|Titus 3 |
1 Remind people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey magistrates,1 to be ready for every good work,
2 To speak evil of no man, to avoid being contentious, but to be humble, showing gentleness to all men.
3 For we ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving many lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. [You are still serving your lusts and pleasures until your selfish spirit, carnal mind, and evil imagination have been crucified, (destroyed by the Spirit), when you receive the mind of Christ and new life, the newly created nature of true righteousness and holiness of Christ.]
4 But after the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
5 He saved us, not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to his mercy by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 Which he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 So that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs of eternal life according to our hope. [By grace we are redeemed from all sins and purified, to then be justified; salvation, justification, and sanctification all occur simultaneously.]
8 This is a trustworthy statement, and I urge you to assert these things constantly, so that those who have believed in God might be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good; for these things are good and profitable.
9 But avoid foolish disputes, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
10 Reject a man who is divisive after a first and second admonition,
11 Knowing that such a person is perverted, and sins after being convicted, and is condemned even by himself.
12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have determined to stay there over the winter.
13 Do whatever you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey; see that they lack nothing.
14 And let our own people learn to be engaged in good deeds, so they can provide whatever is needed and not be idle and unfruitful.
15 All those who are with me salute you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
1 Remind people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey magistrates, to be ready for every good work. Be subject to government. We are to obey all laws unless the law conflicts with Christ's commands, such as the Apostles refused to stop teaching the Way in Jerusalem's temple, and as the early Quakers refused to pay tithes, swear in court, close their businesses on so called holy days, etc. Christ's followers are at peace with everyone and do not seek revenge or external change; rather they seek personal internal change. To them, the world is passing away and involvement in it is a waste of time. They are told to obey the laws of their governments and be submissive to their governments, no matter how oppressive they might be.
Let every soul be subject to the governing powers [authorities]. For there is no power but of God; the powers that exist are ordained by God.
Therefore you must be subject to them, not only in fear of their wrath, but also for the sake of conscience. Rom 13:1,5
Speaking of the Early Quakers, who despite having suffered massive persecution from three different governments in England, William Penn wrote how they submitted to those governments, (they respectfully pleaded in person and in writing with the government officials who were responsible for the severe and unfair persecutions of which they suffered, but they never organized a protest or even advocated their members vote for certain persons running for elected office, i.e. sheriff):
"...they were for submitting to government; and not only for fear, but for conscience sake, where government does not interfere with conscience, believing it to be an ordinance of God, and where it is justly administered, a great benefit to mankind. Though it has been their lot, through blind zeal in some, and interest in others, to have felt the strokes of it with greater weight and rigor than any other persuasion in this age; while they, of all others, (religion set aside), have given the civil magistrate the least occasion of trouble in the discharge of his office."
When you stop resisting government or its policies, or being concerned for who is doing what in government, you will be amazed at the freedom you will enjoy. The concerns of time are wasting; as I heard while waiting on the Lord, "You can spend your time trying to correct evil, or you can spend your time seeking me."
Failure to protest or resist government does not translate to support or endorsement of government or its policies,
it only preserves and demonstrates your commitment to follow peace with all men.
Follow peace and holiness with all men, without which no man will see the Lord. Heb 12:14.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you. Rom 12:18.
What government could have been more oppressive than the Roman government that crucified Christ? And yet, we can read that never was a word of criticism or protest, much less seditious suggestions, spoken by Christ or the Apostles before or even afterwards. The Roman government was also constantly involved in wars and insurrections; but never did any of his followers utter a word of discontent with the government or its policies.
See Submission to Government for more detailed information.