EXPOSITION OF ROMANS XIII. 1-7
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.—For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that rest shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid, for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God; a revenger, to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also; for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render, therefore, to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due—custom to whom custom—fear to whom fear—honour to whom honour."
This passage will be found, upon careful analysis, to embrace the following topics:
I. The duty in general of obedience to civil authority: v. 1.
II. General considerations enforcing this obedience: v. 1 and 2.
III. The design of the appointment of rulers, or of the institution of government: v. 3.
IV. The application of these principles to the case both of good and bad citizens: v. 3, 4.
V. The principle of obedience to civil rule: v. 5.
VI. A more specific statement of the duties owing to civil government, as previously described; v. 6, 7.
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