"Also pay taxes..."
Text: Romans 13:6
THE PROBLEM OF TAXES
Paul dealt with a problem that seems to have been a universal one- the paying of taxes. Taxes were often resented for they were seen as “excessive”. Many ended up cheating on taxes. The Romans taxed its subjects heavily. Taxes were often levied to raise funds for war campaigns! Countries had to pay tribute or face severe consequences.
A BIBLICAL VIEW ON TAXES
Paul was not unaware of the problem of heavy taxes when he wrote the following text.
“For because of this you also pay taxes,
for they are God’s ministers attending continually
to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due:
taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs,
fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour.”
1. They are God’s ministers
This thought must be borne in mind when taxes are paid. This may be a difficult thing to do, and yet it is a fact!
2. Attending continually to this very thing
The tax payer has to bear in mind that the authorities have a difficult task to perform. They have to uphold justice. They have put down the activities of the wicked. They have to offer adequate protection. All these things cost money and taxes would have to be levied in order to obtain the revenue needed to run the empire.
3. Payment of taxes and more
Paul was concerned that all believers should bear in mind other things besides the paying of taxes.
a) Taxes to whom taxes are due
Taxes are part and parcel of every day life! All working citizens have to pay basic taxes for the maintenance of a good government.
b) Customs to whom customs (additional taxes)
Additional taxes may also be expected. These ought to be given due consideration.
c) Fear to whom fear
Besides the payment of taxes, believers are urged to give due respect to the government! The word “fear” must include the word “regard” or “respect”.
d) Honour to whom honour
It is good and right that governing authorities be accorded due “honour”.