Romans 13:5

5 Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience.

Romans 13:5 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 13:5

Wherefore ye must needs be subject
To the higher powers, to the civil magistrates; there is a necessity of it, because magistracy is God's ordinance, it is for the good of men; and such that oppose it will severely smart for it: but subjection to it from Christians should be,

not only for wrath;
through fear of punishment, and for the sake of escaping it; either the wrath of men or of God, in this or the other world:

but also for conscience sake:
to keep conscience clear, to exercise a good one void of offence towards God and men; for natural reason, conscience itself, dictates that there ought to be such order among men, that civil government should take place, and ought to be submitted to.

Romans 13:5 In-Context

3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval;
4 for it is God's servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience.
6 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, busy with this very thing.
7 Pay to all what is due them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.