Governing Authorities Part 4.
It’s day 4 of our post-series on God’s Governing Authorities, based on Romans 13:1-7.
If you’re just checking in, you might want to check out the following previous posts for some context. (Part 1) Did Paul Submit To Government?, (Part 2) Would You Prefer Emperor Nero Over Your Current Leader? and (Part 3) Would You Consider Yourself A Good Citizen?
Moving forward, Romans 13:4-7.
“For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.” (Romans 13:4-5)
As we read through these two verses, verse 4 seems to stand out. It gives us some reason to question, “If our government has been established to do me good, why aren’t they doing me good?”
However, it’s important to keep in mind that “good” in our eyes may be vastly different than “good” in the eyes of God.
What if the government has oppressed or persecuted Christians? Is that “good“? But let’s not forget what history and current events tells us. Whenever a government is persecuting the church, the Gospel seems to spread like wild-fire.
Perhaps, what is “good” for one’s soul is not so good for one’s freedom or bank account.
“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:6-7)
There is an obvious connection.
There’s a connection between these last two verses and Jesus. When Christ was asked about taxation in the Gospels, we read that Jesus chose to pay what was required, even when He knew they were being over-taxed.
The Jews of that day wanted Christ to be a political and military juggernaut, that would overthrow the Roman Empire. Instead, he was a man who stayed away from politics and war, and instead led through love and meeting the needs of the people.
Whenever Jesus chose to oppose someone, it never seemed to be within the Roman government. Jesus consistently chose to challenge the religious leaders of His own people group.
For this reason, this is why so many Jews all over the world, refuse to believe that Jesus was and is their Messiah. They will continue to wait for that political and military hero to bring them personal and national glory.
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
How was Jesus against the Roman government?