Romans 13:4-5 — For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
minister for good — the government is for my welfare
beareth not the sword in vain — the government has the right to capital punishment and lesser judicial sentences.
avenger = one who deals justice. The word is used of God in 1 Thessalonians 4:6 — That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
wrath (verse 5) — external. The conscience is our internal judge.
We should always view earthly relationships and situations in light of our relationship with God.