- Paul begins a section of thought in Romans 12, speaking of how to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. This lifestyle is highlighted by an attitude of love. Love for enemies, priority of peace, refusal to take revenge… all of this is a part.
- Romans 13:1-7 is a part of that life of love. Rather than getting caught up in the social unrest of the moment, the Christians were to submit to this evil government. Though Paul recognizes that there are sinister powers at work behind the government, God has “ordered” those powers, keeping them within prescribed bounds.
- If the Roman Christians will eschew the rebellious attitude typical of the Jews, Paul says that they need not fear the present government. This is especially true within the big picture of Christ’s return.
- It bears repeating that the principle of honoring authority and obeying laws is repeated several times in the New Testament. This is part of living at peace and respecting others.
I really think that, because of the misuse of this passage, our discussion yesterday of what isn’t said here is as important as the discussion of what is said. If we’d limit ourselves to what Paul is actually discussing, we could actually learn a lot.