Let everyone be subject to the higher authorities because there is no authority except from God; and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God; So then, the one who sets himself against the authority is resisting the ordinance of God; and those who resist shall receive judgment to themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil works. Do you desire not to be afraid of the authority? Then practice good, and you will have praise from it; For he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you are practicing evil, have fear! For he does not wear the sword in vain because he is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to the one who is practicing evil. Consequently, it is necessary to be subject to authority, not only because of wrath, but also because of conscience. For this cause, you are also obligated to pay tribute; for they are servants of God, continually engaged in this very thing. Therefore, render to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute, custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Do not be indebted to anyone for anything, unless it is to love one another. For the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Because it says, “You shall not commit adultery. You shall not commit murder. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not lust.” And if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, even by this standard; “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does not do any wrong to its neighbor; therefore, love is the full expression of God’s law.
Now consider this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour that we should be roused out of sleep; because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost over, and the day is drawing near; therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk decently, as in the day; not in reveling and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and emulation.
But let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and not to make any allowance for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Letter to the believers in Rome, in part, by Paul, the disciple.
The Holy Bible In Its Original Order. York Publishing, Hollister CA. USA
So we can clearly see that that the authorities are there to punish the evil and what is evil? Murder, rape, robbery, stealing and other acts of violence and injustice perpetrated on others. They are to be punished so as to be a warning to those who would follow in their wicked ways. If a man dies by the hand of another through willful intent, then that man is a murderer and must die because he committed evil and the authorities have that obligation to execute judgment. In this way, the evil will be punished and it will be a warning to all, thereby reducing the crime of murder. There are those who stand against the ordinances of God but, they have abandoned the righteous ways and have embraced the foolishness that comes with rejecting the laws and commandments of God! Be aware that only the authorities of the state have the right to execute judgment, not the church or any other institution not affiliated with the courts and laws.
Do good in the eyes of the law and you will be spared trouble or so was the intent, but today, as we all know, the law is being abused by the corruption that is breeding within it and by the political landscape that dots the land. Howbeit, there are many who do good within the law so do not judge all based on the few. Pay the taxes required for they must also be paid for their services without complaining.
You are, as believers, expected to love one another in word and in deed and to keep the law and commandments, with love being the greatest commandment of them all! Don’t be deceived, what a man sows, that is what he will reap.
The believers in Rome were rough and sinful even as they were being taught the Gospel and the faith. They were engaging in sinful practices as they struggled with the flesh and all its weaknesses! They were still getting drunk and acting out their passions even as they were wrestling to become obedient in the faith. It was a church growing and Paul did not pound them into submission but through patience and love, taught them even as their overseers were doing. The believers had much to learn about the Scriptures as they were being taught from what we would call the “Old Testament,” and the words of Paul were added unto the house being built in faith. They were contentious and disagreements were the order of the day, but they were called of God and served in love and taught from the Scriptures to become a strong body of believers whose faith would be sorely tried in the future.
But they persevered by putting on the armor of Christ and they learned to deny the flesh its calls for lust and strife to become glorious witnesses to the saving grace of God, through His Only-begotten Son, Jesus the messiah.
So where do we stand in comparison to them today?
Think about it.