Romans 13:4

For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil.
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AD 400
Since God has ordained that there will be a future judgment and he does not want anyone to perish, he has ordained rulers in this world who, by causing people to be afraid of them, act as tutors to mankind, teaching them what to do in order to avoid future punishment. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
When Paul says: “He is God’s servant for your good,” though it be for his own evil, this should be understood in the same way as the above.

Irenaeus of Lyons

AD 202
And again, in reference to them he says, "For he beareth not the sword in vain; for he is the minister of God, the avenger for wrath to him who does evil."

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The civil power makes virtue easier for the Christian by chastising the wicked, by benefiting and honoring the good and by working together with the will of God. For this reason he is even given the name of “God’s servant.” … Even when he administers punishment, it is God’s will that he is carrying out.

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Who would not prefer the justice of the world, which, as the apostle himself testifies, "beareth not the sword in vain"

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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