Romans 13 (Sunday update, 2/27/11)

Wow, I am way behind in Sunday updates!  February is always one of the craziest youth ministry months of the year for me, with two different retreats on two different weekends (in addition to the weekend mission trip and conference in January), and my blogging has fallen behind!  Basically, we continued our series on Romans, with this Sunday finding us on chapter 13 of Romans.  We’re using The Complete New Testament Resource, Volume 1 from Youth Specialties as a launching pad for the series; I taught the middle school while Jeff M taught the senior high.

In particular, we focused on Romans 13:1-7, with a goal that students would know how a Christian is to support the government under which they live.  It’s an interesting challenge because often times this passage is dismissed by well intentioned believers who claim we are to support good governments, or governments that agree with God, forgetting that this was written to Roman Christians at a time when following Christ was illegal.  In fact, Paul spent much of his ministry in and out of jail for following Christ!  And yet, Paul wrote this letter instructing people to participate in the government and support the leaders even if they’re not Christians.  It’s quite a challenge, to honor the laws and leaders we don’t like or agree with – the only exception we find in scripture is when it comes to following God!  We got specific in the junior high group, talking about legal issues like how we use the internet, downloading music and movies, cell phone use, etc.  A great follow-up activity would be to read the passage as a family and use the following discussion questions:

  • What do you think about our government and how it serves the people?
  • How is the legitimacy of any government connected to God?
  • What should be a Christian’s response to the laws and leadership of government?
  • For what reason might a Christian disobey the laws of a government?
  • What can Christians do to support the ruling government?

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