Copyright (C) 2017, E. Thone Hall
Romans 13:1-6 KJV
“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. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 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: 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 the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”
This passage clearly states that God has delegated his power to secular leaders.
“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,”
Titus 3:1 KJV
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”
1 Peter 2:13-14 KJV
However, we are not to violate God’s commandments in doing so!
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Acts 5:29 KJV
To avoid other confusion, we must note that the damnation mentioned in verse 2, is the translation of the Greek krima which means judgement, not the eternal judgement by God but the judgement in a court to punish a criminal. (Wonder if this is the root word for crime?)
Another important point we should make is that in the phrase “…he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
The sword is the symbol of the power given to the secular authority by God, and is not, therefore to be trifled with!