Unlimited: Do What is Right
Aug 30, 2023 155
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended (Romans 13:3).
Paul sees earthly rulers as having been appointed by God to uphold what is right. Paul is saying that it’s easy to not be afraid of earthly rulers. Just do what is right!
This isn’t written for those who want to do right within society, but for those who want to do what is wrong. This is written for those who want to harm others, or “cheat the system.” In that time, Christians were viewed with suspicion in the broader society, and were in danger of persecution, torture and execution. That’s why it wasn’t helpful at all for people within the church to not do what was right in the broader society.
Paul sees earthly rulers as having been appointed by God to uphold what is right.
Paul’s general idea here is that Christians are to be the very best citizens of all. Christians will be dutiful and honest in all things regarding the government. Again, this isn’t merely about passively being good citizens, but instead we are to do so actively. This isn’t about “lying low,” but instead Paul writes that we are actively to pray for our civil governments:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Tim. 2:1–2.)
In what ways can you be a better citizen? This, too, is your spiritual duty.