“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1). With the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, Christian’s may take this opportunity to reexamine what the Bible says about the Christian and civil government. The Lord would have us to maintain spiritual dignity and make the most of every opportunity to bring glory to him and spread the Gospel. Our relationship with the civil government is no exception to these goals.
WE MUST PRAY FOR THE GOVERNMENT. The easiest responsibility for Christians to fulfill toward their government is to pray for them. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). We can’t pray for the success of sinful practices or policies, but we must pray for God’s direction and providential care of governments. We must, as a matter of chief importance, also pray for our government officials to be converted to Christ.
WE MUST PAY OUR TAXES TO THE GOVERNMENT. While not a fun experience, taxes are a necessary part of any civilization. Romans 13:6-7 says “For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” In Matthew 22:17-21 Jesus reminds us to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars.
WE MUST PROVIDE THE LIGHT TO THE GOVERNMENT. Our representative government is a collective reflection of the governed people. The Christian’s responsibility is to preach and practice Christianity so that the people, the government officials, and therefore the government are converted to Christ. Instead of complaining about the government, Christians can make their national government ideal by converting the masses to Christ. We hope that we may individually be transformed by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2), but just think of the possibility of an entire nation shaped by God.