B. L. Beard / Infowars | July 25, 2008
The common reference to Romans 13 requiring us all to obey the government without question should be examined within the context of what Romans 13 says and means with regard to obedience to the conventions of man.
The 1599 Geneva Study Bible Romans 13
13:1 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.
(1) Now he distinctly shows what subjects owe to their magistrates, that is obedience: from which he shows that no man is free: and the obedience we owe is such that it is not only due to the highest magistrate himself, but also even to the lowest, who has any office under him.
(3) Another argument of great force: because God is author of this order: so that those who are rebels ought to know that they make war with God himself: and because of this they purchase for themselves great misery and calamity.
This first passage of Romans, taken alone, appears to give absolute authority to the government. When examined along with the following passages it becomes clear that an un-Godly, unjust, oppressive government cannot exercise God’s authority over man, because it does not merit that authority.
13:3 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:
(4) The third argument, taken from the reason for which they were made, which is that they are to be most profitable: because God by this means preserves the good and bridles the wicked: by which words the magistrates themselves are put in mind of that duty which they owe to their subjects.
The government is thereby put on notice by God that they must serve the best interests of those in their charge.
13:4 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 minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.
(6) God has armed the magistrate even with an avenging sword.
(c) By whom God avenges the wicked.
John S. C. Abbott and Jacob Abbott Illustrated New Testament – 19th Century
13:4 The minister of God; the servant, or instrument, employed by God. The duty of submission to the civil government, here urged in an absolute manner, is, of course, like all the other precepts of a similar character contained in the New Testament, to be understood with certain limitations and restrictions. The principal exceptions commonly made to the rule here laid down in general terms, are two: –first, that the civil authorities may be resisted when they require of the subject what is morally wrong; and, secondly, that, when their misgovernment and oppression become extreme and hopeless of reform, the community may depose them from their power.
Obviously, a government which perpetrates acts of evil upon those in their charge cannot be a minister of God, therefore agents of government who are perceived to commit acts of evil against the people should not be obeyed.
GSB 13:5 Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
(7) The conclusion: we must obey the magistrate, not only for fear of punishment, but much more because (although the magistrate has no power over the conscience of man, yet seeing he is God’s minister) he cannot be resisted by any good conscience.
(d) So far as we lawfully may: for if unlawful things are commanded to us, we must answer as Peter teaches us, “It is better to obey God than men.”
This is a clear example of choosing right over wrong and the commandments of God over any unlawful, unconscionable decrees of the conventions of man. Obey the lawful orders of your government, and disobey the unlawful or immoral orders of that same government. Do the right thing, whether it is adhering to the good order presented by the rules of a lawful, just society, or refusing to obey lawless authorities who tyrannize and oppress a society.
Don’t allow an unjust, unconstitutional, lawless government to order you around in the name of God, for they are not entitled to that authority! And don’t allow such false assertions to go unchallenged when your(?) government invokes Romans 13 to compel your submission to their decrees. Speak up when you hear such false assertions, while you still may do so without threat of imminent death or injury as a result!
The 1599 Geneva Study Bible Ephesians 6
6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
(14) He shows that these enemies are put to flight only with the armour of God, that is, with the uprightness of conscience, a godly and holy life, knowledge of the Gospel, faith, and to be short, with the word of God. And that daily earnest prayer must be made for the health of the Church, and especially for the steadfast faithfulness of the true, godly, and valiant ministers of the word.
A righteous man wears the Armour of God and can never be defeated in spirit. Wear the armour of God in order to vanquish His enemies and those of all mankind.
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