New International Version
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.
King James Bible
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Darby Bible Translation
For rulers are not a terror to a good work, but to an evil [one]. Dost thou desire then not to be afraid of the authority? practise [what is] good, and thou shalt have praise from it;
World English Bible
For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Do you desire to have no fear of the authority? Do that which is good, and you will have praise from the same,
Young's Literal Translation
For those ruling are not a terror to the good works, but to the evil; and dost thou wish not to be afraid of the authority? that which is good be doing, and thou shalt have praise from it,
Romans 13:3 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For rulers are not a terror to good works - Here the apostle shows the civil magistrate what he should be: he is clothed with great power, but that power is entrusted to him, not for the terror and oppression of the upright man, but to overawe and punish the wicked. It is, in a word, for the benefit of the community, and not for the aggrandizement of himself, that God has entrusted the supreme civil power to any man. If he should use this to wrong, rob, spoil, oppress, and persecute his subjects, he is not only a bad man, but also a bad prince. He infringes on the essential principles of law and equity. Should he persecute his obedient, loyal subjects, on any religious account, this is contrary to all law and right; and his doing so renders him unworthy of their confidence, and they must consider him not as a blessing but a plague. Yet, even in this case, though in our country it would be a breach of the constitution, which allows every man to worship God according to his conscience, the truly pious will not feel that even this would justify rebellion against the prince; they are to suffer patiently, and commend themselves and their cause to him that judgeth righteously. It is an awful thing to rebel, and the cases are extremely rare that can justify rebellion against the constituted authorities. See the doctrine on Romans 13:1.
Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? - If thou wouldst not live in fear of the civil magistrate, live according to the laws; and thou mayest expect that he will rule according to the laws, and consequently instead of incurring blame thou wilt have praise. This is said on the supposition that the ruler is himself a good man: such the laws suppose him to be; and the apostle, on the general question of obedience and protection, assumes the point that the magistrate is such.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryNovember 23. "It is High Time to Awake Out of Sleep" (Rom. xiii. 11).
"It is high time to awake out of sleep" (Rom. xiii. 11). One of the greatest enemies to faith is indolence. It is much easier to lie and suffer than to rise and overcome; much easier to go to sleep on a snowbank and never wake again, than to rouse one's self and shake off the lethargy and overcome the stupor. Faith is an energetic art; prayer is intense labor; the effectual working prayer of the righteous man availeth much. Satan tries to put us to sleep, as he did the disciples in the garden; but …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
A Sketch of the Life of St. Augustin.
Concerning the Power of the Civil Magistrate in Matters Purely Religious, and Pertaining to the Conscience.
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
1 Peter 2:14
or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.
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