Paul wrote these commands during the reign of Emperor Nero (A.D. 54-68), who persecuted Christians mercilessly.
Here is a summary of his exhortations to the Romans:
Aren't these exhortations remarkable in the historical context in which Paul wrote? Nero was not a nice governing authority!
- Respect the authorities in office because they are ordained by God. If you resist them, you are resisting God (13:1-2, Titus 3:1, 1 Peter 2:13-17).
- Obey the laws of the land because they are for your good (13:4-5).
- Support the government by paying taxes (13:6-7). Even Christ said to "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's" (Matthew 2:21).
- Love others in all interpersonal relationships because it is our continuing debt and fulfills the Law (13:8-10, Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31).
- Put away deeds of darkness and walk in the light until Christ returns (13:11-14).
Paul wrote to Timothy:
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-4
We are to submit to all civil authorities and laws that do not defy Biblical commands, and we are to pray for those in authority over us even when we did not vote for them. How are you doing in that area?
Here is a great website to help you apply this passage:
I realize that many people who read this blog are from different countries. Pray this for your government:
Father, thank You for my government. I pray for the head leader, the national and local government, the judges, the policemen, the business leaders and all those who are in leadership positions in my country. Please protect them from the evil that is in the world and keep them safe and free from all harm.
You have promised to bless any nation that follows after You. May my government follow after You. Help me to live a quiet and peaceful life so that the Good News of the Gospel can spread throughout my land. In Jesus’ name, Amen.