Verse of the Day (November 5, 2019) #BMSeminary – This section continues to apply Paul’s call for genuine love (see 12:9, and its restatement in 13:8–10). Love for God means respecting structures “instituted by God” (13:1), such as government. Paul speaks in general terms about government in its God-given functions such as deterring bad conduct (v. 2), approving good conduct (v. 3), and administering punishment to wrongdoers (v. 4). There are plenty of examples in Scripture of God’s servants making the difficult decision to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). The gospel does not endorse blind submission to every governmental presence or policy, especially where citizens have voting rights and must choose between candidates and ultimately between governments. For every election means a choice for one governmental option rather than another. Misguided citizenship, whether too little compliance with government or too much, can be harmful to the conscience (Rom. 13:5). Paying taxes is an expression of respect for government (v. 6). Believers in Christ should have an open, honest, respectful, and affirming interface with governmental authorities and the forms their oversight of society takes (v. 7). Such an attitude was exemplified by our Lord (Matt. 22:21).