Rendering To All Their Dues Romans 13:1-7

Romans 13:1-7

Human government, like the existence of the family relationship, is a divine institution. It is part of the order of the world and rooted in the original conception of the race. It was never intended that we should live as individual units, but as members of family and state. It is evident, therefore, that the authority which is wielded by the ruler expresses, generally speaking, a divine principle. The comfort and well-being of society are better attained in that way than in any other, and the recognition of this principle carries with it the assent of our intuitive convictions. We must render therefore to all their dues.

 But it must be acknowledged, also, that there are limits beyond which imperial or legislative authority may not go. When Nero, according to tradition, bade the Apostle to abandon his faith as the condition of liberty, Paul did not hesitate to say that the emperor was intruding on a province to which he had no claim, and that he must obey God rather than man. So far as our life in a community goes, there must be some form of government, which may be modeled according to the varying opinions of men, whether monarchical or republican, autocratic or socialistic; but when once it has been agreed upon, it must be obeyed, unless it forfeits confidence, in which case a new order becomes necessary.