Romans 13:1-7
Rom 13:1 (KJV)
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.

Paul continues the thread from chapter 12. One of the reasons that we are not to attempt to take vengeance for ourselves is that God has ordained national governments to oversee the population of each country. We are instructed in this verse that we are to be subject or submit ourselves to the government which God has raised up over us. We are also told here that there is no government of any country, state, province, or city that is not ordained or appointed by God. Many times we wonder at this when we think of governments such as Hitler, Stalin, or even Idi Amin. How could God allow such governments to exist? We must remember that we live in a fallen world and God works His perfect will, even through evil, wicked rulers. The Kingdom of God is not subject to earthly rule.
(Gal 5:22-23 KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, {23} Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. However, because we, as believers, still live in this present world, as citizens of a country, are subject to the laws of that country.

Rom 13:2 (KJV)
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

This is also an interesting verse since we are told here that if we resist the power, then we are resisting the government that God set up. The first word “resisteth” carries with it the meaning of “setting oneself against.” Citizens who set themselves against their governments, are in essence, resisting the authority of God. Now the question comes up, what about a tyrannical government? Well, same situation exists. If God has allowed a tyrannical government to exist, then the citizens are to obey the laws of that government. When the Lord Jesus Christ was on earth, He was born under the Roman Empire. Christ did not go around fostering rebellion against Rome, instead He was subject unto their laws because He knew that all earthly governments are ordained of God.

(John 19:10-11 KJV) Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? {11} Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Jesus told Pilate rightly that he had no authority at all except for the authority which God gave him. Now also in this verse we must understand that if the earthly government makes laws which are contrary to the laws of God, then the Christian is under no obligation to keep them.
(Acts 5:29 KJV) Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. For example, in China if a woman has two children and she becomes pregnant again, the government can force her to have an abortion. Abortion is murder and therefore is against the law of God, so Christians are not to murder so they will attempt to disobey that law in obedience to God’s law. In the United States, we have something called the Federal Reserve and it was formed in 1908 by a private banking cartel and ratified illegally in 1913.

In 1914 the Internal Revenue Service was formed as the collection agency for the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air and then loans it into existence and charges interest. This is why we have serial wars so the government can keep borrowing from the Federal Reserve and continue to pump up the national debt. Resulting from the Federal Reserve, the United States went bankrupt in 1938. Both the IRS and the Federal Reserve are illegal, unconstitutional organizations in which the President of the United States can disband at a moment’s notice. Today about 40% of all income goes to the illegal Federal Reserve. Yet, in this country, despite Satan’s attempt to bankrupt the funding of the gospel, God has allowed enough money to be printed so that the Gospel can be well-funded. This verse also teaches that Christians should not be terrorists or anarchists.

Rom 13:3 (KJV)
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:

Terror - Fear

The judicial authority of government is to wield its God-given authority not to those who do good works or who are good citizens. It is to come down on those who break the civil laws such as organized crime, murderers, bank robbers, drug dealers, or any such infraction of the civil laws. A good citizen is one who fears the power of the government, not because they would be wrong in opposing a bad law but because they are Christians who do not want to tarnish the testimony of Christ in their life. How many of us feel a little intimidated when we are driving and a police car is behind us? We may have done nothing wrong but we feel like we have. We are told here that we should be good citizens and we should not break the law, and by doing that we will get praise for being good citizens. The word “praise” carries with it the meaning of “commendation or approbation.” This praise means that if we obey the law, then the law will allow us to live a life in peace within the borders of our country.

Rom 13:4 (KJV)
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.

Minister - Servant
Revenger - Avenger

The law is the minister or servant of God which is designed to preserve society and make a peaceful existence for those who obey the laws. This is what good the law does by weeding out those criminals who make the streets dangerous. In 1934, I am sure the people of the Midwest were happy when John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and others were finally killed by the authorities. They would rob and even kill innocent people, even though they came off as Robin Hood types. They were anything but because they stole people’s money and killed without conscience. The authorities do not bear the sword in vain because of sin, there is always somebody who is disobeying the laws and committing crimes which affect all of us. In Genesis, we are told that if man sheds blood then he is to give his own blood, in other words, capital punishment is ordained of the Lord. Now since He doesn’t send lightning bolts to do this, He ordains government to fulfill the duty of bringing the lawless to justice. Of course, even though they pay a temporal penalty here on earth, like jail, if any of them remain unsaved, they will pay the ultimate penalty of eternal damnation after the judgment of God. It must also be understood that tyrannical governments that persecute Christians will be accountable to God also. They cannot use their titles and positions to persecute innocent people. They will face the ultimate Judgment of God and will be cast into the same place as those who broke the laws of their land.

Rom 13:5 (KJV)
Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Since the government is to be a servant of God on earth, it is necessary then that Christians are to be in obedience to those who do not oppose the laws of God. We are not to obey the laws of the land just because of judicial penalty being held over us but as a matter of conscience toward God. Our Christian testimony must also be considered whenever we wish to do something. We do not want to have our testimony blemished. So judicial penalty is something to fear but loss of testimony for a Christian is also something to fear. A minister friend of mine once told me that he is afraid to play the lottery. He was not concerned about losing his money, he was concerned about winning, and that would ruin his testimony. He is concerned for conscience sake.

Rom 13:6 (KJV)
For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

For the protection of the people, the government must have money to operate law enforcement because in this world nothing comes cheap or for free. Therefore, government has the right to collect a proper amount of taxes from the people to be able to fund their protection. Taxes are not to be levied on the public by out of control politicians who refuse to hold their spending. In the United States alone, the illegal Federal Reserve sucks $300 billion dollars a year out of the U.S. economy. This is illegal taxation and tribute. These people who run the private Federal Reserve and the government officials who sanction its continued existence are going to give an account to God for their thievery, for the Bible teaches:
(Exo 20:15 KJV) Thou shalt not steal. They have been stealing from the American People since 1913. They think they are above the law, but they are not above God’s law.

Rom 13:7 (KJV)
Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

In all that was spoken to the Christians concerning obedience to proper civil government, we are to pay legitimate taxes for the running of the government. Custom in this verse is something which is used for the public good. For example, we have departments of public works in our cities who pick up garbage, who clean the streets, does repairs to roads, etc. The word “custom’ carries with it the meaning of “end” which is something spent for the use of the public. Taxes are collected to keep local governments operational but the money collected must be returned to the public in the final form of services, such as I listed. Then we are to fear whom fear is due, and that is to fear the Lord first but we are to fear the authorities and allow that fear to be a basis for obedience. Remember, we fear not only the judicial penalties of breaking the law but we fear the loss of our Christian testimony. Then we give honor to those in public office. If the person in office is dishonest, then we give honor to the office itself. Whether it is a President, Prime Minister, Senator, or Governor, either the office or the person in the office receives the honor.