Romans: Live by Faith

Sermon #28 | Civil Obedience                                    
Romans 13:1-7| Todd Malone | September 13, 2020


In chapter 12, Paul starts to give careful instruction for how to live transformed by the gospel. He starts chapter 13 with a brief discussion of how a transformed life relates to government. This is natural since Romans was written to a church located in the heart of authority for the vast Roman Empire.

The Passage


  1. The Command: Submit to Government [13:1]




  1. Reasons Submission is Necessary [13:1-6]


  1. The Origins of Government [13:1-2]




  1. The Functions of Government [13:3-5]




  1. Practical Submission [13:6-7]




What about Civil Disobedience?





The Principle: Our relationship with government starts with submission.



The Point: We are required to respect government authority.


Implication: Watch what you say about authorities and how you say it, even when you disagree.



  • Study: I will rewrite Romans 13:1-7 in my own words.
  • Practice: I will pay attention to the messages I receive about government this week. [This could be a good journaling practice: Who is encouraging you to submit to government? Who is encouraging you to challenge government? What reasons are given for submitting or challenging government?]
  • Pray: I will pray each day this week that God will be glorified through our government.  

Conversation Starters

  • Why do you think the common reaction to this passage is to immediately think of reasons not to apply it?
  • What makes civil disobedience acceptable? What would make civil disobedience necessary?
  • Are you naturally more inclined to submit to government or challenge government?

Next Week’s Passage: Romans 13:8-14