth many peoples by people whose hearts are converted by true when when I hear pastors and preachers in this country and other countries claiming that society needs a government to enforce morality it is it is only conclusive evidence of my thinking at the power of the pulpit is not sufficient something small the word of God is not changing hearts and minds as it should maybe we need to get back to the Bible maybe our preaching these be filled with the word of God and with the word of truth maybe we need to exalt the law of God in the righteousness of God which in the in tray this form a people to be more like God what is needed is not a government of gives lip service but a people who gives to give their hearts to Jesus Christ the Bible have relatively surprisingly relatively little to say about how I government should be run but it want to say about how people should live their life the degree of me on that nothing is nothing about how ideal authority should function the bimonthly relatively comparatively there's little about how the government should be established and much more about how we as Christians on deliberate lies now if we as Christians live as the Bible says we will have an influence on the nation around as well we would give the people were to live the Bible says they should they would form a nation governed by Biblical values not a nation that is intrinsically religious itself but a nation of religious people but people with religious values up front of me now without the background behind what were going to be talking on Romans thirteen I want you to turn with me there to our passage for today Romans chapter thirteen and were going to begin with first one were going to look through the short chapter is over look for this organ they're compared with another passage which is a similar passage in the writings of Peter and were going to see what is the real essence of what Romans thirteen has for us today are you there Romans chapter thirteen the same and all right Romans chapter thirteen were going to read the first couple versus it says this 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 now this is something that's a little hard for us to understand is a you I've met some people who really don't agree with this honestly back in the ninety nine that the people who openly said they don't agree with it couldn't be talking about our the Gillard government is full of corruption I member when I was a kid in Arkansas there was some friends of mine who they were they were interesting interesting focus on I was best friends with them with one of their boys that they live sort of a recluse of life and they were little bit suspicious of the government today we see more about having more probably more than we did we did when I was a kid but that are never one that was over there house was important to go to this meeting and working to know where any hear about about what we need to do as Americans young so they we went to this meeting in Arizona's house I don't know there is probably ten or fifteen maybe twenty people and they were gathered data is a flag house they had the flag flying upside down note that means it's a sign of distress it's a sign of you know that that year I guess under attack or something and they were they were like saying that America is under attack Americans under distressed because of these you know humanist and taken over the government and they can be taken over educational system undertaken of our banking system and one of these guys is a very visiting fellow he was able to recall sovereign citizen of the emerging sovereign citizen well while sovereign citizens are people who don't have to obey the law not belong it not the laws of the land today you know they say that they are only governed by the Constitution is not in the Constitution it's not that they don't pay taxes because taxes income taxes are unconstitutional in their view is that of a Jackson to become a sovereign citizen they have a long process that you go through to become a sovereign citizens and redistribute glue the wavy sovereign citizen is by making yourself so that the government doesn't care that you exist any longer you have no income yet no property have to basically what it needs to be as honest as they were revoked their birth certificate not sure how that works but they somehow figured out a way to Republican resident if they don't have the security cardinal have a drivers license is gone Susan Satan and drivers license and this is my country I can drive your they don't use they tend to not use currency by the Federal Reserve because the Federal Reserve 's evil corporations not government sought federal and saw to reserve his noble Baron and all the rest will tell you they don't use currency notes that try to pay in my gold coins or something that they basically disappear off the radar screens and an economy action don't pay taxes they probably are still making money that's really how it works this fells a sovereign citizen and is these people are flying their flag of side down and they were saying you know America reacted rather take back America and even as a kid I sat back I said something wrong with this picture some things wrong with this picture I'm any other problems in America absolutely there problems in American by the waves were looking for a lady and nation here on this earth with no problems were to be sorely disappointed and die having not found because the bad news is that there is not going to be any time any nation in the government here on this Earth that does not have problems but it's also the good news is that God is going to set up a team in the last rubber that is the country were looking for and as Christians like it like Abraham looking not for our inheritance here on this Earth were looking for a city whose builder and maker is God and so the problem with the sovereign citizens in these people who work work work wall worked up in a lather about about what the problems in America and how were not to submit to this these governments of Morocco Bearcats the problem the problem is it looking for utopia where to find the problem is that they don't understand what roams is trying to tell us I rather presume that when Paul wrote this Paul would've written this some time about fifty seven and fifty eight ABI believed while he was in his third missionary journey while he was a quite so when Paul would've written this he was speaking to people who are underweight in the name of the book using there was a government in Rome at that time what was a call in the Roman Empire right of where was seated elsewhere was headquartered now was the Roman Empire had gone Leanne Piraeus and no it was not gone the entire Roman Empire this time was a Imperial Rome was a pagan empire where many gods were worshiped were many superstitions were held where where immorality was right where the emperors themselves were worshiped as the entity that many Christians would be tortured and killed because they refused to pay homage to the Emperor as a deity and yet Paul is saying to the Christians in wrong lesson I want to understand something you need to be in submission to the government because it's a power ordained by God that's very difficult I would think to be difficult for her Christian roamed look at Caesar look at God they how the point 's friends the point is that God is a God of orderliness and organization and although on this earth earthly governments fall short of the standards of his government he would still have us respect the authority that keeps order and organization in his first so here he says he says in Romans chapter thirteen verse one let every soul be subject to the governing authorities for there is no authority except from God the authorities that exist are appointed by God therefore whoever resists the authorities resists the ordinance of God and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves I want again a little ahead of Mike my message today but I want to propose an idea and when come back to the little bit I proposed you today that that here we're not simply talking about how we should relate to changing our society Paul is primarily talking about what should exist in our heart listen to me carefully I think Paul is primarily saying look as a Christian we should not be in rebellion against authority you understand that word rebellion you understand I'm a proposed something to think about averting this will come back to the proposed event inside the human heart there cannot simultaneously visible rebellion and submission think about it but I think what Paul saying here when he says there is no local authority except those that ordained by God and if you resist the authority to earthly authority are resisting the ordinance of God I think there's a principle that we can read and elucidate from that sentence from that paragraph when he says would you resist the earthly power your resisting God I think it's I think it's something that we can greatly benefit from PCs like this if my heart is surrendered to Jesus my heart is in a state of surrender that make sense and a heart that is in a state of surrender cannot have it at the same time rebellion not washes over and over the teacher of watching parents when young people when young people become converted to Jesus Christ it changes the way they relate to their authority figures over and over I seen it now does that mean their parents are perfect and they always do exactly listen if your parents have to do something that's against the the word of God you follow it now appeared with your heart is in surrender to Jesus you don't open your parent and as a laid-off right but you can do that without had done industry is going on here with our hardest surrender to Jesus we don't have rebellion against those authorities that are placed alike so in a way we can see whether were really surrendered by how we relate the authority figures around us is it easier it's easy for us to say it's easy for us to say well yet I surrendered to Jesus I mean Jesus is in here telling me what to do or least not in my face I'd say I'm through with Jesus but I can tell how deep my surrender out from my surrender is by whether I'm willing to listen to authorities that he has placed in my life so I tell my my students I taught high school ISA tell my students you know your surrender to Jesus is just as complete as your submission to the authorities that God has placed her life now right now it may be your teacher your Dean or your parents but guess what there will always be there will always be a fork in your life that's the way God has made this world of the weight supposed to be when you're out on your own you have a boss that boss is an authority figure in your life right now when I waited maybe you're self-employed you still have a nation of laws and last year the president United States and I think even then they're supposed to be authority right there supposed to be all of us have opportunity to surrender to sit to submit to the godly rightful authority in our lives so here we have the first passenger talk about coordinate order and authority that it required as required as a part of God 's plan for society look with me on to verse three for rulers are not a terror to good works but evil you want to be unafraid of the authority do what is good and you will have praise from saying I not ask for any hand to be raised in the anyone do any of you have any of natural and collate inclination to perhaps driving a little faster than yacht to if you do if you do don't ask me how I know about this but if you do then you know the reflex reaction that you have when you're coming down the highway and you see one of those patrol cars what's the reflex reaction that you have you're going to look for your breaks now let me tell you little secret if you just drive the speed limit you're not afraid to see you cool a police car on the front and that's exactly what Paul says here if you don't want to be afraid of authorities just drive the speed and ligand quite stayed that way but he says rulers are not a terror to good works but to evil he don't want to be afraid of the authority do what is good your appraiser in the same for he is God 's minister to you for good and if you do not if you do evil be afraid for he is not bear the sword in vain for he is God 's minister and avenger Jesse Raff on hand who practices evil so God has placed authority in our lives in the second the principle that we senior Romans chapter thirteen is that we live in harmony with the law we don't have to fear the law we don't have to fear those who enforce the law would have to worry about those citations for outstanding up with a performance that sometimes weird and afraid of so God has placed us in a a and a society structure and this is a structure that he himself ordains therefore verse five you must be subject not only because of wrath but also for what you say for conscience sake even if you know you're not going to be caught it's better to be honest on your taxes not just because of wrath but also for conscience God has placed us in this world as citizens with authority structures around us in the Bible here is telling us how we as Christians are to relate to it unfortunately I hear a lot more Christians saying will the government should do this rather than recognizing what we as Christians ought to be doing we have a responsibility we have a responsibility and God has set it this way we continue on with verse six Romans chapter thirteen verse six but because of this you also pay taxes for they are God 's ministers attending continually do this very thing render therefore to all their dues taxes dividend taxes are due customs duty of customs fear to whom fear honor to whom honor so here we find that taxes and fees are to be paid honestly that's not to say that we have to like them is to say that we have to pay them that we are responsible to that now I'm sure there were some in Rome who could've said you know what my government taxes and paying are going to support devices that I can conscientiously agree with the Alden say that we were responsible for withholding right he said hey to all their dues pay taxes and tax due process of the customs and honor to whom honor now let us to stop right here in our study of Romans thirteen hours to look at apparel passage is very interesting in determining a first Peter chapter two here Peter very interestingly enough is writing this from Babylon and he ever you know where Babylon was powerless Peter writing this from Babylon it's pretty clear that Babylon is the city was gone by the time Peter was riding so when he talks about Babylon is actually most scholars believe agree he's actually talking about Rome so here is a wrongly writing about sixty to sixty two ladies of the few years after Paul's letters I have to wonder if Paul and Peter hadn't read what Paul said we did there's a very close echoing here and maybe even a further illumination of what Paul said in Peter 's letter first Peter chapter two and were going to begin with verse thirteen first Peter chapter two verse thirteen this was as therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord 's sake whether to the king as a dream or to governors as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good for this is the will of God that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men S3 yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice but his bond servants of God honor all people love the brotherhood fear God honor the king and he goes on in the next few verses he talks about even submission to Masters very fascinating as we look at the New Testament because I believe the principles of the Bible the principles of New Testament would absolutely categorically be opposed to slavery I believe that and yet Paul you are riding in a society where slavery is the norm and the point I think is not that we ought to endorse slavery in that we often not happen rebellion in our hearts I think that's the point of what Paul and Peter have to say the rebellion doesn't belong in the Christians are the seven rethinking servants be submissive to your masters with all fear not only to the good and gentle but also the harsh for this is commendable if because of conscience toward God what endures grief suffering Longley for what credit is that when you are beaten for your fault that you take it patiently for but when you do good and software you take it patiently this is commendable before God Ford to this were we call because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example that you should follow in his steps if we simply stop for a moment and we look at how Christ was submissive to authority allowing himself to be unjustly crucified giving us an example it's better for us to suffer wrongfully then to assert our rights with rebellion in her heart that's the principle that Paul is trying to say no not repeated since they are not trying to say here is not a time to stand up or write nothing at all what I am saying is that God wants us to so live in such a way that rebellion is not a part that we are following after the example of Jesus Christ that we can live in harmony with as much as possible with those who are around us and so we find unit that Peter has similar things to say we have an opportunity to look at Jesus as our example if we continue on we notice that dear Sarah Paul continues in Romans chapter thirteen seven thirteen tournament back there Morgan finished chapter lastly versus rebellion and surrender I believe cannot time will tediously exist in the same heart and so God wants us to learn the experience to have the experience of surrendering and having the peace that only surrender can bring look at the Iraq Roma seven thirteen and verse eight Romans chapter thirteen and verse eight we see here it says oh no man anything except what he say except love for you love one another has fulfilled the law for the Commandments you shall not murder you shall not commit adultery shall not murder you shall not steal you shall not bear false witness you shall not covet and if there's any other commandment are all summed up in this saying namely you shall love your neighbor as yourself love does no harm to a neighbor therefore love is the fulfillment of the law here we find the Jesus words when he summarizes the law quoting from the Old Testament on B's to hang all along the province right because what the first command according to Jesus love the Lord your God with all your heart knows it all doing away with that person may command of our Lord now he's focusing on the second one is that the Romans thirteen is about it's about how we relate to people right now related those around us how related government how relate to people how we relate to people is vital showing love and the last six commandments summarize what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves we continue one we see verse eleven twelve and do this knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believe the day is the night is far spent the day is at hand therefore let us cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light if you believe the time is short for those believers in Rome it may be short dress again today you know some people say well you know we don't know how longtime Alaskan I've heard young people say you know I'll think Jesus coming that sin older I get the more I live the more I realize it doesn't matter even if I live to ripe old age of whatever my my DNA and lifestyle allows me to live I hope a long time even if I live to that good ripe old age to short life and now is the time now is the time for us to examine our own hearts first examiner own lives for us to awake from sleep and walk properly as in the days first thirteen continues to let us walk properly as in the day not in revelry and drunkenness not in lewdness and last not in strife and inconvenience but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its less make no provision for the flesh to fulfill this less I would like to say as I look at Romans chapter thirteen it raises the bar gets a pretty high standard of how we are to live in this world it doesn't in fact there's sometimes when I look at that and I think how is that even possible and I think that verse fourteen the last verse is a short verse I think verse fourteen is how this all is to be accomplished it's by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ as our children story this morning illustrated its by keeping our eyes on Jesus as our special music this morning illustrated in an instant by thinking about what he has done how he related to the authorities in his life how he related to the people around and the more we look at Jesus the more we realize how we should live our and Paul says put on the Lord Jesus Christ make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof the state is rightfully powerless to convict and convert hearts what we need here and often what we need here in America what every nation struggling against the tide of immorality and ethical anarchy is spirit empowered truth filled preaching Marple puts that up God 's word and his law and brings conversion the power of his blood this my friends will lead to families where God is honored and where morals and ethics are caught not just taught it will lead to father is living an honest example and not as teaching their children to live godly lives it will bring communities where truth and justice is honored and what morality honesty and transparency are valued in the leadership friends I'm not here saying today that we should not as individuals be doing our civic duty not all that we should be involved in causes not at all I'm saying our priority has got to be where God 's word says it should be that's making sure our hearts are right in the first place in our home altars have been built and restored that our children are being taught not just by the words we speak but by the lives we live what an outstanding and honest and ethical citizen is really all about that my friends is what are community and our nation needs how is accomplished but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh gratified desires I don't know about you friends but I want to have that personal experience I want to have the right relationship with the authorities that God has placed in my life and the right relationship with others you may not be in authority positions Romans thirteen talks about the high want to make the community that I can influence my home my neighborhood my town yes even my country a better place because the principles of Jesus Christ have been inculcated into my heart and are being lived out in my life is that your decidedly as far as we pray father in heaven you've given us a great responsibility sometimes we try to change things that you've not given us full control over when we have neglected the areas that you have given us full control of responsible before that's our own hearts I pray Lord that each one here I have the experience of a surrendered heart Lord whether they're young or old boy or girl man or woman child or adult each one of us need that experience the peace that comes from surrendering our lives to the authority especially the authority of Jesus and authority of his word what would we do that you you you help us to sort out our relationships with the other authorities as well and I pray that from this church there might be an influence that would strengthen this community that there might be an influence that would bring ethics and morality in transparency and honesty into the daily transactions that take place in Dalton there we might be solved in this world and the light in this town and that this nation might be prospered not because of specific laws that an enactment because of hearts the hearts of its people have been drawn closer to you I pray that you would help us to live in such a way that we would be seen as followers of Jesus Christ that we might put on the Lord Jesus Christ that we might not make provision for the flesh I that we might stay demonstrate the world when Jesus rose we think that we love as a a this media was brought by audio person in website dedicated to spreading God 's word to release an audio and much more and he would like to know more about a person you like the more certain it is www. audio source .org


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