Paying Taxes

by Mark J. Ward

One might find that it is interesting that God's Word actually requires us to pay our taxes. This would apply regardless of the country in which we might live. It would also apply with regard to state, city, county, school and sales taxes, wherever and whenever applicable. Please read on.

In Romans 13, we find Paul, by inspiration, teaching us that we are to obey the civil government's rule, including the payment of taxes. Please notice the King James Version of this chapter.

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

In verses 6 and 7, the New King James reads, "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, honor to whom honor."

How many jokes have you heard about people cheating the IRS on their income taxes?  Given the verses above, is it proper for a Christian to cheat on his/her income tax?  What about trying to bring things into the country without paying proper "customs" tax? What about avoiding school or city taxes where they are required? Certainly we can see that we are to pay ALL taxes to whom taxes are due. The Christian is to provide things honest in the sight of all men. As deadlines (like April 15th) draw near, let's all do our part to properly pay our taxes.

Thanks for reading. - Mark J. Ward

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