Romans 13:1-7 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. NKJV
Paul now turns his attention and focus to the Governing authority that we who love our Lord Jesus Christ must live under. Paul’s focus, his thoughts, his perspective, and the way he sees everything is always through heavenly vision. Paul knows that our Father in Heaven is the one responsible for all things under the sun. It was Paul who (by Divine revelation) wrote these words regarding the Pharaoh of Egypt during the Israelites enslavement, Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” NKJV This evil stiff-necked, stubborn and sinful man was not where he was by accident, but it was God the Father who allowed him to come into power that His Will and Purposes would be done. With all of this as background information to how our Heavenly Father’s Sovereign Will is worked out here upon His earth, Paul now commands us to be under obedience and submit ourselves to the Government that we happen to live under.
Paul (as he declared in Romans 9:17) wants us to be aware that all the Governing authorities we find ourselves under i.e. policemen, sheriff deputies, judges, mayor’s, governor’s, and even the President of United States are all ordained to be in their respective positions of authority by God the Father. The English word ordained Paul uses is translated from the Greek word tasso which is a primary verb that means to arrange in an orderly manner, that is, to assign or dispose (to a certain position or lot) by God only. We human beings so often think we elect a man or woman to a certain office, but the Divine and Holy Truth is that none of them go into any position of authority apart from God the Father’s Sovereign Control. It is God who has “set” these men and women in their respective positions of power and it matters not that they are men or women who are godly or ungodly, we must realize if they are in office they are their entirely by the Will of God.
Paul now declares that when we become obstinate and resist even ungodly authority we are resisting God and not man. It is God who sets up kings or rulers or governors or senators or sheriffs or judges and it is God’s institution of law and order placed so by His Sovereign Will. Our walk with our Lord Jesus Christ is by faith and we eat His Flesh daily and drink in His Blood daily as the source and food and drink of this new life in Him we have so freely received from Him (John 6:53-58). We are held by our Lord Jesus Christ to a far higher standard or code of ethics or way to live than merely the Ten Commandments. It was our Lord who raised the standard of adultery from just the act of a man having sex with another man’s wife to a man looking at her with a desire to have sex with her in his heart the same as committing the actual act itself. Our Lord raise murder from the actual taking of another’s physical life to hatred in the heart against another person equaling the killing of that person, as the Apostle John picked up on our Lord’s theme with these words, 1 John 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. NKJV It is the heart beat of every one of us born again of the Spirit of God to love others and desire not to defraud them in any way or harm them physically that distinguishes us from the natural man or woman who cannot live this way. Therefore, Paul reminds us of this and tells us that we have nothing to fear from the human authorities ordained of God because of our new life in Christ which seeks only to do good to mankind.
God the Father has set up these authorities for man’s good, even the unsaved man is under God’s protection as these that are ordained of God are put in places to restrain acts of evil in the world. God the Holy Spirit also serves as a restrainer of evil or the mystery of iniquity that is loose in our world today. It is the man bent on afflicting evil against his fellow man that must fear God’s ordained authority for they are there to punish them swiftly and harshly for their evil deeds. If God is the One who “sets” men and women in these positions, then He will avenge those corrupt politicians, policeman, sheriffs, judges, and others ordained by Him to serve Him for the good (moral excellence and moral virtue) of society as Paul earlier declared in Romans 12:19. We are to be subject to the men and women in these positions of authority not simply for a carnal reason of being afraid of their punishment to us, but for a far higher standard and reason that we love God the Father and desire to be pleasing to Him by being obedient to the human authorities He has “set” up.
As Samuel declared to King Saul with these words, 1 Samuel 15:22-23 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. NKJV Finally, Paul urges us to pay our taxes as required for the location of where we physically live being always aware and conscious of our heavenly citizenship and the fact that we are citizens of heaven living away from our eternal home we should be more diligent to represent our Heavenly Father on earth with class, dignity, and honor by honoring those human authorities over us even with the resources our Heavenly Father puts under our stewardship.
“The usurpation of power and the abuse of power are not of God, for He is not the author of sin; but the power itself is. As our natural powers, though often abused and made instruments of sin, are from God’s creating power, so civil powers are from God’s governing power. The most unjust and oppressive princes in the world have no power but what is given them from above (John 19:11), the Divine providence being in a special manner conversant about those changes and revolutions of governments which have such an influence upon states and kingdoms, and such a multitude of particular persons and smaller communities.” Matthew Henry
“Our authority is Christ Jesus our Lord and when we live in such a manner daily (being obedient to Him) with that alone in mind, we will never find it a drudgery or a hard grind to obey the human instruments “set” in the places of authority they are in because we understand it is solely by the Will of God they are there.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…