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Chapter 13

Commentary by Tom Brown

Rom 13:1-14
1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Why Government is necessary? To keep the strong from overpowering the weak. An Anarchist refuses to accept human governments. Every animal is an anarchist because for them, only the strong survive. Government began after the flood. (see Gen 9:6)
2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. God’s vengeance on people is through the arm of the Law. We do not take revenge as Paul mentioned in chapter 12:19. We leave room for God's wrath in the form of the law.
3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. It is easy to think that God is against the good people by commanding the good people to be kind to the bad people, but he has the arm of the Law to make sure that bad people are punished.
4 For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. We have the law to do our fighting. Lawsuits is one way to allow the Law to fight for you. Do not take matters in you own hands, but leave them in the hands of the law.  If the Law is not interested in your case, then drop it.
5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.  
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.  
7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.  
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. Let no debt remain outstanding. Many are very conscientious of so many things except when it comes to their debts. You may file bankruptcy but you still owe the lender. Love attempts to pay back everything. (see Ps 37:21)
9 The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."  
10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. love is the fulfillment of the law. God will personally deal with moral Law on Judgment day. There are things that our government says is legal, but God says they are illegal in heaven.

does no harm. There are things you can do to harm your neighbor that the Law of our land will protect.

  1. Gossip and ruining reputation.
  2. Divorce without just cause.
  3. Aborting children.
  4. Spending your family money on drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.

Thus, the law of the land is not the highest law of God. Love is the highest law.

11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.  
12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  
13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. behave decently. Literally, behave as someone in uniform. Putting on the uniform makes you realize that you are working for someone else, and you cannot act like you normally would. Putting on Christ makes us realize that we represent the Lord.
14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. clothe yourselves. Reminder of our uniform. How many people would do the evil things if they were in uniform?

Previous  Chapter 14

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