ROMANS ROAD DEVOTIONAL | Day 26 - The Role of Governing Authorities
Romans 13:1 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...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
As citizens we recognize both God’s government and our civil government. He established both. We obey laws related to driving, taxation, business transactions, and much more.
We have both elected and appointed officials who are recognized as having civil authority. This would include our presidents, governors, mayors, police officers and others.
Some have suggested the text in Romans is referring to police officers, in that they are, “...an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” This is not the role of police officers. Police officers, who deserve our utmost respect and support, serve the purposes of law-enforcement. They are not empowered or authorized to make law or execute judgment on lawbreakers. They are authorized to protect, serve, issue citations for violations, and make arrests. If citizens are under threat or if police lives are being threatened, they can use force, including deadly force.
In our legal system, we have something called Due Process. Citizens have the right to be arraigned, considered innocent until proven guilty, and have a trial/hearing in a court of law. In the legal system, the law, judges, and courts are the “avenger” that “execute wrath on him who practices evil.”
Matters of submission to authority should extend from parents up to the President of the United States.
Reflection Question: Why are police not authorized to execute judgment?
Key insight I gained today:
Today’s action item based on insight:
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