“1 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.” Titus 3
Civil society requires established laws. But there is never authority to command people to sin.
The authority man has is from God, but he hasn’t the power to force disobedience to God. For Christians, when there is a difference the maxim is, “we must obey God rather than men.”
Generally speaking, Christians follow the laws of the land.
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Rom 13:1.
Paul explains to the Roman Christians that civil authorities are doing God’s work for when there is law and order, it is beneficial to His people. Generally speaking, God expects for His children to obey the law of the land and He will have no sympathy should we become a law breaker.
“For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;” Romans 13:3.
It is shameful if Christians break the law by becoming a threat to their neighbors who God says are to be loved.
“Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;” 1 Peter 4:15.
“For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.” 1 Peter 2:20.
If anyone follows the second great commandment to “love thy neighbor as yourself”, he will not hurt his neighbor which is also the goal (generally speaking) of the law of the land, Galatians 5:13-14.
There are at least for reasons that Christians ought to obey the law of the land. From 1 Peter are the first three.
“13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2
This shows the first reason to obey is “for the Lord’s sake”. Christians should always love so as to do nothing that brings shame to His name. Be blameless so that nothing bad can be said against Christ.
The second reason to obey the laws of the land is to avoid punishment. Paul said to the Romans that the government authority is the minister of God and that “it doesn’t have the sword for nothing,” Romans 13:4.
The third reason to obey the law of the land is “to silence the ignorance of evil men.” Since the Gospel of Christ is unimpeachable and perfect, the evil man will need to find some other way to lay a charge against Christianity. This is why Christians must strive to be upright in all of their ways.
And the fourth reason Christians must obey the law is “for conscience sake.” This comes from Romans 13:5. We follow the law for God’s sake, but we also do so that our own conscience is clean.
Generally speaking, the Christian is a good citizen who is no trouble for the authorities.
Only when the authorities think they can force a Christian to sin does the Christian say no, we must obey God first.
Said in love with humility.