CHAPTER 11

“I'm Above the Law.”

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You may never had heard anyone say this out loud, but most lifestyle criminals believe that they are entitled to violate the laws of society and the rights of others.  They believe that the laws don’t actually apply to them.  And the more they get away with breaking the law, the more they do it.
 
Before you get on your high horse and say, “I would never do such a thing,” examine your own conscience.  Have you ever under-reported your income when you submitted your taxes?  Did you ever over-claim your expenses?  Sometimes we feel “entitled” to do this because we don’t approve of the way the government spends our tax dollars.  Or we think we already pay too much in taxes anyway.  But if you’re audited, and investigators determine you willfully defrauded the government, you could be looking at 75% in penalties plus jail time.

As drivers, we’ve all subconsciously considered ourselves to be above the law at some point in time. Have you ever parked in a no parking zone or a handicap spot, because you’re “just going to be gone a minute”?  When a traffic light turned yellow, did you ever punch the gas and breeze on through the “pink” light instead of slowing down to stop?  Did you ever roll through a stop sign without making a complete stop, if no one was around?  Have you ever gone over the speed limit because you were running late, or because everyone else was going a zillion mph over? When you were younger, did you ever get behind the wheel after a few too many drinks thinking, “I can drive myself home; I’m not really drunk”? Many of us have routinely broken traffic laws without seeing any consequences and thought, “If no one gets hurt, does it really matter?”

In other words, it’s not just criminals that operate under this thinking error. We’ve been guilty of this as well.  But the fact is, no one is above the law, any law … not a high-ranking politician, not a priest, not a police officer, not a millionaire, not a celebrity, not a lawyer, and certainly not criminals. We are all accountable for our actions.

From a Biblical perspective, submission is the proper response of the believer to those who in a position of authority over us. We are to obey man’s laws as though they are God’s laws. Submission to civil authorities facilitates the task God has given to those who govern, to punish the wicked and protect the righteous.

1. Human government was instituted by God after the Genesis flood. The key verse is Genesis 9:6 which says that the person who sheds man's blood (violent murder), by man shall his blood be shed. God could have Himself punished murderers directly, but instead He chose to delegate this responsibility to man. Human government is instituted and ordained by God, and whether saved or unsaved, all men benefit from government and all men ought to fear the government if they disobey its laws and rebel against its authority.

Read 1 Peter 2:13-15.

  a) To whom is the believer to submit?
   
  b) Why are we to submit to the authorities mentioned above?
   
  c) Who raises up leaders?
   
  d) For what purpose are do we have government authorities?
   

2. According to Ephesians 5:21, why are we to obey the law?
 

3. Read Romans 13:1-7.
  a) When a man rebels against civil authorities, against whom is he also rebelling?
   
  b) What happens as a result of this rebellion? (vs. 2)
   
  c) How do we get rid of our fear of the governmental authorities? (vs. 3)
   
  d) What are the governmental authorities called in verse 4?
   
  e) What therefore is the responsibility of the governmental authorities? (vs. 4)
   
  f) Besides fearing what the government might do to you if the police catch you doing something wrong, what is the other reason we are to submit to the government? (vs. 5)
   
  g) According to verse 6, what is the purpose of taxes?
   
  h) How does Paul say we should handle paying our taxes? (vs. 7)
   

4. What did Jesus say we should do regarding the tax dollars we owe the government in Luke 20:25?
 

5. What did Paul tell Titus he should do in Titus 3:1?
 

6. What does 1 John 2:4 say about a person who claims they know God but also breaks the law?
 

7. Is there anyone who is above the law?
 
  Explain your answer.
 

8. How would you counsel a person operating under the “I’m Above the Law” thinking error?
 

Continue to Chapter 12

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