The Master’s Class, Summit Church
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF GOVERNMENT (Romans 13:3-7)

THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF GOVERNMENT (Romans 13:3-7)

August 23, 2015
When you think of what the government is responsible for doing, what is it that comes to mind?

Certainly our world today has come to believe that the government is responsible for the success of every citizen.  The government is to assure that all of our needs are met from cradle to grave.  If you are hungry, don’t worry about working or finding a job, any job, to feed yourself or your family, the government will feed you.  

If you don’t have a home, don’t worry, the government will make sure you have the money to buy that home.  The government will even make sure you have a cell phone, a college education, transportation to get where you need to go, and all of your medical bills are paid.  No job required, in fact, if you do get a job, the government will stop paying you and take money away from you to give to those that don’t have a job.  Kind of makes you wonder why people go to work at all, doesn’t it?

The people of our nation have come to believe that the government is to cover your losses if your business fails, or if you can’t pay back your student loans.  The government chooses to do this because it knows that it is the most efficient and cost effective agency that can meet everyone’s needs.  Right?  Every social welfare program we have is run effectively by the government.  There is no waste, or fraud, or people taking advantage of the system.  

If this is not true, then why do we keep asking the government to do more of it?  If every time you went to the doctor, he failed to treat you, wouldn’t you stop going to that doctor?

But is any of this part of the role that God wants the government to do for its citizens?  That is what our lesson is about today, what the government’s responsibilities are, as intended by God.  
SHOULD A CHRISTIAN SUBMIT TO A GOVERNMENT THAT REJECTS GOD? (Romans 13:1-2)

SHOULD A CHRISTIAN SUBMIT TO A GOVERNMENT THAT REJECTS GOD? (Romans 13:1-2)

August 16, 2015
Now, I have to admit that this is an interesting question as we see the political races begin to escalate.  Without question, our current government, including the democrats and most republicans, have rejected the role that God has played, is currently playing, and will play in our nation and our world.  

So, the question is, should a Christian submit to a government that rejects God?

What role should the believer play in fighting against this type of lawlessness?

Do we stand by and do nothing, or actively fight against it?

Paul is going to tell us in our lesson today that human government derives its authority from God, and that governments are appointed by God.  Evil men may be elected to power or they may seize power.  They may have no thought of God at all, but the very fact that God permits them to seize the reins of power means that God has a purpose to fulfill even in their cruel and evil ruling.  

It is a saying well worth considering that people get the kind of government they deserve.  If you vote in a socialist tyrant, then you are going to get a socialist tyrant as your leader.  If you reject God’s truths about right and wrong in your lives, then you are going to have a government that rejects God’s truths about right and wrong, and that means the concepts of greed, corruption, dishonesty, cruelty, and lawlessness will control your government.

Governments may be weak or strong, just or oppressive, benevolent or cruel, wise or foolish, but in each case God has His way and moves His own plans forward.  We may not see God’s plan and purposes in an evil government, but God has a plan nonetheless, for God is in control.

Paul is going to tell us in our lesson today that disobedience to governmental authority is disobedience to God and will be judged accordingly.  We are going to see that the believer has their citizenship in heaven, but they are also a resident in the world down here, which gives them a twofold responsibility.  If there is a conflict between the two, then our first responsibility is always to our Lord in heaven.  We have a responsibility to human government, but our first responsibility is to always obey the law of God.  

I don’t believe that the Word of God declares the role of the believer is to fundamentally change our nation.  It is to preach a gospel that is the power of God unto salvation which will bring into existence individuals like the men who signed the Declaration of Independence and gave us a government of laws.  If there is to be a fundamental change in this country, then it will be God that will bring it about by working in the hearts of man.

The truth is that there is nothing is wrong with our form of government; there is something wrong with the individuals who are in positions of power.  We need to remember this as we choose the people who will fill these positions in the next election.  

Should we as believers run for political office?  Absolutely, we need people in these offices that understand the spiritual heritage of our founders.

Should we as believers support those candidates that respect the Word of God and the role that God plays in our society?  Absolutely, we need to discern what the true beliefs of a candidate are and support those who respect the will of God.

Should we as believers, lawfully, and actively, stand against the murder of innocent children, and the corruption of the God instituted concept of marriage?  Absolutely, we need to stand against lawlessness in the world.

Should we as believers submit to a government that is corrupt and rejects God?  The Bible says that we must, and my prayer is that God will grant us the power and the wisdom to do as the Word of God demands that we do.  
HOW TO BE A LIGHT IN A DARK WORLD (Romans 12:17-21)

HOW TO BE A LIGHT IN A DARK WORLD (Romans 12:17-21)

August 14, 2015
It is a fact that God has placed us in a world full of darkness and He expects us to be a light in that dark world.  

Matt 5:14-16
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
KJV

We are to be a light in a dark world.

When Jesus walked on the earth, people were drawn to Him.  They wanted to be near Him.  Certainly, they wanted to hear Him speak, and to watch Him perform miracles, but there was just something different about Jesus that drew people to Him.  Not a weird difference, for that would have pushed people away, but a good, calm, inviting, type of difference from the normal attitude that people put on in our world.  

Jesus had compassion on the poor, and the outcasts.  He had kindness for the children, and He had absolute integrity in all of His dealings with people around Him.  Try as hard as they could, the Pharisees and the Sadducees could not find anything to legitimately accuse Jesus of.  He meticulously kept the Law as it was originally written and He hated the man-made religious traditions and rabbinical writings the scribes and burdened the people with.  

He stood for what was right in the eyes of God and He condemned what was wrong.  Christ lived the perfect example of the life that we as Christians should be living today.  In our lesson today, Paul is going to describe what our behavior ought to be like.  He is going to tells us in our relationships with the world the Christian is to follow the example that Christ laid out for us in the Sermon on the Mount.  
HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN LIVE IN A NON-CHRISTIAN WORLD? (Romans 12:14-16)

HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN LIVE IN A NON-CHRISTIAN WORLD? (Romans 12:14-16)

August 11, 2015
Over the last several weeks, Paul has been discussing with us how the believer is to work together with his fellow believers.  What is it that we are to be working together toward?  The kingdom work of God, or the sharing of the light of the gospel with a dark world.  

There are those that feel it would be nice to seclude themselves in a monastery and not have to deal with the secular world, but that is not why God has sent us on this journey.  It is important to understand that, as believers, we are not working our way to get to heaven, we are working to go to our home in heaven.  This earth is not our home, it is our workplace.  

When I go to work in the morning, it is with anticipation that I will be able to come home when I have completed my work for the day.  Returning home is not something I have to earn, it is something I already have.  It is my place of rest.  As believers, this earth is our workplace, and we come to it with the anticipation of being able to go to our home in heaven when we have completed the tasks that God has for us to do.  I do not have to earn my place in heaven, for I already own that place.  It is my place of rest when I am finished doing the kingdom work of God. 

In order to accomplish that kingdom work of sharing the gospel message of Christ, I need to go to where the people are that need to hear that message.  I need to relate with a lost world.  

So Paul tells us that the laws of Christian life deal not only with the spiritual life of the Christian, but with his social life as well.  As believers, we must sustain relationships in the world as well as in the church.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that Paul has three things to say about our daily contacts with those outside of Christ.  We are to show the unbeliever compassion and understanding, we are to take care with our attitude, and we are to live before men unimpeachable and exemplary lives.  
TO EXPAND THE WORK OF GOD (Romans 12:8-13)

TO EXPAND THE WORK OF GOD (Romans 12:8-13)

August 11, 2015
As believers, we have each been given a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit in order to perform the kingdom work of God.  In our lesson last week we covered the spiritual gifts that are to be used to expound the Word of God.  

There are those members who meet the spiritual needs of our fellow members by teaching and preaching the Word of God in a way that they can apply it in their daily lives.  

Then, there are those who do the service work of the church.  They have the gift of ministering.  They voluntarily make sure the church is clean, the grounds are mowed, and there is food for the fellowship times, for we all know that it is impossible for church members to fellowship without food.  

They are the ushers, the ones who prepare the Lord’s Supper, who help prepare the baptismal, work the sound and video systems, and maintain the building.  A church can survive without deacons, or even a preacher for a period of time, but it cannot survive without those who have the gift of ministering.  

Then there are those with the gift of exhortation.  They seek out those in need and minister to them, they lift their spirits, and they encourage us to get out and get to work for Christ.  These are the people we call on when tragedy strikes, and these are the people who you want near you when you need to be motivated for God.  

The gifts of prophesy, ministering, teaching, and exhortation are gifts that are used by members to meet the needs of the church by expounding the word of God.  

Next, Paul describes those gifted to expand the work of God.  These are the gifts of giving, guiding, and going.  These are the spiritual gifts that God has given us to help our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to expand the work of God. 

All seven of these gifts of God’s grace are given to members so that they can function as a body member.  Therefore, they are for the benefit, and belong to the whole body and not the individual member.

Listen to this podcast to learn how your spiritual gift is to be used to accomplish the kingdom work of God.
THE CHRISTIAN’S RESPONSIBILITIES TO OTHER CHRISTIANS (Romans 12:6-10)

THE CHRISTIAN’S RESPONSIBILITIES TO OTHER CHRISTIANS (Romans 12:6-10)

August 11, 2015
If I were to ask you if you had a responsibility to meet the needs of your family, most of us would say, absolutely.  When our family is in need, we will respond.  

If I were to ask you if you had a responsibility to meet the needs of the world, most of us would say, that depends on what you mean by meeting their needs.  The world is a pretty needy place and it is unlikely that we have the means or the resources to meet the needs of the world.  

Somewhere in-between these two extremes there are other groups that we could point to and ask the question of whether or not we are responsible for meeting the needs of that group. Yet, even with most of these groups, I would expect your answer to be, it depends.  It might depend on how you feel about the various groups, or it might depend on the level of resources you have.

What if I were to change the question to, do you believe that God has mandated that you meet the needs of these various groups, what do you think the answer should be?  In my opinion, the answer is again, it depends, but this time the critical deciding factor for whether or not we march forward, is not what we decide is important, but what God has told us to do.  If it is God’s will that we do something, then resources and our feelings about that group do not matter.  We will have all of the resources we need.  

Our lesson today is about how we use the spiritual gifts that God has given to each of us to meet the needs of our fellow Christian brothers and sisters.