Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
— ROMANS 13:1 —
Jurem Ramos: The Expositor’s Academy | Philippines
A number of political events have recently shocked the world. Underdog candidates and secession votes in America and Europe succeeded despite the predictions of polling experts. Certain candidates in the Philippines and other countries have likewise won despite the widespread opposition in media perception. Many have reacted to these events with protests and riots. Government is a divine institution given by God to establish order in the world. Some Christians may be enthusiastic while others are grieved, but the Bible calls all of us to follow the same command: Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. Biblical exceptions for passive resistance (Dan. 3, 6; Acts 4:17–20) aside, Paul’s general rule in Romans 13:1 toward governing authorities is to be in subjection to them. This means to recognize one’s place under someone else in God’s established hierarchy. In the Philippines, these authorities include everyone from the president down to the traffic enforcer. No Christian is exempted from obeying this command, because government is a divine institution given by God to establish order in the world. Secular rulers are His instruments, ministers for the good of believers, and avengers carrying out God’s wrath on wrongdoers (Rom. 13:4). So, the next time you are pulled over by a traffic enforcer for using your cellphone while driving, or for not fastening your seatbelt (two of the things many Filipino drivers notoriously disregard), remember that God put them in authority to protect you. The laws they enforce aim to spare you from a disaster that might otherwise have sent you to your final destiny instead of to your intended destination! And when we submit to the governing authorities, we honor the God who established them.