Grace to You

Well thank you for coming tonight, you are a noble group to come tonight and find out that you should pay your taxes. I was afraid we'd empty the place with the subject, but we're glad you're here and ready, as always, to hear the Word of the Lord.

We've been trying to get a bit of an understanding on the themes of the believer's relationship to the government, for obvious reasons, because we're living in a time when our own government is very volatile, governments in the world are even more volatile than our own situation. There are all kinds of voices shouting at us out there, all kinds of attitudes being propagated that people would like us to hold toward those who are in authority over us. This is a good time for us to do a reality check on what the Word of God expects of us, what God expects of us as citizens in our own nation. And so, we've been looking at this a couple of times, and then we took a few weeks break while I was gone, and now we're back to Romans 13 again.

Let me read the opening seven verses to you of Romans 13. This is really the watershed, the benchmark passage on the believer's relation to the government. It says, "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves, for rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same for it is a minister of God...that is governmental you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid for it doesn't bear the sword for nothing, for a minister of God it is an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore, it is necessary to be in subjection not only because of wrath but also for conscience sake, for because of this, you also pay taxes for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them, tax to whom tax is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor."...

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John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry...

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