“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.”
Every person is to be in subjection to every governing authority. The authority that the government has has been given to it by God himself. It is he who rules the people through the governing authorities. This is why when we resist the authority of the government, we are resisting God himself.
A proper understanding of this will keep us from complaining about certain persons or organizations which make up our government. We live in a culture where it is common place to podium preach against the governing authorities. Turn on conservative radio for an hour and you are sure to be filled to the brim with ideas of how you should resist our governing authorities. But as Christians, we must not succumb to resistance to our governing authorities either in our actions or our speaking.
1 Peter 3:13-16 tells us that when we willing place ourselves under the authority of our government, we will put to shame the people who do not.
- “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God”
And Titus 3:1 reminds us that we are not to malign any government official but rather show consideration for each one of them. This will set us apart from our culture and give us opportunity to point our fellow citizens to Jesus.
- “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”