|Romans 13:1-7 |
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing powers [authorities]. For there is no power but of God; the powers that exist are ordained by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities, resists the ordinance of God; and those who resist shall incur damnation to themselves.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil works. Do you want to be unafraid of the authorities? Do that which is good, and you will have their praise;
4 For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon those who do evil.
5 Therefore you must be subject to them, not only in fear of their wrath, but also for the sake of conscience.1
6 Because of conscience, you also pay your taxes for they are God's ministers [servants], attending continually to this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: taxes to whom taxes are due, custom to whom custom is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
1 Be submissive to government and laws because of conscience. Pay your taxes and respect the civilian authorities. From George Fox's Journal:
If all that profess themselves Christians walked in the spirit of Christ, and by it did mortify sin and evil, it would be a great ease to the magistrates and rulers, and would free them from a great deal of trouble, for it would lead all to “do unto others as they would have others do unto them," and so the royal law of liberty would be fulfilled. For if all called Christians walked in the spirit of Christ; by it to have the evil spirit and its fruits cut down in them, then, not being led by the evil spirit, but by the good spirit of Christ, the fruits of the good spirit would appear in all. For as people are led by the good spirit of Christ, it leads them out of sin and evil, which the magistrate's sword defends against and so would be an ease to the magistrates. But as people err from this good spirit of Christ, and follow the evil spirit, which leads them into sin and evil; that spirit brings the magistrate into a great deal of trouble, to execute the law upon the sinners and transgressors of the good spirit. That spirit, which leads people from all manner of sin and evil, is one with the magistrate's power, and with the righteous law. For the law was added because of transgression, and that spirit which leads out of transgression must be one with that law which is against transgressors. So that spirit which leads out of transgression is the good spirit of Christ, and is one with the magistrates in the higher power, and owns it and them; but that spirit which leads into transgression is the bad spirit, and is against the law, against the magistrates, and makes them a great deal of troublesome work. The manifestation of the good spirit is given to every man to profit from; and no man can profit in the things of God but by the spirit of God which brings to deny all sin and evil. It is said of Israel, Neh 9:20,26. “The Lord gave them his good spirit to instruct them, yet they rebelled against it." If all people would mind this manifestation of the spirit which God has given to instruct them, it would lead them to forsake all manner of sin and evil, enmity, hatred, malice, unrighteousness and ungodliness, and to mortify it. Then in the spirit of Christ they would have fellowship and unity, which is the bond of peace; then would love and peace, which are the fruits of the good spirit, flow among all that are called Christians.