Published by LT on 26 Mar 2009 at 09:47 pm
One of the lynch pins in Covering Theology is Romans 13:1-7.
Rom 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God.
Rom 13:2 So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment
Rom 13:3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation,
Rom 13:4 for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be in fear, for it does not bear the sword in vain. It is God’s servant to administer retribution on the wrongdoer.
Rom 13:5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience.
Rom 13:6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants devoted to governing.
Rom 13:7 Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
In Covering Theology this passage is applied to all areas of life. All types of authorities (family, civic, church etc…) are deemed to be appointed by God. This leads us to the following question. Do we represent God just because we are in charge?
Consider Paul. He received his authority from Jesus Christ and God the Father. He plainly states that it didn’t come from men or a man.
(NET) From Paul, an apostle (not from men, nor by human agency, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead)
(NASB) Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),
(NRSV) Paul an apostle–sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead–
(NLT) This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ Himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.
(TNIV) Paul, an apostle—sent not with a human commission nor by human authority, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—
In Paul’s thought there is a clear difference between being appointed by God and appointed by people. Paul was appointed by God but he wasn’t appointed through human agency. For Paul they aren’t the same thing. Some are appointed by people or by human agency and others are appointed by God. While logically some could be appointed by both it is clear that there isn’t a one to one relationship between human authority and divine appointment.