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Submission to Civil Government

13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment,[a] and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. So the person who resists such authority[b] resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation because it is God’s servant for your well-being. But be afraid if you do wrong because government[c] does not bear the sword for nothing. It is God’s servant to administer punishment on the person who does wrong. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities[d] but also because of your conscience.[e] For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities[f] are God’s servants devoted to governing.[g] Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Exhortation to Love Neighbors

Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the commandments,[h]Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,[i] (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[j] 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Motivation to Godly Conduct

11 And do this[k] because we know[l] the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. 12 The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.[m]


  1. Romans 13:1 tn Grk “by God.”
  2. Romans 13:2 tn Grk “the authority,” referring to the authority just described.
  3. Romans 13:4 tn Grk “it.”
  4. Romans 13:5 tn Grk “its wrath”; the referent (the governing authorities) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  5. Romans 13:5 tn Grk “because of (the) conscience,” but the English possessive “your” helps to show whose conscience the context implies.
  6. Romans 13:6 tn Grk “they”; the referent (the governing authorities) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  7. Romans 13:6 tn Grk “devoted to this very thing.”
  8. Romans 13:9 tn Grk “For the…” (with the word “commandments” supplied for clarity). The Greek article (“the”) is used here as a substantiver to introduce the commands that are quoted from the second half of the Decalogue (ExSyn 238).
  9. Romans 13:9 sn A quotation from Exod 20:13-15, 17; Deut 5:17-19, 21.
  10. Romans 13:9 sn A quotation from Lev 19:18.
  11. Romans 13:11 tn Grk “and this,” probably referring to the command to love (13:8-10); hence, “do” is implied from the previous verses.
  12. Romans 13:11 tn The participle εἰδότες (eidotes) has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.
  13. Romans 13:14 tn Grk “make no provision for the flesh unto desires.”