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  • Jan 14 / 2018
  • Comments Off on All Submission to Any Authority is because of God, for God (Romans 13:1-7)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

All Submission to Any Authority is because of God, for God (Romans 13:1-7)

Download Notes in a .MD file

All Submission to Any Authority…

Romans 13:1-7 (Pastor Heo)

13:1 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. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.


Do you have faith? Christian faith? Amen~

Christian faith is not abstract nor an ideology. It is a lifestyle / a reality.

Ex: How can we show our love to God? By loving his creations – men and women – created in his image.

The kind of relationship you have with God can be seen by the kind of relationship you have with others.

Theme of Romans: The Righteousness of God

(Having a right relationship with God by trusting in Christ)

Chp 12 – we studied our right relationship to God, ourselves, our brothers and sisters, neighbors, and enemies.

Today, we see how we can show our right relationship with God to the authorities (government). In these 7 verses we read today, “Authority” is repeated 7 times. So, we need to be clear about the kind of attitude we need to have to earthly authorities. The Bible is very clear that we need to “submit” (be willing to cooperate and obey) our authorities.

There are 5 reasons (biblically) why we should submit to the authorities.

#1 God authorizes all authorities

v. 1-2

“13:1 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. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

God’s authority is exclusive, original, final. He has the ultimate right to govern, sustain, order ALL his creation according to his absolute sovereign will – because he is creator. All human authorities are derived from God.

Yes, in human society, there are so many authorities – official and non-official. We can learn to submit to God by submitting to those God has put in authority over us. By rejecting or rebelling against human authority is to reject or rebel against God – because he has created and established all these authorities.

#2 There is a Wage (for submission / rejection)

Wage = result = effect = consequence =

“The wages of sin is death” (Romans)

  • Sin’s wage = death
  • Faith’s wage = life
  • Obedience’s wage = blessing
  • Disobedience’s wage = loss of blessing

In our lives also there is pay (wage) for laziness, hard work, bad diet, exercise, too much TV. Like this, there is a wage for submission to authorities, and also rejection of authorities.

v. 3-5

“3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.”

In these three verses, we see the word “Terror” and “fear”, “command”, “sword”, wrath”, “punishment”, “conscience”. We can see there is a wage for submission or rejection.

In humanity, there is a continuous circle of authority:

  • Nobody who is at the TOP of authority for his whole life.
  • Also, nobody is at the BOTTOM of authority for his whole life.

All human authorities are from God – big or small.

  • Are you parents now? Once you were children (you still are to your parents). Your children will also be parents one day.
  • Are you a teacher? You were once a student.
  • Are you a boss? You were once an employee.

We are related in authorities – this is a vertical circulation of authorities.

At some times – in some areas, we are the authority, at other times – in other areas, we are under the authority.

Even presidents must be subject to pastors in the church. But pastors are subject to police, police are subject to judges, judges are subject to medical doctors, etc. This is the horizontal circulation of authority.

“A man will reap what he sows.” – therefore, if we submit to authority over us, then the one(s) under us will submit to us – and more authority will be given to us. But if we reject the authority over us, then those under us will also reject us and our authority will be gradually taken away from us.

  • So, submission to authority = peace, balance, harmony.
  • But rejection = disorder, chaos, lawlessness, license.

Submission does NOT mean humility, weakness, etc – but it means courage, freedom.

Willingness to submit to authority is one of the basic Christian tenants.

#3 We are citizens of a country

(We have 2 citizenships – heaven and Korea / US / Laos, etc)

v. 6-7

“6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

A “state” is basically a group of people who have agreed to mutually keep a set of laws. Without this law of order, maybe a strong, bad man will reign supreme – and the Law of the Jungle will rule (every ordinary man owes his security to the state – and is therefore under responsibility to it).

Ordinary people owe a wide range of services to the state.

It’s impossible for EVERY man to have his own water system, electricity, toilet, public highway. These things can only be attained when people agree to live together. So, it would be wrong to enjoy everything the state provides but also reject all responsibility to it.

Yes, Korea is so blessed compared to Laos – but we know that hundreds of years ago, we also were so strong in Buddhism. Blessing can only come through Christ. But we must also live at peace with the state at least as long as it allows us to worship God freely.

Did you have any difficulty in worshiping God today? Because of your government? If “no” then we must support / help our government with prayer. That’s why we should submit to authority.

#4 It’s God’s will

Ephesians “Husbands, love your wives. Wives, submit to your husbands. Children, obey your parents. Slaves, submit to your earthly masters.”

1 Peter 2:13-21 “13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. 18 Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

1 Timothy 2:1-2 “2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests,prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

#5 It’s a symbol of ultimate submission to the authority of Christ

If Jesus is our Savior and Lord, then he is also our example in what kind of person we should be.

Phil 2:5 “Our attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ.”

“Jesus is original God who being in the very nature God, made himself nothing, and became a servant – taking the nature of a servant – obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name above all names, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Hebrews?)

In his earthly life, Jesus Christ submitted to the authority of John the Baptist. John was surprised, but Jesus said, “Let it be so now – it is right for us to do this and fulfill all righteousness.”

Jesus also submitted to the authority of the government of Rome at that time (who ruled Israel illegally at that time). Yet, he also paid taxes – for himself and Peter “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s – give to God what is God’s.”

This is amazing – he even submitted to the bad authority of Pontius Pilate. “You would have no authority over me if it were not given you from above.”

And after defeating the last enemy, death, he said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go, making disciples of all nations.”

  • Jesus has authority over all spiritual beings – angels, demons, Satan (he has NO authority) – because “All authority” has been given to Christ.
  • Jesus has authority over all created beings – even mountains and animals and plants.

This means our submission to authority is a symbol of our submission to Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 08 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 19:30-20:16)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 19:30-20:16)


 

— No bulletin today. Computer crashed —


 

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Workers in the Vineyard

Matthew 19:30-20:16 (Pastor Heo)

30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6 About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 “ ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8”When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take you pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


 

  • The first sentence = the last will be first and the first will be last.
  • The last sentence = So, the last will be first and the first will be last.

Today’s message is serious. This message can not only be a promise to us (as the last), but also a warning (as the first).

This parable is not purely an imaginary situation – this actually happened frequently during the harvest time in Palestine (apart from the method of payment).

When a landowner wanted to hire a worker, he would go to the marketplace – labor market – where most business was done. Daily job seekers and daily job seeker seekers (employers) gathered there. In this story, he went five times: early morning (sunrise), 3rd hour, 6th hour, 9th hour, 11th hour.

  • 6:00am
  • 9:00am
  • 12:00pm
  • 3:00pm
  • 5:00pm

The day ends at 6:00pm. He went to get the workers and made a contract with them for 1 denarius – a reasonable wage for 12 hours work. He found more workers at each subsequent time and hired them for a “reasonable wage.” Even at 5:00pm, he found others who were doing nothing and he hired them as well.

The fact that they stood at the marketplace until 5:00pm – this is strong proof of how desperately they wanted jobs. These would be the lowest class of daily workers. Life would be chaotic and precarius – though free, their lives would be worse than slaves and servants because slaves and servants had daily food and provisions for their daily work. Every day, they were at the mercy of chance employment. If they were unemployed for a day, their family would go hungry – so they were constantly in a state of semi-starvation. Unemployment for them was a disaster.

At the end of the day, the owner gave the wages from the last comers to the first. He gave even the 1-hour workers the same as the 12-hour workers. One day’s wage for one hour’s work. Wow!~ What a surprise~

Now, what do you suppose the day workers were expecting? 12 denarius, I hope…

But, as they witnessed the other workers receiving their wages, their hope was reduced and reduced. Finally, they began to complain. Sometimes do you complain against God? “Why? So little for me?”

  • They were grumbling. (v. 11~)
  • The owner responded. (v. 13~)
  • Are you envious because I’m generous? = Are you wicked because I’m good?

From this story, Jesus is teaching a serious and practical set of lessons to us. What are these lessons? Is this story about salvation? Yes, and no.

This parable has NOTHING to do with salvation, because 1 denarius does not represent our salvation AND no one can work for and earn his salvation. But at the same time, this is much to say about salvation. Every believer, regardless of how long we have been Christian in this world, we will all receive the same reward. – Moses, Abraham, even the robber on the cross beside Jesus.

This story is not talking about our Reward. 1 Cor 8:3 “Each man will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” All Christian’s rewards will not be the same.

So what are the lessons?

This is a strong story about GOD – who he is and his attributes, and about US – how we should act in our attitudes.

  1. GOD – how God is in his attributes
  2. US – how we should be in our attitudes

GOD (3 attributes)

#1: The balanced comfort of God

No matter when we come to the kingdom of heaven, we are equally dear to God. Now matter when we come to Christ, we are equally precious to Christ. No matter how long we’ve been Christians, we are equally welcomed by God. In our value, our original value, we are equally the same. Yes, we will depart from this world someday (die) – SOME die full of years, full of honor, his task completed – SOME die almost before the doors of life and achievement have opened – but all of them will receive the same welcome in heaven by God.

When physical life ends – it’s not too soon, nor too late before God.

#2: His infinite compassion

The element of tenderness is visible here. There is nothing more tragic than a man who is unemployed – rusting his talents in idleness because their is nothing for him to do. Sometimes we feel stressed, tired, or unhappy because of that job, but you know, all these things because of NO job is MUCH greater than that because of the job we have.

The truth is, tragedy and unhappiness because of NO job in the kingdom of heaven is MUCH greater than NO job in this material world.

Seriously, yes, you have a job in this WORLD, but DO you have a job in the Church? If you have a job to do in the church, it is a big blessing, not a burden. God created everything with only words. He is Almighty, Omnipotent, he alone can do all immediately, eternally, yet he invites US to work together with him in his house to bless our lives. Apart from God’s call on our lives to do his work, our lives are meaningless. Why? It is absolutely impossible to be saved and remain jobless in the kingdom of heaven.

#3: His abundant generosity

All these workers did not all do the same work. Some worked 12 hours or even 1 hour – but they all received the same pay. What is really important? Not the AMOUNT of service given, but the LOVE in which that service is given. So long as we give ALL that we have to give, all service ranks the same toward God – because we cannot earn nor deserve what God gives us. What is given is GIVEN out of the goodness of God’s heart. What are you receiving from God? Whatever we are receiving from God, that is NOT pay, NOT reward, but a gift, it’s grace.

———-

How we should be in our attitudes – in service to God and man.

How long have you been a Christian? A member of the church of Christ? If you have been such for a LONG time (20+ years), wow, yes, you have been truly blessed. You have received a good privilege to come into the house and fellowship of God – but you must NOT claim a special place in the kingdom for yourself because of your early entrance.

There are 3 groups of workers in terms of payment:

#1: First-comers

They started to work at 6:00am and worked 12 hours to 6:00pm. In v. 2, “He agreed to pay them a denarius for a day…” Yes, they had a contract with the landowner – these were contract workers. Their first reason for working was to receive PAY.

What is YOUR first interest in serving God and man? Service done because of pay is no “service” any longer.

#2: The middle-comers

There is NO contract here, but they received the promise of the owner (v. 4) “You go and work in my vineyard and I will pay you whatever is right.”

Even though they had no contract, they received the promise “whatever is right” and they expected to receive something, but they didn’t know how much. They were READY to be OK and satisfied no matter HOW much was given to them.

  • Promise-workers

#3: The one-hour workers

(v. 7) “You also go and work in my vineyard”

They did not receive a contract, NOR a promise, but they were happy to receive an opportunity to work. They were simply happy to be accepted into the vineyard. This means they put their whole future results into the hands of the landowner.

  • Grace-workers

They finally received 12x as much as they deserved.

Yes, I’m a pastor, I need pay in this world and I expect some reward in the world to come. But, if my FIRST concern is PAY, I’m not a pastor, even not a Christian. The true Christian works for the JOY of serving God and man.

Yes, many people around us have received GREAT rewards in this world, but may be lowly in position in the kingdom of heaven because their first priority was PAY. And others are lowly in this life, work for the joy of serving, and may receive a great reward in the life to come because they were never concerned with PAY only.

Here’s another illustration:

  1. Water in a cup.
  2. This cup should be filled with SOMETHING.
  3. It is half full of water – but ALSO half full of air.
  4. If I put more water, air will be less.
  5. If I reduce the water, air increases.
  6. The more water, the less air.
  7. The less water, the more air.

This cup is always full of SOMETHING – whether seen or unseen. Our hearts are like this -made to be filled with and influenced by something. 2 Cor 6:14 “What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? What fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Satan?” Just like water and air cannot be mixed in this cup, so light and dark, Christ and Satan cannot be mixed in our hearts together. The guidance of the Holy Spirit and the touch of unholy, earthly things cannot be mixed. So, if we are FULLY filled with Christ, there is no room left to be filled with things of this world. But if we are influenced and affected strongly by the things of this world, there is no room to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

  1. The more the HS, the less influence of the world.
  2. The more the influence of the world, the less HS.

Some Christians have been Christians for 20+ years, but VERY influenced by this world. And yet there are some baby Christians who are very, fully influenced by the Holy Spirit. In this way, the last may be first and the first last.

To live, we need food. Yesterday’s food is in the past – we need food today to live for today and the future. We need DAILY food, DAILY sanctification, repentance, Bible reading, fellowship, prayer, grace, service, etc.

“Do not receive God’s grace in vain. NOW is the time of God’s grace.” NOW is the time of our holiness and sanctification by the grace of God.

The last may be first and the first may be last. May God bless all of us with his living Word.

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen