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Question and Answer

As a Christian, do I need to submit to a government that I do not like? Does the Bible explain why we should submit to the government?
Paul gives us several reasons in Romans 13:1–7 why every Christian should submit to the government: (1) human government/civil authority, regardless of its forms and philosophical base, is a divine institution (v. 1b); (2) God ultimately has appointed all existing governments, putting in place the people who hold offices in those governments, regardless of how they arrived in power—we can admit there is mystery here that we don’t fully understand (v. 1c ); (3) disobedience to the government is disobeying God Himself, as long as that government is not commanding us to do something contrary to God’s Word (v. 2); (4) those who disobey will suffer the consequences (v. 2b); (5) governments are the Lord’s means to maintain law and order in a society (vv. 3–4); and (6) conscience—we submit to our government not just to avoid painful consequences, but out of conscience before the Lord (v. 5).

BY Dr. Winfred O. Neely

Dr. Winfred Neely is currently working towards his third degree in at the University of Bristol, England. An ordained minister and full-time professor of pastoral studies at Moody Bible Institute, Winfred has served churches across the City of Chicago, the near west subburbs, and Senegal, West Africa. He and his wife Stephne have been married for forty years and have four adult children and nine grandchildren. 

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