Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he (The government & it’s representatives. RE) is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. ESV
According to the text, there are several things to take note of regarding governmental institutions…
Every authority that is on earth has been granted such by God… (1a)
God put in place governmental systems… (1b, 2a)
Anyone who opposes or resists the authority systems God instituted will be judged… (2b)
Governments were ordained by God for people’s good… (4a)
God has given governments the authority to use the sword… (4b)
Governments carry out God’s wrath and punishment on those who rebel, disobey, and resist… (4c)
Take special note of the phrase in verse 4b… “He does not bear the sword in vain.” A sword is not used to slap a person on the wrist or spank them. Swords are used to kill people as implements of war. God has given governments the authority… as His servants… to carry out punishment upon egregious law breakers. This includes the taking of human life both judicially (Capital Punishment) and in war. Agents of the government include: Police… Legislators… Judges… and the Armed Forces. Individual human beings who are not part of the governmental system are NOT to carry out their own justice by taking life.
Osama had declared war on America. Osama attacked and killed thousands of innocent people… both Americans and Muslims. The Navy Seals who participated in the raid that eventually ended Osama’s life acted as agents of God carrying out justice to stop his own evil reign of terror.
There is much more to that can/could be written and discussed on this point. This just seemed to be appropriate.