“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 he will commend you.” – Romans 13:1–3
Romans 13 gives us the definitive New Testament teaching on the place and purpose of the civil government. Paul begins by telling us that “everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities,” because these “have been established by God.
What does it mean when Paul writes that these authorities are ordained by God? Were Hitler’s and Stalin’s governments ordained by God? Remember that Paul was writing this to the Romans. It was the Roman government that ultimately beheaded Paul himself and tortured and slew thousands of early Christians. Was this government ordained by God?