Authority in the Community…..

No authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves.

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The Bible tells all people, whether believers or unbelievers, to respect civil authority, which works for the good of the community. The Christian apostle Paul wrote to his fellow believers in Rome about this, and it is helpful to consider what he says, as recorded at Romans 13:1-7.

Paul was a Roman citizen, and Rome was the world power at that time. Paul’s letter, written about the year 56 C.E., counseled Christians to be exemplary citizens. He wrote: “Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.”

Paul here explains that there would not be any human authority if God did not permit it. In that sense the superior authorities have a relative position within the framework of God’s purpose. It therefore follows that “he who opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God.”

While citizens who do good may receive praise from the superior authorities, these authorities are also empowered to administer punishment against wrongdoers. Those who practice what is bad have ample reason to fear the authorities’ right to act as “an avenger,” since the governments do so as “God’s minister.”

Paul concludes his reasoning by saying: “There is therefore compelling reason for you people to be in subjection, not only on account of that wrath but also on account of your conscience. For that is why you are also paying taxes; for they are God’s public servants constantly serving this very purpose.”

The responsibility for the disposition of taxes rests with the superior authorities, not with the taxpayer. As an honest citizen, a Christian maintains a good conscience. He knows that by subjecting himself to the superior authorities and paying due taxes, not only is he upholding the standard of the community in which he lives but he is also living in harmony with divine requirements.

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~ by DJ Camstar on 24/10/2016.

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