“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:”
King James Version (KJV)
13:3 For rulers are - In the general, notwithstanding some particular exceptions. A terror to evil works - Only. Wouldest thou then not be afraid - There is one fear which precedes evil actions, and deters from them: this should always remain. There is another fear which follows evil actions: they who do well are free from this.
Ro 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works. This is the general rule. Of course there have been occasional exceptions, when some human monster has been invested with absolute power, but the principle is true. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? It is not the law-abiding, but the lawless, who fear the law. Rulers as a class are a blessing. There was an exception a few years later when Nero developed his fiendish hate of all good.