ROMANS CHAPTER 13

VERSES 1-2 "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2- Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves."

A. "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 
1. Christians are commanded to be in subjection to their government. We are not to be renegades and lawless people. We are to be law abiding citizens

2. The very principle of government has itís divine origin with God. There are three divinely appointed authorities. The are the home, the government, and the church. Each one performs a function in itís own area. God desires the maximum happiness of mankind. In order to give man happiness it is necessary to maintain order in society. The home maintains order in the personal lives of men and women. In the public lives of men and women the government provides that order. The church provides this in the spiritual realm.

3. See also Matthew 22:17-21; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14.

4. While it is certain that some government comply more closely to biblical principles than other, all serve the function that is designed by God. 

5. The Old Testament gives the principle that God has a hand in the building up and tearing down of governments.

a. Daniel 4:17
B. "Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves."
1. Christians have no right to rebel against the lawful authority of government. When we do so we are rebelling against God, since he gave government the authority in the first place. When we rebel we risk facing the wrath of almighty God. 

2. There is only one reason given for any resistance to government, when government hinders Christians from the free exercise of their religion or seek to make them do things that are not within the boundaries of Christian behavior.

a. Acts 5:28-29
3. This one reason for disobedience is not one lightly taken when the government violate a particular scruple of ours. It should be when the government seeks to force us to do things that are clearly wrong or hinder us from serving God.

4. There is never a hint that we have the right to actively wage war against a government we do not like.

VERSE 4- For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil."
A. "For he is God's minister to you for good."
1. Government was put in place for a good purpose: to maintain orderliness in society where men can serve God and to restrain evildoers.

2. This does not mean that every leader will be a Christian, or even moral. But it does mean that governmentís overall purpose is to provide good for society. Only look at where government has broken down and you will see what it is like without it!

B. "But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil."
1. If someone is bent on being a criminal, or practicing wicked deeds, he has a reason to be afraid of the government. 

2. The sword is symbolic for the power to punish evil doers.

3. The only way Christians are to fear government is on account of their lawbreaking. That is, of course, unless the government is seeking to hinder Christians from serving God. But even then, we are not to fear what men can do to us!

4. The state is the avenger for evil doing perpetrated on society. It is charged with doing what Christians are specifically commanded not to do. See Romans 12:19-20.

VERSES 5-6 "Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. 6- For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing."
A. "Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake."
1. Two reasons given here why we should obey the government.

2. One is wrath. That is, they have power to enforce their will.

3. The second, more importantly to Christians, is that it would violate our consciences not to obey the government.

B. "For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing."
1. This is the reason why we pay taxes, because it is ordained by God and it would violate our conscience to not pay them. 

2.Jesus taught this to the Jews. See Matthew 22:17-21

VERSES 7-8 "Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. 8- Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law."
A. "Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor"
1. This verse is an application of what Paul has been teaching, hence the "therefore."

2. Tax here is taken from the same word that tribute is translated. It was the payment that the conquered peoples gave to Rome for protection and the extension of Roman law, culture, etc. to them.

2. Customs was the tax paid on commerce or trade, much like our tariff and sales taxes.

3. Fear is said the be the stronger of the two words, compared to honor. It would be applied to a higher official. We can respect the office of a governing official, without them earning our respect and honor personally.

B. "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law."
1. Christians are to fulfill every obligation to his government and others. There is only one "debt" that a Christian should never feel like he has completely discharged, to love others. 

2. This is a Christianís continual obligation! We never stop needing to do this!

 
THE APPLICATION OF LOVEíS PRINCIPLES

VERSES 9- "For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."" 10- "Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

A. All of the moral obligations, that have their origin in the Old Law, are based on the principle of love. If we have agape love for others we will not do these things.
1. We will not commit adultery because it is harmful to others.

2. We shall not commit murder because it will deprive another of life.

3. We will steal because it deprives someone of what he has worked to get.

4. Bearing false witness is hurting a personís good name, liberty, and perhaps life.

5. Coveting will keep us from wishing the very best for our neighbor, hence we cannot love a neighbor and covet his goods.

B. "Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."
1. Love with never seek to harm another. This is possibly meant as a deliberate understatement to add further emphasis to what has just been said. Love with actively seek the good of others!

2. Love is the carrying out of the principles of the Law. This is likely referring to the Law of Moses. We need to understand that the moral codes found in the Law of Moses were in place for man long before the Ten Commandments were written. They have always been Godís Law, with the exception of the keeping of the Sabbath (which was designed specifically for the Jews). See also Matthew 22:34-40

VERSES 11-12 "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12- The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light."
A. "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed."
1. Paul was urging them to be vigilant and not drop their guard! They need to shake the indifference and get serious about living the Christian life!

2. It is a true principle that the Lordís coming gets closer with each passing day.

a. See also Ephesians 5:14ff.
B. "The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light."
1. The first part of this statement is given to emphasize that there is not an unlimited amount of time for us to slumber. We must make preparation while it is still light! See also John 9:4.

2. We need to throw off every impediment that keeps us from fight the good fight of faith! See also Hebrews 12:1.

VERSES 13-14 "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14- But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts."
A. "Let us walk properly, as in the day"
1. We are to live our lives in a way that will be in accordance with our profession as Christians.

2. We need to live as in the light of day, where everyone can see our conduct!

B. "not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy" 
1. Revelry and drunkenness are mentioned together because they go hand in hand. The revelry is the conduct and behavior that is so common with drinking!

2. Lewdness and lust are mentioned together because the one leads to the other. Lust (here unlawful desire) will lead to improper sexual conduct.

3. Strife and envy also naturally go together. When one becomes envious of others this often leads to violence.

C. "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts."
1. Just as one puts on a garment all over his body, so to must we put on the conduct of the Lord in our lives. 
2. The lusts of the flesh should not have ANY place in our lives.




Copyright 2000 by John L. Kachelman Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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