In a well known passage in Romans chapter 13, Paul says that we are to submit to the governing authorities, since they are “appointed by God”, and are His “servants” (Ro 13:1-7). This is the case because, being raised from the dead to eternal life, Jesus Christ (God’s ‘right-hand man’) has overcome all powers, and rules in and over them as Lord.

Where this could create a problem for us is when a governing authority opposes the clear truth of God, and in such a way that our submitting to them could involve us in opposing God’s law. How could we know this has happened?… from reading the clear truth and law of God – i.e. the Bible, and testing it in discussion with our Christian brothers and sisters (Tm 3:14-17; 1Jn 4:1-6).

How would we respond in such a situation?… We would have to work that out, in ways that are consistent with the clear truth and law of God, and with prayer.

Above all of this we can know, trust and pray, that God will provide for, protect, direct and bless our governing authorities, and correct them, so that His good will and purpose will be done for our community, nation and the nations of the world. However note, Paul does not say that we trust our lives into the hands of the authorities – they are not our saviours!; rather we submit to the governing authorities, because we trust our lives utterly to God and His saving grace.

In this way we can have positive faith, hope and joy in the face of all the “ups and downs” of our political world.

Grace and cheers, Jonathan.