Fear God; Honor the Emperor
Topic: Romans Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9–2:17, Romans 3:1–3:3
FROM THE SERMON:
So what do we do with our own bodies in light of the fact that they are gifts from God, gifts that live in a fallen world, gifts that are not without corruption?
What do we do with our own bodies?
Well, first we should thank God for them. Thank you, God, that I was able to get out of bed today. Thank you, God, for this body that allows me to experience your creation and do your will.
And after we thank God for our bodies, then we take care of them. We feed them. We take them for a walk or to the gym.
And when our bodies are feeling out of sorts, we take them to the doctor and we pray for them.
That’s how we treat our bodies. Our bodies which are a corrupted gift from God.
How about we do the same for our government.
How about we thank God for our government?
Thank you, God, for our magistrates and our police and our legislators and our president who work to ensure the smooth operation of daily life. Thank you, God, for our government which allows us to meet here and sing your praises this morning.
And, after we thank God for our government, how about we take care of it. We feed it with taxes and civic engagement. We participate in its functions by voting, and serving, and volunteering.
And when our government is feeling out of sorts, how about we take it to a doctor of public discourse – civil public discourse, where we discuss best practices in a way that honors other citizens of this same country. How about we pray to God for the health of our government?
Scripture tells us
"There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." (Romans 3:1)
That doesn’t mean it’s flawless. Any more than your body is flawless. Or your family is flawless. But it is a gift from God instituted by God. And as Christians, we need to obey God. Here’s what the Apostle Peter tells us we need to do:
"Live as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor." (1 Peter 2:16-17)