“Let Every Soul be Subject” #526

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. (Romans 13:1-3, NKJV)

Christians are not exempt from obeying the law of the land. We who respect the authority of Christ must, like everyone else, respect the “governing authorities” and obey the laws under which we live. The reason why is clear and plain: All authority comes from God. God has given authority to civil government. Therefore, we are to be subject to its laws. (There is one proviso: We must obey God when the laws of men contradict His word, Acts 5:29.) When a person refuses to obey the laws of the land he is refusing God’s ordinance and brings God’s judgment upon himself. He faces the punishment that comes with violating the law. Our incentive to be good citizens is first, because of our conscience toward God, and also to avoid punishment as a law-breaker (Rom. 13:4-5).

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