1. We went verse by verse through the topic of Christians & their relationship to governing authorities, so let’s work our way through the questions in the same manner.
A: We started with a re-establishing of something said throughout Romans: we can’t earn our salvation. Even our obedience doesn’t earn salvation. So what is different between obeying in order to get something (i.e. salvation) from God versus obeying in order to glorify God?
B: In v. 1, we see the imperative that dominates the whole passage: be subject to the governing authorities. This imperative is then connected to God’s authority. How does a person’s relationship to God reflect their view of God?
C: In v. 2, we see that rebellion is a serious matter. What are ways that people seek to rebel against the governing authorities in our current context?
D: We then see general governing principles of government in v. 3-4. Government is to promote good & punish wrong. With these principles in mind, we were exhorted to be excellent citizens in society. What are ways we can be excellent in our society?
E: Also in v. 4, the governing authorities are called, “servants of God”. This led to us being pressed to examine whether we spend our energy complaining about government or praying for government. How can you be more faithful to pray for the governing authorities?
F: We then see in v. 5-7 a reaffirmation of v. 1 & then a specific application in the form of taxes. Jesus sets the example concerning Christians & taxes in Mt. 17:24-27 & Lk. 20:19-26. How does what Jesus does & says as well as what Paul’s says challenge many people today?
2. We ended with a few questions that lead to application.
A: We were encouraged to pay our taxes fully & to pray rather than complain. Which of these encouragements is more difficult to do?
B: We were also asked to consider who or what shapes our view of government. What are some of the means by which the views of government have been shaped in our society? What shapes our own personal views of government?
C: Finally we discussed the times in which a Christian ought to oppose the governing authorities: when the law of God & the law of man are in conflict, the law of God supersedes the law of man. We then talked about the examples in Daniel 3, Daniel 6, & Acts 5. How do each of these examples point to quietly doing the right thing? Why is it hard to quietly do the right thing?