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Romans 13:1– Set under God

13-12-2021 - Posted by Hans

Let every soul be subject to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except under God. Now those which are, have been set under God,

What Paul writes here to the believers in Rome is universal and applies to “every soul”. As slaves submit to their master and children to their parents, so would every soul subject to “superior authorities.” Thinking in terms of hierarchy is foreign to the current zeitgeist, but is self-evident in Scripture. Authority comes from above.

The word for ‘authority’ (exousia) literally means proxy. God grants authority to act. The fact that they are superiors means that they exercise actual power. Regardless of whether they acquired this position lawfully. A believing subject is not interested in that (political) question. He simply recognizes the superiors as superior (placed by God) to him.

Paul writes elsewhere that we would lead a “quiet and quiet life” (1Tim.2:1,2). That doesn’t mean the superiors will leave us alone. Paul knew better. A “quiet and peaceful life” means that we leave the superiors alone! What they do is not our responsibility. Subjects are exempt from that burden. So no riot or revolution. Calm and quiet – because everything is under God’s control!