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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.

Commentary for Romans 13

The duty of subjection to governors. (1-7) Exhortations to mutual love. (8-10) To temperance and sobriety. (11-14)1-7 The grace of the gospel teaches us submission and quiet, where pride and the carnal mind only see causes for murmuring and discontent. Whatever the persons in authority over us themselves may be, yet the just power they have, must be submitted to and obeyed. In the general course of human affairs, rulers are not a terror to honest, quiet, and good subjects, but to evil-doers. Such is the power of sin and corruption, that many will be kept back from crimes only by the fear of punishment. Thou hast the benefit of the government, therefore do what thou canst to preserve it, and nothing to disturb it. This directs private persons to behave quietly and peaceably where God has set them, #1Ti 2:1,2|. Christians must not use any trick or fraud. All smuggling, dealing in contraband goods, withholding or evading duties, is rebellion against the express command of God. Thus honest neighbours are robbed, who will have to pay the more; and the crimes of smugglers, and others who join with them, are abetted. It is painful that some professors of the gospel should countenance such dishonest practices. The lesson here taught it becomes all Christians to learn and practise, that the godly in the land will always be found the quiet and the peaceable in the land, whatever others are.

8-10 Christians must avoid useless expense, and be careful not to contract any debts they have not the power to discharge. They are also to stand aloof from all venturesome speculations and rash engagements, and whatever may expose them to the danger of not rendering to all their due. Do not keep in any one's debt. Give every one his own. Do not spend that on yourselves, which you owe to others. But many who are very sensible of the trouble, think little of the sin, of being in debt. Love to others includes all the duties of the second table. The last five of the ten commandments are all summed up in this royal law, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; with the same sincerity that thou lovest thyself, though not in the same measure and degree. He that loves his neighbour as himself, will desire the welfare of his neighbour. On this is built that golden rule, of doing as we would be done by. Love is a living, active principle of obedience to the whole law. Let us not only avoid injuries to the persons, connexions, property, and characters of men; but do no kind or degree of evil to any man, and study to be useful in every station of life.

11-14 Four things are here taught, as a Christian's directory for his day's work. When to awake; Now; and to awake out of the sleep of carnal security, sloth, and negligence; out of the sleep of spiritual death, and out of the sleep of spiritual deadness. Considering the time; a busy time; a perilous time. Also the salvation nigh at hand. Let us mind our way, and mend our pace, we are nearer our journey's end. Also to make ourselves ready. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; therefore it is time to dress ourselves. Observe what we must put off; clothes worn in the night. Cast off the sinful works of darkness. Observe what we must put on; how we should dress our souls. Put on the armour of light. A Christian must reckon himself undressed, if unarmed. The graces of the Spirit are this armour, to secure the soul from Satan's temptations, and the assaults of this present evil world. Put on Christ; that includes all. Put on righteousness of Christ, for justification. Put on the Spirit and grace of Christ, for sanctification. The Lord Jesus Christ must be put on as Lord to rule you as Jesus to save you; and in both, as Christ anointed and appointed by the Father to this ruling, saving work. And how to walk. When we are up and ready, we are not to sit still, but to appear abroad; let us walk. Christianity teaches us how to walk so as to please God, who ever sees us. Walk honestly as in the day; avoiding the works of darkness. Where there are riot and drunkenness, there usually are chambering and wantonness, and strife and envy. Solomon puts these all together, #Pr 23:29-35|. See what provision to make. Our great care must be to provide for our souls: but must we take no care about our bodies? Yes; but two things are forbidden. Perplexing ourselves with anxious, encumbering care; and indulging ourselves in irregular desires. Natural wants are to be answered, but evil appetites must be checked and denied. To ask meat for our necessities, is our duty, we are taught to pray for daily bread; but to ask meat for our lusts, is provoking God, #Ps 78:18|.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Romans 13

  • A disciple
    HAPPY 4TH OF JULY EVERYONE! May the Lord have mercy on us all!
  • A dsiciple
    Lu2677; This is a VERY important subject so applicable for us today. Many are turned aside from the commandments of the Saviour by hearkening to voices in the world, which say we must stand and fight for our rights. With respect to the Military and the Police, that's there job by God's appointment. But for us as individuals, we follow Jesus' example of love, piety, faith and meekness toward all.
  • Lu2677
    Roman 13:1 "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers (government).For there are no powers but of God,(our government is put in place by God).The powers that be, are ordained by God." This chapter is telling us to give honor,give tribute,love,submit,owe nothing to government officials. Regardless of what they do. His word stands!
  • Steve morrow
    ROMANS 13:11 AND THAT KNOWING THE TIME THAT NOW IT IS HIGH TIME TO AWAKE OUT OF SLEEP FOR NOW OUR SALVATION IS NEARER THAN WHEN WE BELIEVED 2 TIMOTHY 4:7 I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH ****HEBREWS 10:36 FOR YOU HAVE NEED OF PATIENCE THAT --- AFTER --- YOU HAVE DONE THE WILL OF GOD YOU MIGHT RECEIVE THE PROMISE
  • Steve morrow
    ROMANS 13:2 WHOSOEVER THEREFORE RESISTETH THE POWER RESISTETH THE ORDINANCE OF GOD AND THEY THAT RESIST SHALL RECEIVE TO THEMSELVES DAMNATION 1JOHN 3:18 MY LITTLE CHILDREN LET US NOT LOVE IN WORD NEITHER IN TONGUE BUT IN DEED AND TRUTH
  • Steve morrow
    ROMANS 13:9 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 NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF---HELP US LORD TO UNDERSTAND WE CANT LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS IF WE'RE KILLING THEM HELP US LORD
  • Kathrina
    Also in 1John 3:14 Jesus says We know that we have pass from death to life, because we love the brethren.
    He that love not his brother abide in death.
    And in 1 John3:3 says every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
    Luke 6:46 says, Why call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?
  • Vanessa
    we are to love all, even thy enemy as he says in matthew 5:43-48 and in luke 6:27 -36 if our Lord did then so should we and pray for them, those that walk in sinful ways pray for them, you cant be consumed with hatred and live in the light of the Lord, you cant live praising yourself as well for good things you do, you must be humble, walk in faith, except Christ as your savior , repent your sins

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Bible Trivia

How should you love a neighbor?
  • as family
  • as thyself
  • as a wife
  • as a friend