Romans 13:5

5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

Romans 13:5 in Other Translations

KJV
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
ESV
5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
NLT
5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
MSG
5 That's why you must live responsibly - not just to avoid punishment but also because it's the right way to live.
CSB
5 Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your 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 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 you will be commended.
4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Proverbs 24:21,22