Let Love Rule Your Conduct
We are in week 4 of studying the book of Romans. Jump in with us by downloading the weekly guide for spiritual growth and reading the article below.
Do you agree with this common, influential statement: “Speak your mind”? If you’re a Christ follower, I encourage you to think about your response.
There has never been a day in all the world’s history when there wasn’t controversy and division. Perhaps this is partially why Paul’s letters to the Romans, although initially written in the first century, should still be used as guiding principles for us today.
Submission to authority can take on various forms: surrendering your footsteps to God, honoring your father and mother, and respecting government officials. The Christ follower has the same charge for all three – “Every person must submit to and support the authorities over him” (Romans 13:1). And, yes, this is regardless of differing beliefs and opinions.
Because: “To resist authority is to resist the divine order of God” (v2).
To be a Christ follower is to know that He is the one to follow. To know that Christ is the one to follow is to position oneself humbly and rightfully before God. To position oneself humbly is to acknowledge that He is ruler, controller, and Lord of all. And to know that all these are true is to honor that everyone falls below and are under His authority. Furthermore, all IN authority in the natural realm are UNDER His authority in the kingdom realm.
So, how does this call the Christ follower to live in respect to natural authorities? Love, respect, and honor should be the operating position of the Christ follower’s heart, mind, and actions. If the believer is asked to pay taxes, “it is your duty to pay all the taxes and fees they require” (v7). Then, to follow suit in respect and honor because those who are in authority are God’s servants (v4). In reward, the Christ follower will live with a clean conscience (v5) and the radiance of Holy Spirit’s light will outwardly shine (v12).
There is nothing to gain through debating others or rebuking authority, for those who choose this route are no longer letting “love rule (their) conduct” (Romans 14:15). Instead, let it be a “top priority to live a life of peace and harmony”, and let faith be the well that our thoughts and actions are drawn from.
Keep diving deeper into the book of Romans with us by downloading our weekly guide.