Queries about Civil Authority and the Christian’s Responsibility

Paul's Epistle to the Romans[The following are comments by Isaiah Boone Grubbs on Romans 13:1-7.]

1. How are the authorities that exist ordained of God?

The context shows that Paul has reference to the principles of government, no matter what the form may be. Government founded upon principles of right and eternal truth. If there were only one true form, we, as Christians, could live only under that form. We must conform ourselves to the principles of justice and equity no matter what the form of the government under which we live may be.

2. What is the limit of our obedience and subjection to the civil authorities? See Acts 5:28-29 and Daniel 6:7-10.

Wherever Civil Law conflicts with religious duties, the Christian ought to disobey it regardless of consequences. When the apostles were forbidden to teach in the name of Jesus, they paid no heed to the prohibition but filled Jerusalem with the doctrine of Christ, and when they were brought before the authorities to give an account of such violation, “Peter, and the apostles answered and said, We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:28-29). When there was established a royal statute under king Darius that for thirty days no one “shall ask a petition of any god or man” save of Darius; “and when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, (by the king) he went into his house (now his windows were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem); and he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime”—thus ignoring the decree of king Darius. His miraculous deliverance from the den of lions should encourage every Christian to ignore all laws that conflict with Divine Law.

3. How is the civil ruler a “minister of God to thee for good”?

Paul is not talking about men who pervert their offices, but those who enforce justice. If a ruler does not perform his duty he is disobeying civil authority and divine justice.

4. To what state of things do these instructions apply?

Wherever there is a settled form of Government. They would not apply in a state of revolution.


The above post is an excerpt from the book, Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: An Exegetical and Analytical Commentary by Isaiah Boone Grubbs. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

NEW RELEASE: Exegetical Analysis of the Epistles

We would like to announce our newest title – Exegetical Analysis of the Epistles: Notes on First and Second Corinthians, Galatians, and Hebrews by Isaiah Boone Grubbs – is now available.

Exegetical Analysis of the Epistles (cover)Isaiah Boone Grubbs (1833-1912) was a gospel preacher and served briefly as editor of the Apostolic Times. He is best remembered for his work as a professor of the College of the Bible in Lexington, KY where he worked with J. W. McGarvey and others.

Grubbs’ Exegetical Analysis of the Epistles, containing his notes on First and Second Corinthians and Galatians, was published in 1893. The notes on Hebrews were taken from his class at the College of the Bible in 1891 and 1892. All of these have been collected in a single volume in this book.

The introduction also contains an in-depth discussion about Biblical hermeneutics which will be beneficial to every Bible student.

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Read more about the book and purchase your copy today!


This is the twenty-fourth release in our Ancient Landmarks Collection. This collection is made up of materials that have been produced by those associated with the Restoration Movement. More titles will be added to this collection in the future. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of new releases.

NEW RELEASE: Paul’s Epistle to the Romans

Paul's Epistle to the RomansWe would like to announce our newest title – An Exegetical and Analytical Commentary on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans by Isaiah Boone Grubbs – is now available. This is a reprint of a public domain book that has been out of print.

Grubbs worked with J.W. McGarvey and others at the College of the Bible in Lexington, KY where he served as a professor. One of the classes he taught was on the book of Romans. This volume contains his notes from his work in teaching that epistle.

This is the third release in our Ancient Landmarks Collection. This collection is made up of materials that have been produced by those associated with the Restoration Movement. More titles will be added to this collection in the future. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of new releases.

[Note: When you subscribe to our mailing list, you will also receive a free ebook – The Foundation for a Godly Society.]

Grubbs’ Commentary on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans is a useful tool for those who are engaged in a study of Paul’s letter to the saints in Rome. Read more about the book and purchase your copy today!