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Jesus Creed

How, Tom Wright asks, can Paul ask his readers to submit to the authorities if the authorities have now been defeated by Christ’s death and resurrection? A few points:
First, Paul expects everyone to submit to the authorities.
Second, it is most likely here that “authorities” refers to local, human authorities — those to whom one pays taxes.
Third, if these authorities — even if the concentration is on the earthy leaders there is always a hint that they are under the influence of the powers (8:38-39) — have been defeated, why submit? Because God has created the world with authorities. Col 2:15 may say they are defeated, but Col 1 says they are part of God’s good creation. So the issue is not the tension of Rom 13 with Col 2:15 or Col 1:20, but the harmony of Rom 13 with Col 1:16: “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”
Thus, every one — all Christians — should submit to the authorities because they have been created by Christ and will be restored and redeemed in Christ. One might even suggest that submission is an eschatological act of the coming day of justice.

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