Dear Brethren,

We thank God that our country Singapore can celebrate our 48 years of nation building this Friday 9 August 2013.  Indeed God is good to us to give us peace and prosperity in our land. Most of all, we must thank God for religious freedom that we can worship God without fear and also the freedom to preach the Gospel. Because of our strong Singapore dollars, it is also easier to help and support mission work in our neighbouring countries. Let us not take these blessings for granted but rather use every opportunity to reach out to others with the Gospel.

In this respect, may I encourage everyone to try bring someone to our Church outing this Friday so that they can hear God’s Word and also see the love of God among Christians. Pray and do your part for the Lord. Come and be a blessing to others.

I would like to share from Romans 13:1-7 of our Christian duties and responsibilities to the government even as we observe our National Day and thank God for our Nation.

1. The Bible is very clear to command us to submit to civil authority and to obey the laws of the land (Rom 13:1a). There are only 2 exceptions :

a) The Government commands us to do what God forbids – then we must obey God rather than man.

b) We cannot follow what the government forbids if God commands it.

2. The Bible gives us 5 reasons why we should submit and obey the government :

a) Romans 13:1b – Government is ordained by God. God in His wisdom knows this is the way a country can have order and peace to ensure life is protected.

b) Romans 13: 2a – Resistance to government is rebellion against God. We must follow the rules of the country even when we desire a change.

c) Romans 13: 2b,4b – Those who oppose the government will receive punishment. Government is given the authority to execute punishment for those who break the law.

d) Romans 13: 3: Government serves to restrain evil.

e) Romans 13:4a – Government serves to promote good and protect those who do right. Christians must be good citizen.

3. In Romans 13:5, we will have a good conscience when we obey the government and pray for those in authority. We can live a peaceful life and the Gospel can be preached.

4. In Romans 13:6-7, one important way to show our obedience to the government is to pay our taxes. We have to be honest in declaring our income tax. Our Lord Jesus has set the example to pay tax as recorded in the Gospel account.

5. The Bible teaching on submission to authority is really to teach us that we must first learn to submit to God. We must follow the way of God in submission rather than insisting our own ways. When we learn submission, we learn to be humble.

Elder John Leong