Christians should be the first people willing to obey civil laws and authorities. Obeying the laws of the land will allow Christians to do greater works for the kingdom. As Christians are directed to obey the civil law and authorities where applicable, the world is encouraged to obey the law of Christ as Christians in the church.
Christians have a greater purpose for obeying the laws and civil authorities in society. According to scripture, Christians are “to be subject” to the ruling officials [Tit 3:1-2]. And Christians know that all authority is “…ordained of God” [Rom 13:1]. But Christians should obey the laws and civil authorities for the opportunity to perform good (spiritual) works for the kingdom of God. When Christians are found breaking the laws of the land, it can weaken God’s influence in the world among mankind. When that happens, non-believers will take occasion to point their fingers at the church as being a hypocritical organization.
Another reason for Christians to obey the laws and civil authorities in society has to do with our past. Some Christians have records and past lifestyles that they are not proud of [Tit 3:3]. The apostle Paul as a sinner acknowledged his past when he wrote “of whom I am chief” and as one who “wasted” the church [I Tim 1:15, Gal 1:13]. Even though some Christians have checkered-pasts, they can still be effective in the work of the Lord reaching a segment of society that most cannot identify with such as addicts, prostitutes, and imprisonments [Tit 3:4-8].
A third reason for Christians to obey the laws and civil authorities in society; to strengthen us to obey Christ in the church. Just as we are to obey the laws in society, the law of Christ must be obeyed at all times in the church [Tit 3:9-11]. Paul instructed Titus of things to avoid in the church; “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and striving about the law (of Moses)” [vs. 9], because such things were “unprofitable and vain”, i.e. the law was no longer required for admission into the kingdom of God [vs. 9]. However, no matter the amount of encouragement, some men and women disobey the law of Christ in the church and prove they are incorrigible, “a heretic after the first and second admonition reject. Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself” [vs. 10-11].
As we watch the road while we are driving, let’s be prepared for the Son of Man at his appearing. Fair if fair!