THE SERVANT: Romans 13:1-7

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SCRIPTURE

ROMANS 13:1-7 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

STUDY QUESTIONS

  1. According to verse 1, who should “be subject to the governing authorities”? Where do the governing authorities come from? Who are they authorized by?
  2. Remember how Romans 12 ends. Paul is not ignorant concerning governing authorities that abuse the power God has given them. Nevertheless, what does he say in verse 2? Who do you think Paul means this “judgement” will come from? How does verse 3 help clarify?
  3. Read verses 3-4. What does Paul say is a primary role of the governing authorities? What are “rulers”, who are God’s servants, supposed to bring about?
  4. Read verse 5. Why must we be in subjection to the governing authorities? What does Paul mean by “to avoid God’s wrath”? What does he mean by “for the sake of conscience”?
  5. Read verses 6-7. Why are we to pay our taxes? What do each of these things listed in verse 7 mean exactly?

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