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BIBLE STUDY on the book of Romans

Chapter 13

Relationship To Government . . . Romans 13:1-7

Paul tells us what the relationship of the Christian should be to the laws governing us. He writes about our responsibilities.

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (KJV)

We should obey the government, for God is the One who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. Is there any time when we should not submit to the government? YES! We must never allow government to force us to disobey God.

Any time that Jesus and His apostles disobeyed the government, it was in order to follow their higher loyalty to God. Their disobedience did NOT come cheap: they were threatened, beaten, thrown into jail, tortured, and executed for their convictions. We, like them, IF we are ever forced to disobey, we must be ready to accept the consequences. We must not rebel against or refuse to obey the government’s laws or regulations UNLESS those laws clearly force you to violate the moral standards revealed by God. We must be responsible citizens, as well as responsible Christians.

Romans 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (KJV)

Anyone who refuses to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. The Gospel teaches us quiet submission, but our pride and carnal mind only see reasons for complaints and discontent. Whoever the persons are in authority over us are, the power they have, must be submitted to and obeyed IF it does NOT go against the laws of God. Some times that is hard to do! Government is very evil at times!

Romans 13:3-4 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (KJV)

All in all, rulers are not a terror to honest, quiet, and good people, but to evil-doers. Authorities do not scare people who are doing right, they scare those who do wrong. If we do what they say, we will get along well. The authorities are sent by God to help you. If you do something wrong, you should be afraid, for you will be punished. The authorities are established by God to punish those who do wrong. On the other hand, when civil rulers are unjust, upright people are afraid. But in these verses, Paul is talking about officials who are doing their duty. When these officials are just, people who are doing right have nothing to fear.

Romans 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. (KJV)

We must obey the government for two reasons: to keep from being punished and to keep a clear conscience. 1 Tim. 2:1-2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (KJV)

Romans 13:6 for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. (KJV)

We must pay our taxes too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid so they can keep on doing the work God intended them to do. For they are God’s ministers, doing their job. Again, this is NOT always easy! People are greedy monsters at times, and that includes those in government!

Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (KJV)

Pay everyone what you owe them. Pay your taxes and import duties, and give respect and honor to all to whom it is due. Render therefore to all their dues, from magistrates Paul now comes to other officials. Tribute = land tax. Custom = mercantile tax. Fear = reverence for superiors. Honor = the respect due to persons of distinction.

Closing Comments . . . My opinion

No government is perfect, nor will one ever be perfect until Jesus sets up His rule in the Millennium period. We have seen some horrific actions in the past years of high-up authorities. These actions are inexcusable, and one day will be punished by God. . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_millennial_kingdom.htm

Corruption is common place today in our government, from the little towns up to highest in the nation. It truly is sad, but it has been going on a long time. See the Scriptures listed. Pro.17:15; 29:26; Isaiah 1:23; 5:23; 10:1-2; Micah 3:11; 7:3; Zeph. 3:3; Mat.26:59-62; 27:18-26; Mark 14:53; 14:55-65; 15:10; Acts 4:15-18; 6:11-14; 24:26-27

Since ALL governments are put in place by God, maybe He is trying to tell us something is wrong with this country. All things happen for a reason, and these corrupt people running this country have been put there for a reason. Could it be that the end is near? Come, Lord Jesus, come!

If we are God’s children, we must act accordingly. We must obey Him, and that means obeying the officials He allows to be put in place in government.

Relationship To Neighbors . . . Romans 13:8-14

Rom.13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (KJV)

Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you have fulfilled all the requirements of God’s law. (Mat.22:36-40).

So, why does God call love for others a debt? Because we are permanently in debt to Christ for the abounding love He has shown to us. There is only one way we can even begin to repay this debt, and that is by sincerely loving others in return. Love = care, concern and compassion. Because Jesus’ love will always be so much deeper and better and greater than ours, we will always be obligated to love our neighbors. (Mat.7:12; Gal.5:14; Jam.2:8).

Rom.13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (KJV)

Paul mentions the five commandments that deal with relationships in human society. He does not mention them in the same order as in Exodus 20:13-17.

"Thou shalt not commit adultery" . . . if you love someone, are you committing adultery with another one? THAT is NOT love! THAT is immoral SEX! It is licentiousness, it is fornication, and it is SIN in God's eyes! God has NOT changed His mind about it.

"Thou shalt not kill" . . . you can kill a person in more ways than pulling a trigger of a gun. You can destroy them by your HATE (1 John 3:15), and ruining their reputation.

"Thou shalt not steal" . . . if you love, you will not get something dishonestly. The person who loves does not rob anyone. And the person who loves is not jealous. In fact, the person who loves wants to give to other people. Jesus said about the law, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ It was one of only two laws that were necessary (Mat.22:37-39). Paul repeated those words in his letter to the Galatians (Gal.5:14). He urged the Christians to ‘serve each other in love’. If Christians show real love for other people, they are obeying the law completely.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness" . . . if you love, you will NOT lie in any manner, nor do you gossip in my estimation.

"Thou shalt not covet" . . . we are not to covet anything that our neighbor has!

Paul is saying that our love for our neighbor is revealed in what we do rather than in what we say. He is not putting the Christian back under the Law; he is saying that love manifests itself in not committing adultery, not killing, not stealing, not coveting. You can talk about love all you want to, but if you commit these acts against your neighbor, you have NO love for him.

"If there be any other commandment" . . . "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Mat.22:39). If this command were fulfilled, it would prevent all fraud, injustice, oppression, falsehood, adultery, murder, theft, and covetousness. It is the same as our Saviour's golden rule (Mat.7:12). And if every man would do to others as he would wish them to do to him, all the design of the law would be at once fulfilled.

Rom.13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (KJV)

What is self-love? Is it wrong? No. Even if you have low self-esteem, and are truly humble, you don’t go hungry. You clothe yourself, and you make sure you have a house to live in, if possible. You try not to be cheated or injured. You must treat others as you want them to treat you. The Golden Rule! IF you treat others as you want to be treated, you will NEVER do anything to harm them. Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (KJV)

God’s TRUE children must obey the law of love, for it is much more important than ANY other laws. It is SO easy for us to excuse our indifference to others because we have no legal obligation to help them. Some people even try to justify harming them if their actions are technically legal! But Jesus does NOT leave loopholes in the law of love. Whenever love demands it, we are to go beyond human legal requirements and imitate the God of love. (See Jam.2:8-9; 4:11; 1 Peter 2:16-17 for more about this law of love.

Rom.13:11-12 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (KJV)

The night refers to the present evil time. The day refers to the time of Christ’s return. Some things are taught here, to help us in our Christian life. When to awake; NOW! We must wake up out of the sleep of carnal security, laziness, and negligence. We must be reminded to awaken out of the sleep of spiritual death, and of spiritual deadness. We must consider the time; a busy, perilous time. We must realize Christ’s return is close at hand. Let us be mindful of our way, for we are nearer our journey’s end with each passing hour. We must make ourselves ready. We must be ever so watchful. The night is almost gone, the day is at hand; so it is time to dress ourselves.

Do you see what we must take off? Clothes worn in the night. Cast off the sinful works of darkness.

Do you see what we must put on; how we should dress our souls? Put on the armour of light. This amazing armor is described at length in Eph. 6:11-18. A TRUE child of God must consider himself undressed, if unarmed. Another thing this is telling me is we must reach out to lost souls around us. Tell them about Jesus before it is too late!

Rom.13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (KJV)

We should be decent and honest in everything we do and say. God’s TRUE children must not be involved in wild parties, drugs, getting drunk, in adultery or any immoral living. We must not fight, we must not be jealous.

Are you surprised that Paul lists conflict, rebellion, strife and jealousy with the gross and obvious sins of orgies, drunkenness, and sexual immorality. Like Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount (Mat.5-7), Paul considers attitudes as important as actions. Just as hatred can lead to murder, so too can jealousy lead to strife, and lust to adultery or homosexuality. When Christ returns, He wants to find His people clean on the inside as well as on the outside.

Rom.13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (KJV)

We should allow the Lord Jesus Christ take control of our lives, and not think of ways to indulge our evil desires.

How do we clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ? Some may say this is impossible. But it is NOT! First we identify with Christ by being baptized (Gal.3:27). This shows our solidarity with other Christians and with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Second, we illustrate the qualities Jesus showed while He was here on Earth (love, truth, humility, service). We imitate Him. We try to do what Jesus would do in our situation (Eph. 4:24-32; Col. 3:10-17). We must not allow our desires to lead us into sin. We must avoid any and all situations that would lead us to sin.

The Book of Romans

Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3 . Ch.4 . Ch.5 . Ch.6 . Ch.7 . Ch.8 . Ch.9 . Ch.10 . Ch.11 . Ch.12 . Ch.13 . Ch.14 . Ch.15 . Ch.16

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