As a general rule, God wants us to obey our leaders and submit to their authority (7,8) The authorities that exist have been established by God. (5) If you rebel against authority, you are rebelling against what God has instituted and, if you do so, you will bring judgment upon yourself (9)
In most instances, if you do what is right and follow the law, there is no reason to fear the government or authorities. (10) Police officers and other authorities are intended to be servants who help and do good. (11)
Authorities also exist in order to punish wrongdoers. (11) We are to obey authorities, not only because of possible punishment, but also because our conscience tells us it is the right thing to do. This is also why we should pay taxes-because it is the right thing to do (13,14)
Jesus Himself reminded people to pay their taxes, and He was careful to pay His own (15) On one occasion, He even performed a miracle in order to make sure His taxes, and those of His disciples, were paid (16)
Under ordinary circumstances, God's overall desire is for us to be subject to rulers and authorities, to do good, and to live peacefully and humbly with all men (17) However, when God's law runs contrary to man's law, then some forms of civil disobedience may be acceptable, or even necessary.
For example, when the apostles were given a direct command by authorities not to preach in Jesus' name, under threat of going to jail, Peter and the other apostles with him stated: "We must obey God rather than men." (18)
We know that at least some of the original apostles later on became martyrs and paid with their lives because they obeyed God's command (to spread the gospel) rather than man's commands. (19)
Note: There are many lawful and peaceful forms of Christian action that can be taken within a democratic society to bring about changes in man's laws. Voting, petitions, peaceful demonstrations, and lawful protests, would all be acceptable (and legal) methods of bringing about change.
Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. (Deuteronomy 6:13)1
All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. (Psalm 119:160)2
I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.(Psalm 119:30)3
Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. (Psalm 119:33)4
There is no authority except that which God has established.The authorities that exist have been established by God.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20)6
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to everyauthority instituted among men. (1 Peter 2:13)8
He who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:2)9
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but forthose who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.(Romans 13:3)10
For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong,be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:4)11
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. (Romans 13:5)12
This is why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. (Romans 13:6)13
Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Romans 13:7)14
Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.
But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.(Matthew 17:27)16
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. (Titus 3:1-2)17
Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!" (Acts 5:29)18
It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. (Acts 12:1-3)19