God’s goal for us is to live responsibly. That is the right way to live.
It is easy to put our leaders down. It is way to easy to complain about taxes. That is not God’s way.
God’s way is to recognize that all governments are under God. God wants order and peace. We have a great role to play here. We are to show the world what God wants. They will only hear it and see it from us. We are to be really, really responsible.
Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.
Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.
That’s also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders. | Romans 13:1-6 (The Message Bible)
- It is God who has established the governments of the world. This does not mean that He is responsible for the sins of tyrants, but only that the authority to rule comes originally from God. It was this lesson that Nebuchadnezzar had to learn the hard way. To resist the law is to resist the God who established government in the world, and this means inviting punishment.
- Rulers must bear the sword; that is, they have the power to afflict punishment and even to take life. God established human government because man is a sinner and must have some kind of authority over him.
- God has given the sword to rulers, and with it the authority to punish and even to execute. Even though we cannot always respect the man in office, we must respect the office, for government was ordained by God.
- Paul used the Roman law to protect his life and to extend his work. The centurions mentioned in the Book of Acts appear to be men of character and high ideals. Even though government officials are not believers, they are still the “ministers of God” because He established the authority of the State.