Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves judgment.
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Paul writes this against those who believe that because of their own power they cannot be apprehended and so therefore they can play fast and loose with the law. He shows them that this is the law of God and that those who by some subterfuge escape it for a time will not escape God’s judgment. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.
True and perfect obedience of subjects to their superior is shown not only by their refraining from every untoward action in accordance with his advice but also by their not doing even what is approved without his consent. .
For his other actings, however, he is rather to be borne with by his flock and those put under him, than accused or made the subject of public detraction; because when any offence is committed in these matters by those put under them, His ordinance is withstood who set them before him, as the apostle says, "Whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God."
In saying this, Paul was more likely to draw civil governors who were unbelievers to accept the Christian faith and to persuade believers to obey them. For it was commonly rumored in those days that the apostles were guilty of plotting sedition and revolution, aiming in all that they did and said at the subversion of the received institutions. However, when we see that Christ’s command is that we should obey the authorities, all rumors of this kind will be shown to be false.