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The Sword Bearer (Romans 13:1-7)

Introductory Thoughts

Perhaps no passage better describes the authority and responsibility given to a country’s leadership than Romans chapter 13. From this passage, it is clear that “the higher powers” are “of God,” and that they are intended to be “God’s ministers.” As such, a country’s leaders are to condone righteousness while also condemning evil. When a person does what is right, the country’s governing bodies should “praise” him, but he should “be afraid” when he chooses to do evil. Why? Because leaders are called to be a terror to evil, bearing the sword of judgment and executing “wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Any country led by men who understand these biblical truths would enjoy a supernatural blessing experienced only by those following the will of God.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): King Artaxerxes gave Ezra permission to return to Jerusalem and to appoint magistrates and judges over the land of Judea. Notice their qualifications and what power they had (Ezra 7:25-26). Solomon gave us wise advice regarding the sword bearer (Proverbs 24:21a; Ecclesiastes 8:2-5).
  • (For everyone): Do the leaders in your country encourage Christians to obey the Bible? Do they punish those who depart from the truth?
  • How is it a fallacy to think that all can have and maintain equal rights? What rights do any of us truly possess? From whence do our rights originate?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Thank God for the opportunities you have to serve Him!
  • Ask God to keep you from those desirous of thwarting His work.