Nov 2, 2020. Ephesians 5:8-14

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THE CHRISTIAN CITIZEN.  Ephesians 5:8-14. FOR NOVEMBER 4th 2020

Ephesians 5:8-14 [New King James Version]

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

  • The Christian in the political arena
    • We don’t stop being Christians at the church door
      • The world wants to limit our faith to our homes and church buildings
      • The world wants to criminalize teaching faith to your children or sharing it at work and in public
    • Several factors concerning the American Christian:
      • For 18 centuries the church was under monarchs
      • Am. believers are under a republic
      • I Corinthians 10:31 believers are to witness in all arenas of life, not just in church assemblies
    • Examples of faithful giving witness in the political arena:
      • Genesis 47 Jacob gave testimony before Pharaoh
      • Exodus 4 Moses rebuked Pharaoh and demanded the release of Israel to worship their God
      • Elijah, Elisha, and Jeremiah all confronted kings
      • Daniel 2 the 3 Hebrews captives refused to obey Nebuchadnezzar’s command to worship his idol
      • Daniel 6 Daniel refused to stop worshipping God in his usual manner at the king’s decree
      • Matthew 6. John the Baptist was executed because he rebuked King Herod for stealing his brother’s wife
      • Acts 4 and 5 Peter and John refused to stop witnessing for Christ, even when commanded to do so
      • Acts 7 Stephen was martyred for his witness
      • Acts 12 James was beheaded by Herod for his testimony (Peter was jailed with him)
      • Acts 16 Paul was beaten and jailed by magistrates
      • II Timothy 4:16 Paul stood alone to testify before Nero
    • Believers have been involved in politics from the beginning of faith (Abraham and Melchizedek, Joseph and Pharaoh, Nehemiah, Esther, Peter, Paul…) and none thought it inappropriate
  • Political potpourri
    • Several key principles of the believer and his government
      • Romans 13:1-7 the gov. is designed by God to be his representative to promote good and punish evil
      • In USA, the people determine the government
      • James 4:18 to shun our duty as citizens to promote the good and expose the evil is to be a part of the evil that we allow to go unchallenged (Leviticus 5:1)
      • I Chronicles 12:32 as the men of Issachar did, we need to be informed and understand what to do
    • Most leaders will not be faithful believers, but we need to look for wise, moral, competent leaders to govern
      • Isaiah 1:16-20 promotes justice, integrity, and equity
      • II Chronicles 7:14 one whom God will use for good
      • Exodus 23:8 one who is not looking to enrich self
      • Deuteronomy 1:13 one who is wise and discerning to govern
      • Deuteronomy 27:19 one who doesn’t favor the rich and powerful at the expense of the weak and poor
      • Exodus 21:22-25 one who respects all life
      • Proverbs 24:23-26 one who is compassionate and just
      • Exodus 22:21-24 one who promotes freedom and not oppression (Psalm 119:134; Jeremiah 21:12; Ezekiel 45:9)
  • Questions to ask when voting
    • Which candidates best uphold justice, freedom, and mercy?
    • Which candidate support life, respect, wisdom, and faith?
    • Which candidate shun injustice, corruption, murder, and perversion?

Key verse: Romans 13:1-7

1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.