Therefore, whoever resists the government opposes what God has established. Those who resist will bring punishment on themselves.
People who do what is right don’t have to be afraid of the government. But people who do what is wrong should be afraid of it.
Do what is right, and it will praise you. The government is God’s servant working for your good.
But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid. The government has the right to carry out the death sentence. It is God’s servant, an avenger to execute God’s anger on anyone who does what is wrong.
Therefore, it is necessary for you to obey, not only because you’re afraid of God’s anger but also because of your own conscience. That is also why you pay your taxes. People in the government are God’s servants while they do the work he has given them.
Pay everyone whatever you owe them. If you owe taxes, pay them. If you owe tolls, pay them. If you owe someone respect, respect that person. If you owe someone honor, honor that person. (Romans 13:1-7 (GW)
It takes faith to see beyond what everyone else sees. Spiritual insight is needed to think beyond the restrictions of opinion, philosophy, and rhetoric.
Paul wrote these words [by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21)] while living under the oppressive government of the Roman Empire. The emperor was Nero, a twisted, perverted, and evil man.
I've lived and worked under a foreign government and visited countries with oppressive governments. When I hear the emotional rhetoric of the day, I see it for what it is—empty words, void of truth.
Men of faith, such as Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah, lived and served the Lord under powerful and oppressive governments. They, as Paul, understood that all governments are subject to God, for He's the one who is sovereign over all.
Do what is right and true and good—including paying taxes—and trust God. He is the One to whom we are ultimately accountable. ©Word-Strong_2016
[bctt tweet="Love never does anything that is harmful to a neighbor" username="tkbeyond"]
Here's a tweet I saw last week that rings true and is in line with this text in Romans 13—
"We" fail to realize that sometimes the worst judgment God could pronounce on a nation is to let it have its way. pic.twitter.com/VClqqgWVis
— Keith L. Bell (@kbellwether) July 8, 2016
A similar theme to this text in Romans 13 is also found in my recent post— Independent or Dependent?