Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Romans 13:1
The Apostle Paul wrote this!
“What?! I don’t like Biden,” or “Those who voted for Trump should read this 20 times!” Yes, Paul says that if Trump won the election, we should submit to him, and with Biden as president, we should submit to him too.
Paul was writing “submit” to governing authorities while Nero was Emperor of Rome. We can dispute how presidents come into power today, but Nero ascended the throne after his mother poisoned the former Emperor Claudius.
The Romans did not need election fraud! (Kidding, joking; come on, smile!)
In this context, Paul wrote, “Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities,” to the Roman Christians very soon after the poisoning of Claudius.
Poisoning in A.D. 54; the book of Romans written in A.D. 56.
If the Apostle Paul were alive today, he would be blasted on social media, but since he isn’t alive, and Pastor Grant is repeating his words – uh oh! I’m moving into “unfriended status” with some of you. Yet Romans 13:1 is scripture and written by the Apostle Paul, so get mad at him. I am just a faithful preacher of the entire Word of God!
Paul did not stop with the word “submit” when it came to Nero. He also wrote:
First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:1
Let’s review Emperor Nero. He persecuted Christians by dipping them in tar to be used as human torches for banquets. He had the Apostle Paul beheaded and the Apostle Peter crucified upside down. It’s in this context that Paul writes “be subject” and “pray” for Nero.
I find it easier today to pray for George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden.
Before someone considers a detrimental action toward me; before you get mad or have great joy in my statements; before you share this Interruption or delete all present and future Interruptions, one of my seminary professors once told me, “When you get in trouble with your exegesis, duck out of the problem by saying, ‘Let’s see what the Greek in the New Testament says.’”
Let’s see what the Greek in the New Testament says!
Three words: authority, submit, and prayer. “Authority” means to rise above in the Greek; “submit” means to place under; and “prayer” in 2 Timothy 2:1 means to face towards God. Paul is not teaching blind obedience; he is not saying that we can’t vote or have political opinions. The Apostle Paul is saying that God is sovereign and no king or emperor or president ascends to power without permission from our Father in heaven (Psalm 103:19).
Yes, we stand under authority but face towards God in our prayers. In the Greek, this is what the Apostle Paul is saying.
As followers of Jesus, as readers of inspired scripture, and as Christians, we can’t say that we are following our Lord if we are not praying for Joe Biden.
I have prayer lists for all our recent Presidents.
I am praying that Joe Biden will:
- Pray and listen to God’s Spirit.
- That God will bring godly/scriptural counsel to his decisions.
- That God will allow a church in unity to bring the good news of the Kingdom to the entire world in the next four years.