Mask Mandates and Romans 13 (Part 1)


I. "Sorry but all of you are fighting the wrong battle. Making a big deal out of nothing. No child is going to die from wearing a mask. Scripture teaches in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the land. Unless they tell you to violate scripture and moral ethics, which wearing masks does not, you are to be quiet and do what you're told. You don't have to like it, just like there's many things at my two jobs I don't like. But unless they violate those two things, I need to be quiet and do what I'm told. This is just another arrogant attempt for parents to be anti authority. And just in case if you want to comment in question, if I am a parent or not, legally I am. And I would make my child wear a mask if that's what the law demanded. Even if it's a simple rule at a school, if they make the rule you are to obey it." (Anthony Lambertini) II. The comment above is typical of a lot of professing Christians today. 1. Some of them have been deceived by hireling pastors who teach their flock to obey the government no matter what. 2. Some of them don't have the courage to stand up against tyranny and obey God rather than men. 3. None of them understand the scriptures when it comes to our responsibility to submit to civil authorities. 4. Whatever the reason, the result is the same: they help pave the way for tyranny and persecution of Christians. III. The Bible commands us to submit to and obey civil government. 1. Is there a limit to our submission? 2. If so, how do we determine when to obey and when not to obey? 3. In grey areas, how do we decide which laws to obey and which to disregard? 4. Are mask mandates a law that we are obliged by God to obey? IV. Only God has ultimate authority; all other authority is limited. 1. God is the sovereign ruler over all (1Ch 29:11-12). 2. God will not give His glory to another (Isa 48:11). 3. All power was given to Jesus Christ when He rose from the dead (Mat 28:18). A. Power is authority. B. Authority n. - 1. a. Power or right to enforce obedience; moral or legal supremacy; the right to command, or give an ultimate decision. C. Therefore, all authority was given to Jesus. 4. Jesus is the only potentate (1Ti 6:15). A. Potentate n. - 1. A person endowed with independent power; a prince, monarch, ruler. B. For a man to claim absolute authority over another person is for him to usurp the office of Jesus Christ. V. God requires us to obey principalities, powers, governors, and magistrates. 1. God has ordained that there be powers, and that every person be subject unto them (Rom 13:1). A. Power n. - II. As a person, body, or thing. 6. a. One who or that which is possessed of or exercises power, influence, or government; an influential or governing person, body, or thing; in early use, one in authority, a ruler, governor. B. Subject adj. - I. 1. That is under the dominion or rule of a sovereign, or a conquering or ruling power; owing allegiance or obedience to a sovereign ruler or state, a temporal or spiritual lord, or other superior. C. For us to resist legitimate government powers who are executing legitimate laws is for us to resist the ordinance of God (Rom 13:2). D. This even includes paying taxes (Rom 13:6-7). i. Tribute n. - 1. a. A tax or impost paid by one prince or state to another in acknowledgement of submission or as the price of peace, security, and protection; rent or homage paid in money or an equivalent by a subject to his sovereign or a vassal to his lord. ii. The power to tax is also limited, as is all other power. iii. If taxes are so high that a person can't provide for his family, then he must opt for the higher law and not pay them, or at least part of them (1Ti 5:8). iv. Gideon is an example of this (Jdg 6:3-6 c/w Jdg 6:11-12). 2. Christians are supposed to submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake (1Pe 2:13). A. Every ordinance is clearly a qualified every, as will be shown in the remainder of this study. B. We should submit to legitimate civil government to silence foolish men who say that we are against government (1Pe 2:15). 3. Christians are to be subject to principalities and powers, and obey magistrates (Tit 3:1). A. Principality n. - 1. The quality, condition, or fact of being principal; chief place or rank; pre-eminence. Now rare. 2. The position, dignity, or dominion of a prince or chief ruler; sovereignty; supreme authority. 3. The sovereignty, rule, or government of the prince of a small or dependent state. B. Magistrate - 1. The office and dignity of a magistrate; magistracy. Obs. 2. A civil officer charged with the administration of the laws, a member of the executive government. chief magistrate, first magistrate: in a monarchy, the sovereign: in a republic, usually the president. C. This means we have to obey the president when he is executing legitimate laws. 4. We should render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's (Mat 22:21). VI. The purpose of civil laws and rulers 1. The purpose of civil laws and rulers is to punish evil and promote peace and justice. A. Governors are to punish evil doers and praise them that do well (1Pe 2:13-14). B. Rulers are to be a terror to evil works, not good works (Rom 13:3). C. Rulers are to execute wrath on them that do evil (Rom 13:4). i. The evil which is to be punished by the ruler is NOT the act of refusing to obey the ruler's whimsical, dreamed-up rules, but rather doing truly evil things which God's word defines as evil. ii. The ruler in Romans 13 is a minister (an executive) of God to execute wrath on evildoers on God's behalf, not a legislator and a tyrant who makes up illegitimate laws for his subjects to obey. a. Minister n. - 1. a. A servant, attendant. 2. a. One who acts under the authority of another; one who carries out executive duties as the agent or representative of a superior. b. The ruler is ordained of God to carry out the executive duties which God has given him to do, not to make up his own rules for people to follow. iii. The ruler in Romans 13 is a revenger who acts on God's behalf to punish evildoers. a. Revenger n. - One who revenges; an avenger. b. Revenge v. - 1. a. refl. To avenge oneself; to take revenge on or upon (rarely of) a person for (or of) a wrong, injury, insult, etc., received or resented. 2. trans. To inflict punishment or exact retribution for (an injury, harm, wrong, etc., done to oneself or another). c. Avenger n. - 1. He who avenges (the injured or the injury). 2. He who takes vengeance on, or punishes (the offender). d. Avenge v. - 1. To take vengeance, inflict retributive punishment, exact satisfaction, or retaliate, on behalf of (an injured person, violated right, etc.); to vindicate. e. Execute v. - 1. trans. To follow out, carry into effect (an intention, purpose, plan, instruction, or command.) c. To carry into effect ministerially (a law, a judicial sentence, etc.). Cf. 6. II. To do execution upon. 6. To inflict capital punishment upon; to put to death in pursuance of a sentence. f. He avenges and revenges injury and violations that have been done against God and against men which God's law prohibits. g. The ruler is not ordained by God to execute revenge against his (the rulers) enemies because they have broken his rules that he dreamed up. iv. Nowhere in Romans 13 does it give rulers legislative power to dream up whimsical rules which forbid things which God's word does not define as evil. 2. God's law, not a tyrant, determines what is good and evil. A. God's law is good (Rom 7:12; 1Ti 1:8). B. Anything that is opposed to God's law is evil (2Ki 17:13). 3. Therefore, we must obey every ordinance of man that forbids and punishes evil, as God defines it. A. This would include laws against murder, theft, assault, fraud, extortion, rape, sodomy, breaking contracts, etc. B. Christians would be also be obliged to obey civil laws against evil things that are "victimless crimes" such as fornication, sodomy, intoxication, and self-mutilation, but they would not necessarily have to be in support of the state making such laws if they thought those laws should be enforced within the local church. 4. Laws that do not punish evil or praise good are not legitimate laws and we are therefore not required by God's law to obey them. A. If a law is punishing or forbidding something that is not evil as God defines it, then it is not a legitimate law because it isn't performing the function for which God ordained civil law (1Pe 2:14). i. We are to submit "unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers" (1Pe 2:14). ii. As - 33. a. With prepositions, as has the general sense of as far as, so far as, and thus restricts or specially defines the reference of the preposition; e.g. as against, as between. as anent, as concerning, as for, as to, as touching (Fr. quant à), have all the sense of ‘as it regards, so far as it concerns, with respect or reference to.’ iii. According to the definition of as unto, we must submit to governors as far as they are executing laws that punish evildoers. iv. When they go beyond that, and exercise authority not delegated to them by God, we are not required to submit to them. B. If a law is punishing or forbidding something that is good, then it is not a legitimate law because it is performing the opposite function for which God ordained civil law (1Pe 2:14). C. If a government is praising evil and punishing good doers, then that government is illegitimate because it is doing the opposite of what God has ordained (Rom 13:3-4). D. If a government is a terror to good works and doesn't execute wrath on them that do evil, then that government is illegitimate because it is doing the opposite of what God has ordained (Rom 13:3-4). E. If the government is framing mischief by a law (Psa 94:20), then that government is illegitimate and God is against it (Psa 94:21-23). F. Governments that call good evil and evil good are cursed by God (Isa 5:20). 5. Examples of illegitimate and unjust laws A. Any law that requires someone to give a marriage license to two sodomites is an illegitimate law which must not be obeyed. B. Any law that requires someone to participate in a sodomite wedding or participate in or condone sin in any way is an illegitimate law which must not be obeyed. C. Any law or order that sanctions or allows the murder of innocent people such as abortion laws or military orders to kill people who are not aggressing against us are illegitimate and unjust laws which must be disobeyed.
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