The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 18, 08-22-2014: Government as a Punishment from God
For much of Romans chapter 12, Paul of Tarsus explained how Christians should treat one another, also exhorting his Roman Christian readers to prefer one another with diligence, meaning to discriminate in favor of one another at the expense of all others, and informing them that it is honorable to do so. Beginning that discussion, Paul made two important admonitions: that Christians not conform themselves to this world, and that Christians not think proudly, instead maintaining themselves as mere members in the much larger body of Christ, doing what they can for that body and its other members. At the same time, towards the end of chapter 12, Christians were also exhorted to leave vengeance and judgment in the hands of Yahweh their God.
Here in Romans chapter 13, we see Paul explain how Yahweh executes His vengeance and His judgment: that He uses worldly powers and authorities which He appoints in order to do so. Many pastors, even within Christian Israel Identity, have struggled with Romans 13, and many noble attempts have been made to explain it. However they usually fail because once again, they neglect to consider the full Biblical context of Paul's words. This chapter cannot be properly understood in isolation.
Often in such considerations, it is imagined that Romans chapter 13 is talking of only governments which are godly. What is missed is this: there has never in the history of man been a truly and completely godly government, and even the government of David had its faults, and even if it was close to being godly, that did not last very long beyond David's death. While there were attempts in early America and recent Germany to create what good Christian men perceived as godly governments which were based upon Christian principles, these also have failed and the real lesson which Christians must learn through all of this is that only Yahweh God can be their King, through Christ.