The Friendly Fire Room Presents

Listen And See

Thank you Wanda Barlow for this great idea!


A Nation of Laws, Under God Pt1


A Nation of Laws, Under God


A Nation of Laws, Under God Pt 1

Romans 13:1-10


* Well, sometimes – if I agree with the law.

** Well, that’s your personal view, but please don’t bring into the public square, official venues – and especially not the White House!

Permission to Record? & Opening Prayer!


The Law is All Around Us!

--Sometimes there ARE too many rules and regulations.

--Compliance can be frustrating, and expensive.

--In 2009, Boston civil-liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate wrote a book titled “Three Felonies a Day.” That was how many felonies he estimated the average American unknowingly commits each day. He blamed it on vague statutes.

… and for believers, THAT is a very good thing!

Exhibit No. 1: The many biblical examples of lawlessness….

Biblical Examples of Lawlessness

1. Noah -- “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Gen. 6:5

2. Judges 20 -- The Benjamites’ rape of the Levite’s concubine, and the Battle of Gibeah.

3. Judges 21:25 -- “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Modern-day examples?

Romans 13:1-10

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rules are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.  [v. 1-3]

“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  [v. 4-6]

“Render therefore to all their dues: Tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: For he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.      [v. 7-8].

“For this, Thou shall not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”  [v. 9-10]


The Words of Jesus Christ:

In Matthew 22:37-40, when asked what the greatest commandment is, Christ replies:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


Why Do Believers Love the Law?

As Paul wrote in reference to the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23:

“… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control: against such there is no law.”


Romans 13:1-10 Takeaways

Everyone in a position of authority has been put there -- or tolerated to be there -- by God. [In 2 Samuel 1:14 David asks: “How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?”]

The message is: The ruling authority is beneficial – IF you are sincerely willing to subject yourself to its authority.

Conversely, the ruling authority is a terror to those who rebel.  [Continued…]  

Rebels who do evil SHALL be punished!

Moreover, your obedience should stem not only from fear of punishment, but of moral conscience. In other words, obedience flows from the heart!

How do you subject yourself to lawful authority? Simple: Obey the law, and do so wholeheartedly, not just for show.

1 Peter 2:13-15

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

For so is the will of God, that with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”

Why Is Obedience So Important?

“The machinery of civil society is one of the chief and most conspicuous instruments by which God carries out His own moral government of mankind in this present existence. It may be said to be more distinctly and peculiarly derived from Him than other parts of the order of nature, in as much as it is the channel used to convey His moral approbation, or the reverse.”

–Charles Ellicott, 19th Century English Theologian


Is the Law ‘Always Right?’

The Doctrine of Divine Right -- DISCREDITED

What if a law is itself unlawful?

What if there is a dispute among lawful authorities?

What if a law violates religious liberty or conscience? Biblical examples of disobedience.


Most People Have Had a ‘Run-in With the Law’

David’s examples….

   -- speeding ticket

   -- putting up flyers

   -- getting along at work

When Might Disobedience Be OK?

-- When a ruler’s command violates the directives of other branches of government, or the Constitution.

-- When you follow the proper avenue for appeal.

-- When you consult with other saints about it.

-- When to do otherwise would be unloving to your neighbor, or to God.

-- When you have measured the cost, and are willing to pay the price of disobedience.

Obedience: A Self-Assessment

--Do you sometimes feel authority figures are “out to get you?”

-- Did you tend to honor and obey your parents when you were young?

-- What do you do when your heart feels conflicted, or you’re angry or frustrated?

--Do you find yourself frequently regarding the decision-making of those who have authority over you? [Pastor Jim’s point about attitude].

-- Do you feel generally at peace with those who have authority over you? Do you apply a higher standard for authority figures than you would for yourself???

-- Do you consider yourself to be “under authority?” To whom? [Situational versus general obedience].

-- Do you tend to divide laws into those you like or agree with, and those you hate or disagree with, in terms of your self-expectation of obedience? I.E., are you judging the law?

-- Do you pray for those in authority over you???

Obedience Problems tend to arise:

…In marital relationships

…In family relationships

…In work relationships [circumstantial authority].

“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

“And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

“Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ.”   -- -- [Colossians 3:22-24]


Beware of Anger…It Will Tempt You to Sin!

“Be angry, and sin not: Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place to the devil.”

-- Ephesians 4:26-27

These Are Fellow Travelers:

Where you find Disobedience, you’ll usually find:

1. Anger and Strife and Carnal Thinking

Where you find Obedience, you’ll usually find:

2. Peace and Gratitude and a Scriptural Mind

I Timothy 2:1-2

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

Do You Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude?

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

-- Philippians 4:8  (KJV)

Scripture …Overcomes Rebellious Temptation

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

--Ephesians 4:31-32

Scripture – The Best Rx To Fight a Spirit of Disobedience!

“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” – Colossians 3:15-17

The Bible Acknowledges Civil Authority,


Does Civil Authority Recognize the Truths of Scripture?

A photo of president Trump recieving prayer from other ministers


We Must Prepare Ourselves to Obey!

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

-- Romans 13:12


Back to Listen And See