Digging in Deeper: Romans 13:1-4

“Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For it is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

If there was ever a passage of Scripture that was misused and misunderstood, it is this one. Especially today. And it’s not hard to see why. Given the state of our political culture, it’s hard to imagine a block of teaching better suited to tick off everybody. And the thing is, who exactly gets riled up about this passage changes from one political administration to another. There are churches who, during the George W. Bush administration, argued that this passage meant Christians absolutely needed to support the war effort in Iraq. Today, those same churches probably aren’t using the same passage to explain why their members need to be more supportive of the various legislative and policy efforts of the Biden administration. There are other churches, though, who have used the same passage in the exact opposite direction. This morning, I don’t want to talk about any of that. Instead, I want to focus our attention on the end of the passage and talk about a group of individuals who tend to be as overlooked as they are underappreciated by our culture. This morning I want to talk about Romans 13 and correctional officers.

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