Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God (by His permission, His sanction), and those that exist do so by God’s appointment (Romans 13:1 Amplified Bible). Romans 13 by Frank Ball
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Paul stresses civil obedience. In Palestine, and especially Galilee, the Jews were notoriously rebellious.* Now he addresses obedience to Roman authority – believers, knowing God is the absolute authority, must obey civil law.
This counsel concerning obedience to civil authority is a theme that runs throughout the New Testament (Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25, Romans, 1 Timothy 2, Titus 3, and 1 Peter to list a few).
God Is the Supreme Authority
Paul reveals is that God allows or chooses leaders for nations and countries. Believers must respect governing authorities and their laws, because all power to rule exists with God’s permission. Let every soul submit itself to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God, and the powers that are ordained of God (Romans 13:1 Jubilee Bible).
Fulfill All the Commands
Paul reminds believers of a statement Jesus made. Of all God’s commandments . . . all these are fulfilled in one simple act of obedience: Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself (Romans 13:9 by Frank Ball). The command to love your neighbor is a new way of life empowered by God’s love – Jesus Christ. Alleluia.
Prayer: Father, thank you for making difficult things simple. We must obey and we must love. You know they are simple only with and through your power.
Questions: Who really selects our governing authorities . . . God amazingly. History reveals how God has punished nations and countries for unrighteous living. Can you name a few?
* The Daily Study Bible Series, The Letter to the Romans, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1957, pp. 185-189.