As a Christian, you might wonder how to navigate the balance between your faith and obedience to earthly authorities. The Bible provides guidance on this matter, with 1 Peter 2:13 encouraging believers to ‘submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake.’
In this article, we’ll explore 10 examples of how individuals in the Bible demonstrated this principle, helping you better understand how to apply it in your own life.
Throughout the Bible, you’ll find instances where the faithful chose to submit to earthly authorities, even when it wasn’t easy.
From Jesus’ example in Matthew 22:21 to Daniel’s obedience to King Darius in Daniel 6:6-10, these stories serve as a reminder that submission is not only an act of obedience to God, but also a way to honor Him in your everyday life.
By examining these biblical examples, you’ll gain insight into how to live out your faith in a world that often demands submission to secular authorities.
- Biblical examples demonstrate the importance of submitting to earthly authorities, even in difficult situations.
- Submission to governing authorities is an act of obedience to God and promotes harmony and peace within communities.
- Christians are instructed not only to obey the laws set by governing authorities but also to respect and honor them.
- Following Jesus’ example in dealing with earthly authorities, seeking the welfare of the cities they’re living in, and embracing their roles while demonstrating the importance of submitting to every ordinance of man are important aspects of Christian living.
Jesus’ example (Matthew 22:21)
You can look to Jesus’ example in Matthew 22:21, where He said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”
This reminds us to respect and follow the laws of our earthly authorities while also keeping our focus on our spiritual obligations.
This statement came in response to a question from the Pharisees, who were trying to trap Jesus by asking if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus’ response not only avoided their trap but also provided a valuable lesson for all of us.
We should submit ourselves to the laws and ordinances of our government, but we must also remember our higher calling to serve God.
In practicing this balance, you can follow Jesus’ example by engaging with your community and obeying the laws that govern it, while also making sure to prioritize your relationship with God.
This means paying your taxes, respecting authority figures, and participating in civic duties, all while maintaining a strong spiritual foundation.
By doing so, you’ll be a living testament to Jesus’ teachings, showing others the importance of submitting to earthly authorities while also keeping your eyes on the ultimate prize: a deep, fulfilling relationship with God.
Daniel’s obedience to King Darius (Daniel 6:6-10)
It’s absolutely astounding how Daniel, despite knowing the grave consequences, still chose to faithfully obey King Darius’ decree, showcasing his unwavering commitment to both God and earthly authority.
Daniel’s obedience to King Darius demonstrates the importance of submitting to the ordinances of man, as instructed in 1 Peter 2:13.
Even when faced with the threat of being thrown into a den of lions, Daniel remained steadfast in his faith and continued to pray to God, trusting that his obedience to both God and the king would ultimately protect him.
Daniel’s story serves as a powerful example of how to submit to the ordinances of man while maintaining a strong relationship with God.
By placing his trust in God and continuing to honor the king’s decree, Daniel was able to experience God’s protection and ultimately bring glory to God through his obedience.
This powerful demonstration of faith and submission should inspire you to follow in Daniel’s footsteps, trusting in God’s plan and purpose while still respecting and obeying the laws and authorities established by man.
|Lessons to Learn
|Obeyed King Darius’ decree
|Respect and obey earthly authorities
|Continued to pray to God despite the decree
|Maintain a strong relationship with God
|Trusted in God’s protection
|Trust in God’s plan and purpose
|Brought glory to God through his obedience
|Inspire others by demonstrating faith and submission
In Paul’s teachings found in Romans 13:1-7, he emphasizes the importance of submission to governing authorities. He asserts that they’ve been established by God and that disobedience to them equates to rebelling against God’s divine order.
Christians are instructed to not only obey the laws set by these authorities but also to respect and honor them, as they ultimately serve God’s purpose.
By submitting to the government, individuals display their obedience to God and maintain a clear conscience.
Paul’s teachings outline several key points in support of submitting to governing authorities:
- All authority comes from God: Paul argues that all governing authorities are established by God, and therefore, by obeying them, you are obeying God.
- Rebellion against authorities is rebellion against God: If you choose to disobey the government, you’re effectively going against God’s will and appointed order.
- Authorities are meant to maintain order and punish wrongdoers: Governments are established to maintain a sense of order, provide justice, and protect citizens from harm. By submitting to them, you are promoting a peaceful and orderly society.
- Pay taxes and respect those in authority: Paul encourages believers to pay their taxes and give respect to those in positions of authority, as they are God’s servants working for the benefit of the society.
By adhering to these principles, you demonstrate your faith and trust in God’s plan. This ultimately promotes harmony and peace within your community and with God Himself.
Peter’s instruction (1 Peter 2:17)
Show sincere respect and regard for rulers and authorities, as Peter’s profound proclamation in 1 Peter 2:17 advises, to foster faithfulness and fortitude in both your spiritual journey and social interactions.
Recognizing the importance of established order and respecting those in positions of power is not only wise but also a fundamental aspect of Christian living.
Peter’s instruction serves as a reminder to maintain a humble and obedient attitude towards authority, acknowledging that their role is crucial in maintaining order and stability in society.
In your daily life, strive to exhibit the virtues of honor, respect, and love towards others, including those in positions of authority.
This approach not only reflects your commitment to following God’s guidance but also contributes to a harmonious and peaceful environment.
By understanding and applying Peter’s teaching, you can deepen your relationship with God and become a positive influence in your community, ultimately fulfilling your purpose as a follower of Christ.
Remember, a life lived in submission to authority demonstrates a heart that’s surrendered to God’s will and guidance.
The apostles’ response to the Sanhedrin (Acts 5:27-29)
When faced with opposition from the Sanhedrin in Acts 5:27-29, the apostles’ unwavering courage and commitment to God’s word can inspire you to stand firm in your faith, even when it seems like the whole world is against you.
In this passage, the apostles are brought before the high priest and other Jewish leaders, who are upset by their continued preaching about Jesus despite being previously warned not to do so.
The apostles’ response to the Sanhedrin is a powerful reminder of the importance of obeying God rather than human authorities when the two are in conflict: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Take a moment to consider the lessons you can learn from the apostles’ actions in this situation, as shown in the table below:
|Example from Acts 5:27-29
|The apostles stood before the Sanhedrin, knowing they could face severe punishment.
|Stand firm in your faith, even when it’s unpopular or challenging.
|Obedience to God
|The apostles chose to obey God rather than the Sanhedrin’s command to stop preaching.
|Prioritize God’s commands over the expectations of others.
|Trust in God’s plan
|The apostles believed that God would protect and guide them, even in the face of opposition.
|Trust in God’s plan for your life, even when it seems uncertain.
|Boldness in sharing the gospel
|The apostles did not shy away from proclaiming Jesus despite being warned not to.
|Share your faith with others, even when it’s uncomfortable or risky.
|Faithfulness to the truth
|The apostles remained steadfast in their convictions, even when challenged by powerful leaders.
|Stay true to your beliefs, even when others try to sway you.
As you face challenges and opposition in your own life, remember the apostles’ response to the Sanhedrin and their unwavering commitment to God’s word.
By following their example, you can find the courage to stand firm in your faith and prioritize obedience to God above all else.
Jesus’ response to Pilate (John 19:10-11)
Jesus’ response to Pilate in John 19:10-11 is nothing short of remarkable. He displays a calm and steadfast demeanor even when facing the very man who held his earthly fate in his hands.
Despite being questioned and threatened by the Roman governor, Jesus displays submission to the will of God and recognizes the authority given to Pilate.
This encounter between Jesus and Pilate provides valuable insights into how we, as Christians, should submit ourselves to every ordinance of man, according to 1 Peter 2:13.
In this interaction, we can observe several key aspects that exemplify Jesus’ submission and respect for authority.
Jesus acknowledges Pilate’s authority, stating that it has been given to him from above, thus demonstrating an understanding of the bigger picture and God’s plan.
He remains calm and composed, even when faced with false accusations and the possibility of a painful death. Jesus does not retaliate or lash out against Pilate, but instead speaks the truth with humility and grace.
He ultimately accepts the consequences of his actions, knowing that they are part of God’s will for his life.
By following Jesus’ example in dealing with earthly authorities, we can learn to submit ourselves to every ordinance of man, as instructed in 1 Peter 2:13. This not only honors God but also allows us to be a testimony of our faith and trust in His divine plan.
Jeremiah’s message to the exiles (Jeremiah 29:7)
In Jeremiah 29:7, we find a powerful message for the exiles, encouraging them to seek the welfare of the cities they’re living in and to pray for their prosperity, even though they might be far from home.
This message aligns with the broader principle of submitting to every ordinance of man, as stated in 1 Peter 2:13.
By seeking the welfare of the city and its people, the exiles would be demonstrating their willingness to obey the authorities and live in harmony with their new environment.
Furthermore, Jeremiah’s message also reflects the idea of trusting in God’s plan and recognizing that He is in control, even in the midst of unfavorable circumstances.
By praying for the prosperity of the cities they’re living in, the exiles would be acknowledging that God is sovereign over all things and that He can use any situation for His glory and the good of His people.
This attitude of submission and trust in God’s plan is a valuable lesson for all believers, as it teaches us to be faithful and obedient, no matter what challenges or obstacles we may face in life.
Joseph’s service to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:39-40)
Imagine being sold into slavery, wrongfully imprisoned, and then suddenly finding yourself in a position of great authority – that’s exactly what happened to Joseph in Genesis 41:39-40, when Pharaoh recognized his wisdom and appointed him as his second-in-command.
Joseph’s life took a dramatic turn, and he went from being a prisoner to becoming the ruler of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself.
This incredible transformation is an example of someone who submitted himself to every ordinance of man, as mentioned in 1 Peter 2:13.
Joseph’s service to Pharaoh involved several key responsibilities, which can be summarized as follows:
- Managing the nation’s resources: Joseph was put in charge of overseeing Egypt’s agricultural and economic affairs during a time of both abundance and famine. This required wisdom and foresight, qualities that Joseph demonstrated when interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams.
- Implementing a wise plan: Joseph devised a seven-year plan to store up grain during the years of plenty, which helped Egypt survive and even prosper during the years of famine that followed. His strategic thinking and ability to foresee potential challenges were vital in this role.
- Acting as a trusted advisor: Pharaoh relied on Joseph’s wisdom and insight in matters of governance, which required Joseph to be both loyal and honest. His integrity and commitment to the well-being of Egypt earned him the trust and respect of the ruler.
- Demonstrating humility and faithfulness: Despite his newfound power and influence, Joseph remained humble and faithful to God. He recognized that his abilities and success were ultimately due to God’s guidance and favor.
By embracing his role as Pharaoh’s second-in-command, Joseph demonstrated the importance of submitting to every ordinance of man, as instructed in 1 Peter 2:13.
His willingness to serve and his commitment to using his gifts for the benefit of the people around him stand as a timeless example for us all.
Nehemiah’s role in the Persian court (Nehemiah 2:1-9)
Ever wondered how a humble cupbearer could become a key figure in history and an inspiration to us all? That’s precisely the story of Nehemiah in Nehemiah 2:1-9, who found himself serving in the Persian court and playing a crucial role in rebuilding Jerusalem.
In his role as the cupbearer, Nehemiah demonstrated the importance of submitting to every ordinance of man, even while serving a foreign king.
This faithful service led to an opportunity that would ultimately change the course of history and inspire generations to come.
Nehemiah’s trustworthiness and dedication in the Persian court caught the attention of King Artaxerxes, who granted him permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.
The king not only gave Nehemiah the authority, but also provided the resources needed for the project.
This is a perfect example of the blessings that come when we submit ourselves to the authorities placed over us. Here’s a table to remind us of the lessons we can learn from Nehemiah’s story:
|Be honest and reliable in all aspects of life, even when serving under difficult circumstances.
|Work diligently and wholeheartedly in whatever position you find yourself in, regardless of the role or task.
|Submission to Authority
|Recognize the importance of submitting to the authorities placed over us, as this can lead to opportunities and blessings beyond our expectations.
Nehemiah’s role in the Persian court teaches us the importance of submitting ourselves to every ordinance of man, even in seemingly insignificant positions. As we follow this example, we can trust that God will use us to make a difference and bring about His divine plan in our lives and the lives of those around us.
Timothy’s instruction (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Don’t you think it’s remarkable how the Apostle Paul urges Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 to pray for all people, especially for those in authority?
This powerful exhortation, adorned with a sense of urgency, reminds us that our prayers can create a ripple effect, transforming the lives of individuals, communities, and even entire nations.
By submitting ourselves to every ordinance of man, our obedience to God’s word not only promotes a peaceful and orderly society but also prepares us to be effective witnesses for Christ in every aspect of our lives.
Imagine the impact that can be made when we follow Paul’s instruction to Timothy, lifting up our leaders in prayer and seeking God’s wisdom and guidance for them.
We can actively participate in God’s work by interceding on behalf of those who make decisions that affect our daily lives.
So, let’s take this call to heart and make it a priority to pray for our leaders and authorities, knowing that our obedience to this command can bring about positive change in our world.
So, what does all this mean for you? It means that submitting to authorities, even those who might not share your beliefs, is an essential part of your faith journey.
By following the examples of Jesus, Daniel, Paul, and others, you can demonstrate your commitment to God’s will and live a life that honors Him.
Remember, submitting to every ordinance of man doesn’t mean compromising your faith. Instead, it’s a powerful way to show your love for God and make a positive impact in the world.