God and government
Scripture: Romans 13:1–13:7
Romans: The Gospel for God’s glory
God and government
Christians should submit to governing authorities for they are appointed by God
Since 12:1, Paul has been talking about ways we present our whole life to God as a living sacrifice. What does how we relate to government have to do with this?
1) Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God, 13:1.
How does Paul say Christians are to relate to governing authorities? What is the reason he gives for this command?
2) Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment, 13:2.
What is the consequence of resisting authorities? Is Paul talking about judgment by man or by God? What are examples of “judgments” today?
3) For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 13:3.
How does Paul say we can be avoid fearing those in authority?
for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer, 13:4. In what ways does Paul say a ruler is God’s servant?
4) Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience, 13:5.
What does Paul mean by saying that we must submit not only to avoid wrath, but for conscience?
5) For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing, 13:6. Why do we pay taxes?
6) Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed, 13:7.
Why is this command difficult?
What are some biblical examples of exceptions to submitting to rulers? Why do you think Paul doesn’t deal with exceptions?
Besides paying taxes and obeying other laws, how should we live as citizens of the kingdom of God in this country and do good under our government system and in our culture?