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Ask the Pastor 83

How should a Christian think about obeying the law?

Generally speaking, it makes sense to obey the laws of the land because laws are intended for the good of all of society. A society without law becomes chaos, everyone doing what is right in their own eyes will result in someone else being harmed and even killed. The Bible teaches that we are to obey the law of the land, (Romans 13:1; I Peter 2:12-13). Therefore, the simple answer is that Christians are to respect the law and obey it. However, we have an instance in the Bible where the Apostles are ordered to stop preaching in the name of Jesus and they responded, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.” (Acts 4:19), there is a point at which the law of God takes higher priority than the law of man. Early in Church history Christians were ordered to worship the Caesar as god, they refused and were murdered in the most horrific fashion possible. It is clear that when Christians are called upon by law to compromise their faith, then it is time to refuse to obey the law. We are living in times in which there are and are going to be more and more laws passed that infringe upon our religious liberty. A key question for the Church is at what point do we say that we will obey God rather than man? We know, for example, that we must worship the Lord our God and Him only and that we must preach the gospel. It is going to require careful and prayerful discernment to know when the law of the land compromises with the basic tenants of our faith and we must declare that we will obey God rather than man.

Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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