Romans 13:1-7

Talks for Growing Christians

Responsibility to be Subject to Governing Authorities

Romans 13:1-7

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Lesson Number 39

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers must submit to governing authorities.
  2. Capital punishment has a biblical basis.

Practical Application

  1. Let's not fall into the trap of separation between church and state.


  1. List the four channels of authority ordained by God.
  2. What is meant by, "We salute the office, but not necessarily the officer?"
  3. Is there an exception to question #2?
  4. What is the biblical basis for capital punishment?
  5. What is the reason and biblical affirmation for capital punishment?
  6. s capital punishment ordained by God because of a low view of life?


  1. Home, church, labor, and civil government
  2. We may not honor the officer, as Caesar, but the office, as an authority structure ordained by God, means that we submit, even if we don't agree.
  3. Yes, when the command runs counter to God's commands. See Acts 5:29.
  4. See Genesis 9:6
  5. See Romans 13:4. God is the avenger or minister of capital punishment.
  6. Quite the contrary. It is ordained because God has a high view of the sanctity of life. Because man is created in the image of God, if you dare take a life, you forfeit your own life.


  1. Recall a time when you deliberately disobeyed one of the authorities ordained by God. Why was it so difficult for you?
  2. Discuss the guidelines for separating church and state issues. Give examples.


  1. There are times when you do not "feel" like submitting to an authority ordained by God. At such times, what is your responsibility before God? Remember the One you are disobeying. Do you want a clear conscience? Then do what is right.

Key Verses

  • "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." Romans 13:1

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