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Romans 13:3: For Rulers Are Not A Terror To Good Conduct, But To Bad.

Romans 13:3
[3] For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, (ESV)

I can remember that as a child I had a good level of respect for my father's authority. I am not suggesting that I never disobeyed that authority. On the contrary, the way I learned to respect my father was a result of how he handled my disobedience. My father's punishment was firm, consistent and loving.

One thing I knew about my father was that he meant every word he said. If he told me not to do something or there would be a consequence I could be sure that was what he meant. I tire of watching parents threaten their children with endless empty threats. The child does not respect authority because the parent has never kept their word.

When it comes to earthly authority, primarily governmental authority, we should make the assumption that the government means what it says and we should be obedient. As Paul reminds us, we have nothing to fear if we are in obedience to the Law. Do not be a constant rebel to human authority and then be surprised that you are living in fear.

One thing is significant for us to understand. Even ungodly governments provide a service to mankind in deterring wickedness that would be harmful to the population. That good benefit is a direct result of God's establishing authority in our world. When God is removed from a society, however, the less likely the government will be fair in its exercise of authority.

Are you rebelling against governmental authority? You do so at your own peril. Honor God. Honor your government. Sleep in peace.