Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Established by God
God established governing authorities because human beings are not perfect. Sin doesn’t just affect our relationship with God; it affects our relationship with each other. Sinful humanity needs an institution to keep the peace, and God established the governing authorities to make the sin-infested world a safer place to live.
This is why the government does so much that is good. You experience that good whenever you drive on a highway or enjoy police protection. It’s a great blessing to worship and speak your faith without government interference. When God’s servants in government do their job, God’s servants in his kingdom can do theirs.
But sin always corrupts, and the governing authorities are no exception. Government often ignores God who established it and oppresses people rather than serves them. Jesus experienced affliction under government authority. He was unjustly arrested, tried, beaten, and crucified—all at the government’s command.
Why did Jesus endure it? Because he loves us. He perfectly submitted to the governing authorities and demonstrated that he was in complete control. Government gone wrong sent Jesus to the cross, and that is exactly where he wanted to go. Even bad government is part of God’s plan to save sinners, because it sent Jesus to Calvary to complete his work of salvation for us.
Governing authorities are not perfect, but they are a gift from God. Government is a gift for this life from the Savior who will still be King of kings and Lord of lords when all earthly governments have passed away.
Gracious Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of government. Bless and guide all who make, administer, enforce, and judge our laws, so that we may live in peace until we enter your eternal kingdom. Amen.