Be Subject To Authorities: They Are Established By God
13 Let every soul be subject[a]to superior authorities. For there is no authority except by God. And the existing ones are established[b] by God. 2 So then the one opposing[c] the authority has resisted[d] the ordinance[e]of God. And the ones having resisted will receive[f] judgment on themselves.
Rulers are God’s Servants To Reward Good And Punish Evil
3 For the rulers are not a fear to good work, but to evil[g]. Now do you want to not be fearing the authority? Be doing good, and you will have praise[h] from him[i]— 4 for he is God’s servant to you for good. But if you are doing evil, be fearing! For he does not bear[j] the sword in-vain[k]— for he is God’s servant, an avenger for wrath on the one practicing evil. 5 Therefore it is a necessity to be subject— not only because of the wrath[l], but also because of the conscience.
So Give Them Their Due
6 For because of this also you pay tributes[m]. For they are ministers[n]of God devoting-themselves to this very thing.7 Give-back to all authorities the things owed— the tribute to the one owed the tribute, the tax[o]to the one owed the tax, the fear[p]to the one owed the fear, the honor to the one owed the honor.
Pay Your Ongoing Debt of Love
8 Be owing[q] nothing to anyone except to be loving one another. For the one loving the other has fulfilled the Law. 9 For the saying “You shall not commit-adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet” [Ex 20:13-17], and if there is any other commandment, is summed-up in this saying— in the “You shall love your neighbor as yourself ” [Lev 19:18]. 10 Love does not work harm[r]to the neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.
Put On The Weapons of The Light, And Make No Provision For The Flesh
11 And do this knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to arise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is advanced, and the day has drawn-near. Therefore let us lay-aside[s] the works of the darkness and let us put-on the weapons[t]of the light. 13 Let us walk properly[u] as in the day[v]— not in revelries[w] and drunkenness[x], not in beds[y] and sensualities, not in strife and jealousy, 14 but put-on[z] the Lord Jesus Christ and do not be making provision[aa]for the flesh, for its desires.
Romans 13:2Or, decree, direction. The authority of government is God’s decree. Paul is commanding submission to this authority, however it is expressed in your nation. In some nations this includes active involvement in government; in others, citizens have little input.
Romans 13:2That is, from God, whose decree you have resisted. Secondarily, from the authorities, if you are caught.
Romans 13:4That is, for no purpose. Governments have God’s authority to punish evil to the fullest extent, including death, and they serve God’s purposes in doing so. Governments exercise this authority through the police, the courts, and the military, in ways and means and degrees of their own choosing.
Romans 13:5We submit out of fear of God’s wrath expressed through government, and our own conscience toward God. Usually these are in agreement. In exceptional cases, which Paul does not address here, the conscience must be followed in spite of the threats from government.
Romans 13:6Taxes paid by foreigners to ruling states, such as that paid by Israel to Rome.
Romans 13:6Or, public servants. Note that Paul is talking about Rome, which conquered and subjugated his nation and took away their freedom and right of self-government.
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