Main point summary
Rulers are set in by God. Obey them.
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.
Therefore whoever resists the authority
resists the ordinance of God,
and those who resist
will bring judgment on themselves.
For rulers are not a terror to good works,
but to evil.
Do you want to be unafraid of the authority?
Do what is good,
and you will have praise from the same.
For he is God’s minister to you for good.
But if you do evil,
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.
For because of this you also pay taxes,
for they are God’s ministers
attending continually to this very thing.
Render therefore to all their due:
taxes to whom taxes are due,
customs to whom customs,
fear to whom fear,
honor to whom honor.
Some Christians in Roman might have been saying that they belong to a better Kingdom of God and don't need to obey Emperor Nero. Paul would counter that "holy sounding" talk. Paul was aware of the flaws of the authorities since he was mistreated by authorities in Philippi. But he also experienced deliverance when he made known that he was a Roman citizen. God set in authorities for the good of all people and that is why Christians ought to obey them.