Obedience to the Governing Authorities

13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except by God, and those that exist are put in place by God. So then, the one who resists authority resists the ordinance which is from God, and those who resist will receive condemnation on themselves. For rulers are not a cause of terror for a good deed, but for bad conduct. So do you want not to be afraid of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from it, for it is God’s servant to you for what is good. But if you do what is bad, be afraid, because it does not bear the sword to no purpose. For it is God’s servant, the one who avenges for punishment on the one who does what is bad. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities[a] are servants of God, busily engaged in this very thing. Pay to everyone what is owed: pay taxes to whom taxes are due; pay customs duties to whom customs duties are due; pay respect to whom respect is due; pay honor to whom honor is due.[b]

Love Fulfills the Law

Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another, for the one who loves someone else has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,”[c] and if there is any other commandment, are summed up in this statement: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”[d] 10 Love does not commit evil against a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

11 And do this because you[e] know the time, that it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we believed. 12 The night is far gone, and the day has drawn near. Therefore let us throw off[f] the deeds of darkness and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let us live decently, as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and licentiousness, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and do not make provision for the desires of the flesh.


  1. Romans 13:6 Literally “they”
  2. Romans 13:7 Due to the very compressed style in this verse, many words must be supplied to make sense in English
  3. Romans 13:9 A quotation from Exod 20:13–15, 17; Deut 5:17–19, 21
  4. Romans 13:9 A quotation from Lev 19:18
  5. Romans 13:11 Here “because” is supplied as a component of the participle (“know”) which is understood as causal
  6. Romans 13:12 Some manuscripts have “let us lay aside”