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Read Introduction to Romans


7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.


7 Render [give] therefore to all their due:

“Render” means to give back. This presupposes that what we pay to government in taxes presumes a value has been received. There is an obligation we owe to the state. What is “due” not only includes taxes but also respect for the principle of governmental order.

If we do not honor government by practicing our obligations to the state, we will become objects of state scrutiny and even retribution.

Mt 22:17, “Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”

taxes to whom taxes are due,

From God’s viewpoint, Christians owe direct taxes to the government.

customs to whom customs,

“Customs” is tax on import and export trade. This is an indirect tax.

fear to whom fear,

With the introduction of the word “fear,” Paul moved away from the subject of taxes. “Fear” here is used in the sense of respect for civil authorities.

honor to whom honor.

Christians should go beyond the mechanics of paying taxes. They will never rouse suspicion from government if they respect government. We owe personal regard to government officials. We give them our respect because they have been appointed as God’s ministers.

1 Pe 2:17, Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.


The Christian has monetary obligations to government.


There is a divine legitimacy for government. Political realism is part of the Christian life. This means living within the system of our political entity. We are not to regard our political system as an enemy. There is no such thing as the separation of our spiritual world and our political world as polar opposites.

Modern democratic systems make it possible for Christians to exercise political power and to pass judgment on the substance of current political leaders.

Christians owe the state appreciation for a broad range of services such as military defense, transportation systems, water, light, sewage, and police protection. If there were no national entity and no state or city organization, what kind of society would we live in? Life would be filled with chaos and crime. The Pax Romana (Roman peace) in the Roman Empire made it possible for missionaries to travel the empire sharing the gospel on their outstanding road system.


The Biblical Doctrine of the State: