A Christian's Conduct
Toward God, Civil Government And His Neighbor

  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SOLOMON WROTE:
    2. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 = "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep
      his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
      For God shall bring every work into
      judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
      "

    3. THE APOSTLE PAUL WRITE VERY CLEARLY THAT WHAT THIS WHOLE DUTY OF MAN IS:
    4. Romans 12:1-2 = "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
      your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
      And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
      that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
      "

      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 rulers 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: 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. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to
      whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled 
      the law. For this, Thou shalt 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
      neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling 
      of the law.
      "

    5. LET US TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE THREE ASPECTS OF WHAT MAN IS GOING
      TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR:
      1. Accountable for obedient service (or service) to God.
      2. Accountable for obedience (conduct) to civil government.
      3. Accountable for his conduct before his neighbor.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. TO GOD
      1. Paul in stressing the importance of what he is about to say with these words: "I beseech you
        therefore, brethren…
        " = Romans 12:1.
        1. Beseech is from the Greek word Parakaleo, pronounced (par-ak-al-eh'-o); to invoke
          (by imploration, hortation or consolation); that is to exhort, intreat and pray for 
          something to be given careful consideration and obedience.
        2. The motive behind this beseeching is found in these words: 
          "…By the mercies of God…" = Romans 12:1.
      2. The admonition that Paul gives of this conduct of obedience to God involves two things:
        1. The body: "…That ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable 
          unto God, which is your reasonable service.
          " = Romans 12:1

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 = "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

    1. The mind: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of 
      your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

      = Romans 12:2.
      1. Since a Christian belongs to God is fitting that he should heed this admonition.
    1. TO GOVERNMENT
      1. Paul states plainly that "That every soul be subject unto the higher powers. …
        = Romans 13:1.
      2. Paul gives the following reasons why our conduct should be that of obedience:
        1. The wrath of God upon them for disobedience:
        2. Romans 13:2 = "Whosoever therefore resisteth the powerl, resisteth the 
          ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
          "

          Romans 13:4 = "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.
          "

        3. For conscience sake:
          1. Civil government is an institution of God’s ordinance.
          2. Romans 13:1 = "…For there is no power but of God: the powers that be 
            are ordained of God.
            "

            Romans 13:2 = "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the
            ordinance of God: …
            "

          3. Civil government is a necessity.
            1. A terror to those that work evil.
            2. Romans 13:3 = "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the
              evil. …
              "

            3. Those that do good need have no fear.

        Romans 13:3 = For rulers 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:
        "

      3. Let us not forget that Civil government:
        1. Is a minister of God to carry out his will toward the disobedient.
        2. Romans 13:4 = "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.
          "

        3. Those that do good enjoy the benefits and the blessing that come from civil government
          and therefore should not hinder it, or oppose it; but to the contrary preserve and support
          it.

Romans 13:6-7 = "For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."

I Peter 2:17 = "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king."

    1. TO HIS NEIGHBOR
      1. We have a sacred obligation of conduct toward our neighbor.
      2. Romans 13:8 = "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: …"

        1. The debt of love we must always be paying, and one that we will always be owing.
        2. It is not something that I have a choice of doing or not doing.
      3. When we do this we are in obedience to the law of God.
      4. Romans 13:8 = "… For he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law."

      5. Paul gives a brief check list to help us see how well we are loving our neighbor:
      6. Romans 13:9 = "For this, Thou shalt 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 neighbour as thyself.
        "

        Comment: I read somewhere the follow statement of in a book, of which I have forget where 
        it came from: "Love will not permit us to injure, oppress or offend our brother; it will not give 
        us leave to neglect our betters or despise our inferiors. It will restrain every inordinate passion,
        and will not suffer us to gratify our envy at the expense of our neighbor’s credit and reputation:
        but it will preserve us harmless and innocent."

      7. The true measure of loving our neighbor is learned in these words of Paul "Thou shalt love 
        thy neighbour as thyself.
        " = Romans 13:9.
        1. You will work no "ill" to him. You will do not injuiry to his body, character or reputation.
        2. Romans 13:10 = "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the
          fulfilling of the law.
          "

        3. You will do him good. Minister to his body, character and reputation. Love is positive
          and a good example is the parable of the Good Samaritan. In Luke 10.
  1. CONCLUSION:

    1. THE CONDUCT OF A CHRISTIAN IN HIS RELATIONSHIP TO GOD, GOVERNMENT
      AND NEIGHBOR IS ONE OF OBEDIENT TO THE LAW OF GOD.
      1. Obedience to God’s law:
      2. Romans 13:10 = "…Fulfilling the law."

      3. Obedience to God’s ordained powers:

      Romans 13:1-2 = "… 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.
      "

    2. THIS OBEDIENCE CONDUCT IS REQUIRED OF EVERY SOUL:
    3. Romans 13:1 = "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. …"

    4. EVERYONE OF US ARE SUBJECT TO THE LAW OF GOD AND ONE DAY WILL BE
      JUDGED BY IT, HOW WELL HAVE YOU COMPLIED WITH THAT OBEDIENCE?

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