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Briefing: Although we live in a time where there seems to be less respect for authority and law enforcement, we must remember that the vocal minority is getting most of the media attention. The vast majority of our family, friends and neighbors are law abiding and authority obeying people.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 13:3-7.

On the Street: In Romans 1:1-2, Paul addresses authority. The next couple of verses Paul talks about how a group of people (law enforcement) are the instruments God will use to carry out His justice on earth. Paul focuses more on how this group of people (law enforcement) are to treat God’s people than on who these people are.

Verses 3-7 are where most of our “civilized” members of society fall. They expect us to keep them safe and punish wrong doers. If this were not the case we would have chaos. Depending on where you live, most people like to see police cars patrolling their city streets. It is the people with a guilty conscious who don’t want to see us or be seen by us.

How do we commend those who do what is right? Verse four says we are God’s servants, even if you don’t believe in God, you are His servant. If you don’t believe in gravity it does not mean that gravity does not exist, it just means you are not as smart as you think. You are God’s servant to do good to His people. You do that by protecting and serving the people of your community. You go into situations that other people would not go into. Yes, we do not bear the sword for nothing. Our sword is our weapon, the discipline and punishment we are authorized to carry out but our Spiritual sword is the Word of God.

Paul even addresses the taxes that pay law enforcement salaries. This idea of justice and a criminal justice system is not new. Deuteronomy 16:18-20 says, “Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.”

God calls this system into being for obvious reasons, He does not want chaos and evil to operate unhindered. Psalm 33:5 says, “The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love.” He has commissioned a people to protect and serve. We call those people law enforcement.

Investigational Resources: 1 John 3:4, Proverbs 21:15, Psalm 37:27-29, Isaiah 1:17, Zechariah 7:9.

Officer Safety Principle: God has given law enforcement a position of authority. We must be good stewards of this responsibility.

from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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