The Higher Powers

Romans 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. 

‘Every soul be subject unto the higher powers’ ten duties of citizens: To be subject to civil government (13:1; Tit. 3:1; 1Pet. 2:13-17); to obey civil rules (13:3; Pro. 24:21); to do good (13:4; Tit. 3:1); to pay taxes (13:1-7; Mat. 22:17-21); to render dues to all people (13:7); to honour civil rulers (13:1-7; Ex. 22:28; Acts 23:5; 1Pet. 2:13-17); to pray for civil rulers (1Tim. 2:1-2); to obey civil laws (13:1-7; Ezra 7:26); not cursing rulers (Eccl. 10:20); to work for peace, not rioting and unrest (12:18). Please remember that current governments are also the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph. 6:12) and must only be obeyed in civil matters and morals according to the greater good of all on Godly standards. Make sure to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good and abstain from all appearances of evil (1Thess. 5:21-22).

‘Power’ human governments [Greek: exousia] delegated authority. All authorities are ordained [Greek: tasso] appointed or determined of God. That is, in God’s plan He has determined that human governments shall exist to help Him carry on moral government and enforce moral laws. They are appointed by God, but He is not responsible for their acts. If they get out of line of this eternal plan, which they do, He will judge them.

Human governments, therefore, are not founded upon the arbitrary will of God, but upon the needs of humanity in securing their highest good. If in a small family, law and penalties are needed, how much more are they needed in communities, states, and nations? Their purpose was to execute criminals and enforce law and order among people (13:1-6; 1Pet. 2:13-17; Gen. 9:6; Isa. 11:4-9; 65:20; Dan. 2:21; 4:17-25; 5:21). Governments were instituted to govern by force and to punish, not only local and individual criminals but also universal and national criminals. This includes the execution of war to put down criminal nations as well as criminal individuals (13:1-5; 1Pet. 2:13-17; Dan. 2:21; 4:17-25; 5:21). There is no doubt that war is an evil one. It is the greatest catastrophe that can befall human beings. It brings death and destruction, merciless slaughter and butchery, disease and starvation, poverty and ruin in its wake. One has only to think of the havoc that was wrought in various countries, in order to estimate the destructive effects of war. There are, doubtless, people who consider war as something grand and heroic and regard it as something that brings out the best man. But this does not in any way alter the fact that war is a terrible dreadful calamity. The loss of human life is not the only evil consequence of war: many families are left destitute of the support and guidance of their natural heads and are thrown upon an unpitying world in a state of helplessness. The moral effects of war are also most deplorable. Men employed as soldiers commonly become exceedingly profane, and reckless of their conduct. All ongoing wars today are being fought in the name of justice, but it is all about making money and controlling resources. Going to war, or even just by maintaining a superior military force, the companies supplying troops, handling logistics, manufacturing weapons, and developing technology are making hundreds of billions of dollars per year. All paid for by taxes and through taking on the additional national debt.

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