So we went to our nearest Video Ezy outlet yesterday and rented three DVDs – Red Cliff 2, 500 Days of Summer and The Departed. Big fat hairy deal? Well, it was. And here is why.
At the same time I was preparing my message about the resurrection of Jesus, I was also studying Romans. And chapter 13 verse 1-4 says we are expected and commanded to submit to the government and laws, because they are instituted by God for our good.
And it got me thinking about the rules or laws I keep and don’t. In particular one area jumped out at me. When Graham and I were dating, watching movies at the cinema was considered a luxury, and we often just settled for watching movies online (downloaded or streaming).
Now, with bills to pay and lack of time, the cinema is even more of a treat! Watching movies at home is just so convenient… But then more and more, I think: Who am I to decide what law I can break, and what law I should keep?
If the risen Jesus is Ruler and Judge of the world, then I don’t have the authority to decide what laws or rules are dumb or trivial.
I like how John Piper puts it too:
Submit to it out of reverence for God—not reverence for the ruler. God has stripped rulers of their final authority. That’s what verse one means. They are not God. God is God. When you submit, you submit for God’s sake. “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution” (1 Peter 2:13). And this Lord is the risen Lord Jesus who is King of Kings and to whom all authority in heaven and earth has been given. In other words, keeping the speed limit is Christian worship.
In my case, saying no to illegal movies and shows is not optional, but necessary out of reverence and fear of God.