每日诗歌: 爱，我愿意 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUyL3wgHLPM)
“在上有权柄的，人人当顺服他，因为没有权柄不是出于神的。凡掌权的都是神所命”（罗13:1）。这令人相当震惊，特别是当想到路加，保罗的亲密朋友和信赖的同伴，在使徒行传中所记载的那些由犹太人的权柄加给他们的所有苦难时。此外，这与“只要心意更新而变化” 有什么关系呢？ （12:2）
留意这一段中的几件事情对我们是有帮助的。首先，“作官的原不是叫行善的惧怕”（13:3）。所以, 保罗的假设是这个统治的权柄是公正的，不是在人的眼中，而是在神的眼中，因为是神设立了他们的权柄。第二，权柄是用来 “伸冤的，刑罚那作恶的”（13:4）。这连接着前一章的教导（罗12:19-21），神的愤怒会通过权柄的行使来实现以善胜恶（12:21）。第三，顺服也应该基于良心，就是基督的真正追随者在圣灵管理下的良心（13:5）。最后，这权柄行使的范围似乎主要集中在属世的，而不是属灵的事情上（13:7）。
Psalm 99 [Read]
Psalm 100 [Read]
Psalm 101 [Read]
Psalm 102 [Read]
Romans 13 [Read]
To submit or not to submit? We often ask this question in our daily life, especially when we encounter things against our instinct or logic. As good followers of Christ, we want to do things according to God’s “good, pleasing, and perfect” will. However, his will is often concealed.
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Rom 13:1). This is quite shocking considering all those troubles imposed by the Jewish authority on the Apostles as recorded in the book of Acts by Luke, Paul’s close friend and trusted companion. Besides, what does this have anything to do with “being transformed by the renewing of your mind”? (12:2)
It’s helpful to pay attention to a few things in this passage. First, “rulers hold no terror for those who do right” (13:3). The assumption, therefore, is that the governing authority is just, not in man’s eyes, but in God’s eye for he established their authority. Second, the authority is an “agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (13:4). This connects the teaching with the previous chapter (Rom 12:19-21), and God’s wrath will be exercised through the authority to enable good to overcome evil (12:21). Thirdly, the submission should also be based on conscience (13:5), which is under the governing of the Holy Spirit for true followers of Christ. Finally, the domain such authority exercises its power seems to focus mostly on worldly instead of spiritual matters (13:7).
Therefore, I must conclude that Paul is exhorting disciples to follow the authority of the world on worldly matters. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” (Mk 12:17). When such authority is in conflict with the spiritual principles clearly laid out in the Bible (Acts 4:19, 5:29), God’s will which is obvious in those cases should be followed.
I see the irony as I meditate on this passage. The situation for nowadays is that we don’t seem to have much trouble following the worldly regulations and rules, but we have trouble following spiritual principles laid out in the Bible. We seem to pay more attention on what the world regulates than what the Bible clearly stipulates. It seems much easier to submit to something that could bring visible punishment than those will bring eternal judgment. Such irony makes the exhortation “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14) ever so piercing to the heart. Have mercy on us, Lord.
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