“For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” (Romans 13:6-7)
The first question we must ask is because of what? Starting at the top of the chapter, we learn:
- Obey authorities because only god has authority and all true authority anyone on earth has comes from him. (Echoing back to Christ’s words to Pilate while on trial for his life.)
- Resisting authentic authorities is resisting God
- Rulers are to be servants of God who carry his sword of vengeance and use it to punish wrong doing, only approving of good conduct.
- We must obey those appointed to bear God’s sword of justice both to avoid his wrath and for conscience’s sake.
- We pay taxes so government can effectively serve God in their appointed task of executing justice in the land
- Besides your taxes, also pay all debts, both literal financial debts and obligations of respect and honor.
Lord, may our governing authorities bow their knees to you, doing justice in the land, punishing evil as you define it and approving only of what you approve. Convict our government, Lord, so that they would recognize as our founders did where their power comes from, for that is why you are our only king. I pray we would be accountable to our obligations also: paying our taxes, obeying the law, showing respect and honor to all, especially to all those serving their country. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Lord, amen.