Part I Romans 13:1-7 is one of the most Misunderstood Scriptures

The Bible gives much instruction on how to live, and it sets the standard to live by. When we try to understand the Bible, to learn how we are to conduct our lives, Christians sometimes isolate a few scriptures and wrongly interpret them. Many forget to look at the bible from the circumstances in which it is written. They forget to do as in 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) where Paul admonishes us to “Be diligent…, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Then in Acts 20:27 Luke cautions us, “…proclaim… the whole will of God.” The Bible is the reliable word of God, the book of knowledge and truth we can count on to the ends of the earth.


There is one passage of scripture that needs to be rightly divided and compared to the whole will of God. These passages are widely misunderstood for various reasons and this is Romans 13:1 – 7. On the evil side of dividing the word of truth, the anti-Christian political principalities want to isolate these scriptures separating them from the rest of the bible. They hope to convince Christians not to speak the word of God in the political sphere. They do not want Christians to expose their darkness. Seculars have been largely successful and seem to know better than Christians the power of prayer and the spoken word of God because they fear it.  


On the other side there are Christians who misinterpret these Scriptures and conclude Christians have to be subservient and obey civil government. These Christians are generally in two camps. One is founded in cowardice; they try to find scriptures to enable them not to represent Christ in the public square. The second group are those who truly do not understand these scriptures, but wrongly conclude they have to be totally subservient to civil government. This is a clear and present danger to the Christian Culture in America, and must be overcome.


Christians many times misinterpret Romans 13:1-5 wrongly because they believe governing authorities equal all governing authorities. Paul wrote, 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. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 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. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.”  The question is who are the governing authorities? If governing authorities can be evil would God fearing people lose their ability of discernment? In Malachi 3:18 it states “… again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”


Then to continue to believe Romans 13:1 is referring to every governing authority one must conclude that God has handed His authority over to the state. The definition of state is a politically organized body of people under a single entity. If Christians still believe this, do they draw the line between good and evil without accepting the absolute truth of God’s word as written in the bible?  They would fail to understand that if this is true, Christians are totally subject to the state and cannot rebel against it. Then the state defines the standard by which Christians have to live. This takes God out of the picture, and replaces Him with governing authorities. The 10 Commandants would have to become multiple choices. “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal,” becomes you shall not unless government says you shall. Then the line between good and evil can be moved to anywhere the authority wants. Like killing disabled children or the elderly as long as the state says we shall. America today has organized state funded killing of the unborn and so called marriage based on sodomy. What is next if Christians have “to be subject to the governing authorities?” The final solution?


History teaches us the true evil which results from this type of biblical fallacy. We only have to look back at the state of Germany under fascism. The governing authorities ordered the German people to kill millions of Jews, Christians and others. Germany was principally Christian Lutheran and Martin Luther taught the world how to stand against an authoritarian theocracy, i.e. government. But Germans failed to influence their government and these authorities systematically killed and incinerated over 12 million men, women and children. Hitler called this the final solution. No real Christian can argue this governing authority was God instituted.

 By David Howard Foxhole Ministry