13 Let every person* be in subjection to the superior authorities,+ for there is no authority except by God;+ the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.+ 2 Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves. 3 For those rulers are an object of fear, not to the good deed, but to the bad.+ Do you want to be free of fear of the authority? Keep doing good,+ and you will have praise from it; 4 for it is God’s minister to you for your good. But if you are doing what is bad, be in fear, for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword. It is God’s minister, an avenger to express wrath* against the one practicing what is bad.
5 There is therefore compelling reason for you to be in subjection, not only on account of that wrath but also on account of your conscience.+ 6 That is why you are also paying taxes; for they are God’s public servants constantly serving this very purpose.