Saturday 5 February 2022


Romans 13  

This Chapter of Scripture has been selected for reading as the Epistle for Sunday, Accession Sunday. I can see only a vague indication of why so chosen for such a special occasion. For readers beyond Britain, it marks the start of the Queen’s accession to the throne 70 years past.

The subject today is the Christian attitude and commitment to the State.  We need to go to the Bible to see God’s morality has been predominant since time began.

The Old Testament began with Church and State law as one.  God made the law and no other was sought, God’s people were both Church and State.  This did not work because the hearts of people were wrong, and if the law is to be effective in any age, there has to be  an element of popular support. Laws have to be written into human nature.  Jeremiah looked forward to a new arrangement whereby the heart would want to keep, rather than have a series of thou shalt nots. The Church and State separated so that the haves of God were no longer the same as the State.

There is now a multi religious collection of faiths in a State.  The Americans have written into their Constitution that both are separated, but as we have seen over recent years some politicians have tried to adopt it to their benefit.

This Chapter addresses the responsibility of Christians to the governing body of the country, obeying because all authorities are stated to be ordained by God.  This suggests that we are saved the excesses of those other forms of governments s uch as dictatorships, but I have heard the Constitution of the United States is the finest declaration of how a country should be ruled. Such does have at least minor faults, for although the President can be replaced by popular vote every four years, an awful lot of damage can be caused within four years, as we are witnessing at present, when news reports suggest crime is now rampant- with ineffective State governing.

In Britain the monarch does have nominal charge, but in effect a Prime Minister led government is the real ruling power, and we can vote them out.

Looking at some past rulers, I find it hard to believe God would have ordained Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jong, and numerous others.  The Bible suggests in other parts, that a leader can be replaced. It could be deduced that God had ordained men to punish a nation for the way they have acted against God.  But as we come to the New Testament, all rulers are superseded, by Jesus.

Rulers should not cause terror to citizens acting lawfully, only those who offend have need to fear, which means order could be maintained, and only the evil running wild.

Governing bodies are God’s servants to act on his behalf. Times occur when authorities are called to take the sword to display God’s wrath.  (more later)

Christians are to obey civil authorities because it is a proper thing to do. We must pay taxes, and not to withhold when they believe the money is being used unwisely or improperly, as we see happening so often. There is reference to Jewish Law where people are allowed to borrow, but they must be prepared to pay back, and owe nothing to any other person.

Paul refers to several Commandments for responsibility to other people, and to live thy neighbour as oneself.

The final verses call on Christians to take action.  The word ‘sleep’ is likened to moral responsibility, with moral carelessness;, and the day at hand is drawing near, calls for an end to all error and evil deeds, and to live in the light of Christ.  Actions which are against the light are the addiction to revelry, sexual sins, social sins, so put on Christ means following the teaching by Christ, and living in fellowship with him as believers reject improper acts.

Bible morality has been predominant since time began.  God’s law was adopted by King Alfred who wanted our laws to be based according to God’s teaching, protecting every aspect of living, life. property, marriage, so we have laws based on the Ten Commandments.  This is establishing equitable laws, and there is the necessity of seeing they are obeyed.  This includes just punishment for all, no matter who is involved. The source of all moral law is God, and his instructions are quite definite, and he has given a solemn warning that judgement awaits anyone who disregards thus responsibility.     

Let us turn to look at how we apply this to present day living in 2022.

Whenever I used to look how the preaching of this Chapter was made, I was surprised how many preachers avoided the full demands it makes.  We have to remind ourselves we are living over two thousand years since our Lord died, and the whole manner of living and understanding has changed.

We constantly read, almost to excess, that students are setting out many demands, and vastly overpaid University authorities are listening, and often acting on what they demand. Superb and brilliant professors have been forced out of their employment, for holding traditional (and sensible) beliefs.  There has been little respect in behaving worthily. 

One could reasonably wonder if time is being spent on learning their subjects, or researching the careers of famous men of the past. Does no one point out different ages had different values, and whilst some traded in ways we would not now do so, many thousands of people have been given homes and employment as a result of their works.  It may make youngsters popular, and get their names in the media when they topple a statue in the river, but the city of Bristol was built by the same man. Rhodes created scholarships, and some who have taken full benefit from them, now attack him, probably not knowing anything much about him.

One controversial statement is a problem, again for people who either have not thought things out, or have been misled.  The sword is to punish people by authorities on behalf of God.  We are looking at the issue of capital punishment. So many times I have been asked if I believe a Christian can support that punishment, and I have always replied, one hundred per cent.


Turn with me to Exodus 20, v13.  /you shall not murder.  Genesis 9 verse; whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. For in the image of God, has God made man..

All very clear there. You kill a man/woman, you are attacking God.

However, the usual cry comes up that we should not kill, so we are committing murder, which is pure emotion, sincerely no doubt created by not fully understanding Scripture.  I regret the Church has perpetuated by not teaching the Scripture.

Another cry is God is a god of love and would never support capital punishment. Such lamentable talk shows the person uttering it knows nothing about God or what he has said.  Far too much is portrayed on television, which a lot of people cannot discern fiction from fact and loses its seriousness.  In reality is is final and terrifying.

The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, using wording which in Exodus 21  goes further to clarify, whoever strikes a man that he dies shall be put to death. It then makes provision for when a man strikes another without intending to kill, in other words manslaughter, and so held in another city.  Murder by the Hebrew language is wilfully killing; capital punishment is the civil authority being given the right to exercise God’s wrath by use of the sword.

We have the cry what if we got the wrong man, but no policeman I ever met would think of fixing

 a person without solid evidence, which is vastly enhanced by DNA, which one in fourteen millions of being wrong.

It is one thing sitting detached from the real things and becoming sorry for the accused, but if you had to ever had to visit  parents, and tell them their daughter has been throttled to death and left on a cliff top; or a parent come home to find your fourteen old daughter with her head smashed in after a burglar hit her with a brass stand, you may have a different outlook. The accused will get just a few years in prison being released, half way through sentence, whilst  relatives whose dear one has been brutally murdered have a life sentence.

At one time, murder was a crime gaining newspaper headlines, which the whole country heard about for weeks until the killer was caught; now it is literally just an everyday crime, often tucked in a back page paragraph.

The number of young women regularly being found dead in a river or field is rising, and it has become perilous for a woman to walk alone in the evening, this should never be. Anyone who values human life, which God gave and demands we protect , should support the proper penalty.


As we move away as a society from God, we are reaping a terrible harvest.  Remember those who cannot care for themselves, and are afraid of calling the police for fear of reprisals.  It is surprisingly disappointing that of all Parties, a Conservative Party has created much of the trouble we face, such until very recent times was never the case.  From the premiership of David Cameron moral leadership has been surrendered to vote collecting, and there have been no example guiding from the top.  It is now a more serious offence to stand up for traditional marriage than to commit criminal offences.  People being snatched off the streets for telling the Bible stories, and their bibles seized . Old people and disabled in scooters, put in vans and taken to a police station, and after a lengthy detention are released when a higher ranking officer realises an offence was not committed.  If anyone doubts or thinks I am exaggerating, go to the website pages of Christian Concern or Coalition for Marriage.

God has set his moral and legal standards.  The day will come when we will all stand before him and have to give answers because God is Holy and just.  He will judge in accordance with four principles set out in his Holy Word.

 He will punish sin for he is the creator and his laws have been broken.

His punishment will be in direct proportion with sins committed.

All will be treated fairly and equally.

His Holy nature demands it, even though he will not have pleasure in doing so.

|But God in His mercy has provided for everyone by stating he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. 

So long as we have liberty to worship Christ, and serve him as he commanded, we should submit to the legal requirements of the State, even if in our own mind we don’t approve of.  Intelligent people will accept that compromise is a must, so we give up something of our own.  Always remember those who obey the law have nothing to fear, but those who do disobey must face the cost.

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