Romans 13

Be subject to higher powers, pay taxes 1
Owe nothing; love fulfills the law 8
Time to awaken; put on Christ 11

Text Comments
.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.
 1 - Powers ... of God So do we then obey every political power tells us to do? "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29). Seeing how Paul describes the "higher powers" helps us understand. They "are not a terror to good works." Paul is speaking of civil obedience to legitimate government even though that government might have faults as did the Roman government of his time. When do we disobey? When the requirements of government are in conflict with those of God. "And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him." (Mark 12:17). Also see Dan. 2. da0221.
  2 - Resisteth ... receive ... damnation Not because God desires to hurt anyone but acting in His justice and in His mercy for the righteous ez3311. Also see the explanation at 2ch2208.
  5 - For conscience sake We need obey civil laws as they direct us to do what our conscience also reveals.
  6 - Pay ye tribute In this context the alternate translation is better, "You pay tribute." This would be a matter of principle lu2020-25.
   6 - Ministers From leitourgoi, servants or public servants. The English word "liturgy" comes from this root. In verse 4 a different word is translated, "minister." 
.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.
  8 - Owe no man From the context, the message is, Do not hold back on just taxes and honor, but love others. We may take this to mean not to owe money when it is due. Compare mt2527.
.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.
  11 - Awake ... our salvation nearer Paul didn't expect all the centuries to pass 2pe0308f.
  14 - Put ye on the Lord He is to be our garment is6110. We walk in His righteousness.
  14 - No provision for the flesh This is not about our normal physical needs but about unnatural cravings or physical bad habits.
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