In Peter’s first epistle he wrote, “Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake” (1 Pet. 2:13). If one were to borrow words from modern vernacular, one might simply say, “Obey the laws of the land.” However, in a society that seems to be pushing further and further away from God, is it possible to still do so and maintain our faithfulness and ultimately promote righteousness? The answer might seem difficult at first glance, but really, it’s simple, YES! Then, the question becomes how?
As Christians living in a postmodern world where the access to sin is quite literally right at our fingertips, how do we maintain our faithfulness? Paul made the statement when writing to the church at Rome to “present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2). To maintain our Christian values in the midst of an ever-changing government, we must first understand the severity of our commitment to the Lord. Paul uses explicit language here, and he ultimately said to give God our highest prized possession, ourselves! He followed through with the details pertaining to such a sacrifice by telling us to be holy. The idea of holiness is often defined as set-apartness, sanctification, consecration; it also carries with it the idea of being pure and blameless. Then the apostle went further to say that we are not to be fashioned according to this world but rather to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
We are to bear the marks of Christ. When it comes to our faithfulness, there should never have to be a compromise. Do you recall the question that was asked of Jesus concerning paying tribute to Caesar and His response to it? He said, “Render to Caesar that which is Caesar and to God that which is God’s” (Luke 20:25). Was it the questions that drew this response from Christ? No, the answer, Jesus says, is found in the details of the coin. In the previous verses, Jesus made reference to possession by calling out the image and superscription of the coin. We are to bear the marks of a Christian before we bear the marks of anything else, and that includes our governmental responsibilities. This is why it is in His image that we are to be fashioned and not that of the world. This could very well be why Jesus reminded us that we are not of the world but that He has chosen us out of the world (John 15:18-19).
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