God Did Not Leave Us In A Vacuum

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God Did Not Leave Us In A Vacuum

God Did Not Leave Us In A Vacuum

Romans 13:4  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

God knows what man needs far better than we do. He is God. He is holy and just and righteous and loving and kind and merciful and gracious, etc. He created man. He created man without sin. He placed man in a beautiful Garden that man did not earn. Man could never have paid for that Garden. Adam decided to throw that all away for the record of being known for his disobedience to God. He lost so much. He allowed a liar, the devil, to convince him to go against the God Who created him and gave him so many blessings.
God in His mercy and grace knew what Adam did. He gave Adam the opportunity to confess his sin to Him. Adam was too proud to do that. God was merciful and drove the man from the Garden and from access to the tree of life. He promised to provide the seed of the woman that would bruise the head of the serpent. He showed Adam that He, God, would and did provide the covering for his sin. Not only did God provide the covering, but He also provided the forgiveness for sin.
Fast forward that to our time. God has not changed. Man was changed immediately when he sinned. We are all born as lost sinners. We commit sin because we have a sin nature. There are false religions that suggest that if Dad and Mom or some other adult will take that little baby to a “priest” and have some water sprinkled on that baby, the baby will be free from original sin and can then begin to learn how to “please” God by works. Fools re-invent God all the time.
The popular interpretation of Romans 13 fits into that category. I am not trying to be mean here. It is necessary for us to look honestly and humbly at what God declared.
God knew what life would be like when Jesus Christ came to this earth as a servant obedient unto death. He knew what life would be like when Peter and John and Paul would stand up and boldly preach the truth. God knew before He created anything, that we would need a Saviour. He chose the exact moment when Jesus Christ would come. It was not a peaceful time. The Romans were not God-fearing people. They were wicked people who loved power and hated God. They did not want anyone to claim to be greater than they were. The Emperor was supreme, so they thought.
God told Paul to write Romans 13 as part of the doctrinal treatise we know as the book of Romans. God authored all of the Bible.
If we want to understand any passage of Scripture, we can never look at it in isolation of the rest of the Bible. We must compare Scripture with Scripture and let God be God and every man a liar.
In verse 4 of our text we are told by God that the higher power is a minister of God to us for good.
The Greek word translated as “minister” means: “servant, one who runs errands for another”. Our current government certainly does not see itself as the errand boy for God. They despise God. That is a shame for them, but not a surprise to God. We have the government we deserve. Canada needs a good spanking. The wickedness that permeates almost all of our society is abounding. However, what we must also understand is that Christians today need to be refined. God is not interested in soft tissue Christians. We need to “quit you like men”.

I Corinthians 16:13  Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

There are many things that God knows that we do not know. He does not expect us to worry about tomorrow. He expects us to live for Him today. I have mentioned before that I was raised in New Evangelicalism. New Evangelicalism does not know what manhood is. By God’s grace, He saved me and took me out of that mess. He has been working on me since I was saved. He wants His children to be humble servants who are not afraid to glorify Him.
If those who are saved, want to do evil, we should be afraid of the powers that be. We should fear that sword that he wears. That sword is supposed to be to keep law and order. The higher powers are supposed to be the minister of God. They are to execute wrath upon those that do evil. When the government cannot tell the difference between good and evil, it is up to God’s people to remind them of the facts. We cannot do that when we cower in a corner.
As we noted yesterday, Peter and John did not whimper in a corner because the Jewish leaders told them to be quiet. Paul did not hide in a corner either. There was a bounty on his head and yet he stood and boldly proclaimed the truth of who God is. He had the privilege of witnessing to Roman soldiers. He witnessed to the captain of the ship that wanted to kill all the prisoners during a shipwreck. The captain did not always take Paul’s advice, but he did at that point. It did not matter where Paul was, he made sure that all people knew that he was a child of God. He did not just say he was a servant of God. He proved it.
In verse 5 we are reminded that our motivation for doing right is due to the conscience that God has given us. The person that is saved has an awakened conscience. He knows that God saved him. He knows that Jesus Christ is his Saviour. He also knows that he has been bought with a price and that he no longer belongs to himself. He is filled with the Holy Spirit, and he is commanded to serve God faithfully. His conscience tells him that. The Bible tells us that we need to acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives if we are saved. He is in charge, not we. We look at God’s Word for our direction, not high-minded men who desire to make a name for themselves.
We need to keep in mind that in Romans 13 and elsewhere, God does not cancel Himself out and tell the saints to operate in a spiritual vacuum. He lays out the order of things and tells us to behave ourselves as His children.
Born again Christians are not “sovereign citizens”. We do not join some renegade group that thinks that not paying taxes and going to protests is going to break the back of a wicked government. We should have learned that over the past 3+ years in Canada. The government did not even bother to talk to the truckers. They lied about them and they sent the army in after them. We may never know the full extent of who those people on the horses were. We know they did not act like Canadian citizens. We also know that the truckers did not teach the government anything. The government froze bank accounts and jailed protestors. They are ready to do it again. Even judges rulings have not tamed their hunger for absolute power.
Those that read their Bibles know that we will not find a God-fearing government on this earth. Thus we need to determine that we will serve the true God first and foremost. We need to be a testimony to the powers that be. We need to show them that God is good and righteous. We need to do so in the same manner that Peter and John and Paul and others like them did.
None of them looked to be martyrs. They had the love of God in them and that is what motivated them to speak the truth. Souls were saved because they preached boldly. Many churches were established as well. We have the Scriptures today because men like Peter, John and Paul were willing to be made holy men whom God could choose to write portions of His Word for all generations to read and study.
I would like to live in peace and die in peace. I cannot do that if I choose to disobey God. The peace that He provides is a foreign thing to the world.

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

We do not need to be afraid of God or of man if we have the peace of God in our hearts. There is a difference between having the fear of God in our hearts and being afraid of God and man. We will face uncertainties in this life. As a pastor I have faced many of them. The challenges of the past few years were real and they were a test. God tells us to live this day for Him. If we do that He will look after tomorrow for us. The reality is that we never live in tomorrow. Every day is today. We plan for tomorrow, but we live in today. If we let God lead us today, that is all we need. That is what Jesus taught His disciples when He taught them the “disciples prayer”. It is a challenge and a blessing to trust God to guide us each step of the way. He will never fail His child.
Pastor Bartel

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