Romans 13:4-5

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.

Therefore you must be subject, not only because of 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 4:6That 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.

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