romans 13 commentary bible hub


But it intimates that our subjection must be free and voluntary, sincere and hearty. ◄Romans 13 ► Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. The duty enjoined: Let every soul be subject. Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. It is quite probable, however, that the main danger was, that the early Christians would err in "refusing" submission, even when it was proper, rather than in undue conformity to idolatrous rites and ceremonies. “It is necessary to the very being of society that vices destructive of it should be punished as being so—the vices of falsehood, injustice, cruelty—which punishment, therefore, is as natural as society; and so is an instance of a kind of moral government, naturally established, and actually taking place. Knowing the time - Taking a proper "estimate" of the time. There may be men in power who assume it of themselves, and are of themselves, and not of God; and others that abuse the power that is lodged in them; who, though they are by divine permission, yet not of God's approbation and good will. Where the precept is appealed to, “Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” one man will say that the particular point in question comes under the first head, another that it comes under the second. When men are become such beasts, such ravenous beasts, one to another, they must be dealt with accordingly, taken and destroyed in terrorem—to deter others. The standard contributions that the Roman government levied on its subject nations were three. The Gentiles, being brought into the church, are companions in patience and tribulation. There are other inferior powers, which are also of God, as parents, masters, &c.; but of these he doth not speak in this place. And there will be the further drawback, that in such cases the individual usually acts as judge in his own cause, where his conscience is pretty sure to be biased. So far as His practice was concerned, our Lord pursued a course of simple obedience; into the theory of political or civil obligation He absolutely refused to enter. And yet as a general principle, the injunctions of the Apostle entirely hold good. Give every one his own. The powers that be are ordained of God: this passage is an exemplification of the former. Those that tarry long at the wine (v. 30) have contentions and wounds without cause (v. 29) and their eyes behold strange women, v. 33. Instead of this, they chose to suffer and die, and their sufferings did what force could never have done—they leavened and Christianised the world. 1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. "Let us therefore, who are of the day, cast them off; not only cease from the practice of them, but detest and abhor them, and have no more to do with them. 2. This is called the armour of light, some think alluding to the bright glittering armour which the Roman soldiers used to wear; or such armour as it becomes us to wear in the day-light. They say (x), that, "no man is made a governor below, except they proclaim him above;''. A general rule concerning the nature of brotherly love: Love worketh no ill (v. 10)—he that walks in love, that is actuated and governed by a principle of love, worketh no ill; he neither practises nor contrives any ill to his neighbour, to any one that he has any thing to do with: ouk ergazetai. "Do that which is good (v. 3), and thou needest not be afraid of the power, which, though terrible, reaches none but those that by their own sin make themselves obnoxious to it; the fire burns only that which is combustible: nay, thou shalt have praise of it." Romans 13:9 Exodus 20:13-15,17; Deut. On another occasion, when a question was asked as to the legitimacy of the Roman tribute, He replied in words already quoted, “Render to Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s, and to God the things which are God’s.” And, lastly, when appeal was made to Him to settle a disputed inheritance, He refused, saying to His petitioner, “Man, who made Me a judge or a divider over you?” Here we have really the key to the whole question. The significance of this comes out very strikingly when it is contrasted with the state of feeling and opinion current among the Jews at the same time. Footnotes. And the day of our complete salvation, in the heavenly glory, is at hand. A lesson of justice and love to our brethren (v. 7-10). Lit., authorities which have themselves over. In this work the magistrate is the minister of God, v. 4. for there is no power but of God; God is the fountain of all power and authority; the streams of power among creatures flow from him; the power that man has over all the creatures, the fowls of the air, the beasts of the field, and the fishes of the sea, is originally of God, and by a grant from him; the lesser powers, and the exercises of them, in the various relations men stand in to one another, are of God, as the power the husband has over the wife, parents over their children, and masters over their servants; and so the higher power that princes have over their subjects: for it is the God of heaven that sets up kings, as well as pulls them down; he is the King of kings, from whom they derive their power and authority, from whom they have the right of government, and all the qualifications for it; it is by him that kings reign, and princes decree justice. The night of Jewish rage and cruelty is just at an end; their persecuting power is near a period; the day of our deliverance from them is at hand, that day of redemption which Christ promised, Lu. They would regard all as opposed to God. '', "Heresy cries, bring a sacrifice to the idol; "Civil Power" cries, bring money, and gifts, and revenues, and tribute to the king. He wished to disabuse His disciples once and for all of this fatal confusion of two spheres in themselves so distinct. Surely we serve a good master, that has summed up all our duty in one word, and that a short word and a sweet word—love, the beauty and harmony of the universe. Towards the civil power they maintained an attitude of absolute submission. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Render to all their dues; and that readily and cheerfully, not tarrying till you are by law compelled to it." He acts as God’s agent, to whom vengeance belongs; and therefore must take heed of infusing into his judgments any private personal resentments of his own.—To execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. A Christian may reckon himself undressed if he be unarmed. Related Commentaries for Romans 13. "What we must put off; put off our night-clothes, which it is a shame to appear abroad in: Cast off the works of darkness." Consider what time of day it is with us, and you will see it is high time to awake. Let every soul; i.e. The higher powers - The magistracy; the supreme government. (3) Another argument of great force: because God is author of this order: so that those who are rebels ought to know that they make war with God himself: and because of this they purchase for themselves great misery and calamity. From exhorting the believers at Rome to a life of entire devotedness to God, and the various duties of brotherly kindness, the apostle now proceeds to inculcate upon them that subjection and obedience which they owed to their civil rulers, and those duties of justice and benevolence which were due from them to all men. The word used here does not designate the "extent" of the submission, but merely enjoins it in general. The least show of resistance or sedition in a Christian would soon be aggravated and improved, and would be very prejudicial to the whole society; and therefore they had more need than others to be exact in their subjection, that those who had so much occasion against them in the matter of their God might have no other occasion. For there is no power but of God: this is a reason of the foregoing injunction: q.d. And he forestalls the danger by an authoritative and reasoned description of the attitude which the Christian ought to assume. 5:8, Walk as children of light. He speaks of powers, in the plural number, because there are divers sorts and kinds thereof, as monarchy, aristocracy, democracy: under which soever of these we live, we must be subject thereunto. In this the judicial processes of the most vigilant faithful magistrates, though some faint resemblance and prelude of the judgments of the great day, yet come far short of the judgment of God: they reach only to the evil act, can execute wrath only on him that doeth evil: but God’s judgment extends to the evil thought, and is a discerner of the intents of the heart.—He beareth not the sword in vain. Their religious hopes took a political form. 2:13), yet originally an ordinance of God.—Ordained of God—tetagmenai; a military word, signifying not only the ordination of magistrates, but the subordination of inferior magistrates to the supreme, as in an army; for among magistrates there is a diversity of gifts, and trusts, and services. With them politics and religion were intimately blended. See on set under authority, Luke 7:8. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. The doctrine in these verses Romans 13:11-14, therefore, is, "that a deep conviction of the nearness of eternity will prompt to an upright life in the contact of man with man. The Church at Rome was largely composed of Jews, and these would naturally be imbued with the fanatical spirit of their countrymen. What provision to make (v. 14): "Make not provision for the flesh. Romans 13:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Romans 13:11, NIV: "And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed." In his own case the apostle would not have known the sinfulness of his thoughts, motives, and actions, but by the law. 23:29, etc. The authorities that exist have been established by God. It is one thing to say that a conflict of duties may arise, and that the higher is to be obeyed. Commentaries for Romans Chapter 13 The duty of subjection to governors. From our interest in it: "He is the minister of God to thee for good. There is therefore a very strong onus probandi thrown upon the person who takes upon himself to overrule what is in itself a clear obligation. The former chapter is called by some St. Paul’s ethics, and this his politics. The apostle here both uses the language, and speaks the sentiments of his countrymen the Jews, who are wont to call magistrates, "powers"; hence those sayings were used among them; says Shemaiah (t), "twvrl edwtt la, "be not too familiar with the power".''. Whatever the decision arrived at, it ought not to be made in a spirit of levity, nor ought it to be supposed that the dictum of the single conscience bears anything like the same validity as the universal principles of morals. Verses 1-7. II. It would seem as if by some intuitive perception the disciples entered into the intention of their Master. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. There are three good lessons taught us in this chapter, where the apostle enlarges more upon his precepts than he had done in the foregoing chapter, finding them more needful to be fully pressed. Hi, Sign out Lascivious thoughts and affections, lascivious looks, words, books, sons, gestures, dances, dalliances, which lead to, and are degrees of, that uncleanness, are the wantonness here forbidden—whatsoever transgresseth the pure and sacred law of chastity and modesty. Subject to the governing authorities: The connection between Romans 12 and Romans 13is clear. The very mention of the Messiah would tend to fan their smouldering passions into flame. He speaketh not here of the person, nor of the abuse, nor of the manner of getting into power, but of the thing itself, viz. Compare Lev. Romans 13:7 mentions two of these public debts. 3:9) as a man is found in his clothes; put on the priestly garments of the elder brother, that in them you may obtain the blessing. Clearly, the relations which our Lord assumed towards politics had especial reference to this attitude of the Jews. Love is a living active principle of obedience to the whole law. 2:1. Perplexing ourselves with an inordinate care, intimated in these words, pronoian meµ poieisthe. For there is no power but of, God: the powers that be are ordained of God, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. The more the days are shortened, and the more grace is increased, the nearer is our salvation, and the more quick and vigorous we should be in our spiritual motions. Exhortations to mutual love. Are we to say, for instance, that Hampden was wrong in refusing the payment of ship-money? If the love be sincere, it is accepted as the fulfilling of the law. Yet the Jews had long been under Roman oppression, and had borne the foreign yoke with great uneasiness. 2. Observe then,". By him kings reign, Prov. What we have we have as stewards; others have an interest in it, and must have their dues. 12:1, 8); and yet even then the blessing and benefit of a common protection, and a face of government and order, are such that it is our duty in that case rather to submit to persecution for well-doing, and to take it patiently, than by any irregular and disorderly practices to attempt a redress. Magistrates are here again and again called God’s ministers. God invented and devised this order, that some should rule, and others obey; and he maintaineth and upholdeth it. Many that are very sensible of the trouble think little of the sin of being in debt. Ro 13:1-14. (5) there "were" cases where it was right to "resist" the laws. I. It may only be well to add one caution. Why must we be subject? How to walk. Doubtless, he here intends also to repress the vain curiosity and agitation with which men are prone to inquire into the "titles" of their rulers; to guard them from the agitation and conflicts of party, and of contentions to establish a favorite on the throne. It is inclusive of all the duties of the second table, which he specifies, v. 9, and these suppose the love of God. In the administration of public justice, the determining of quarrels, the protecting of the innocent, the righting of the wronged, the punishing of offenders, and the preserving of national peace and order, that every man may not do what is right in his own eyes-in these things it is that magistrates act as God’s ministers. 3:27. 10:20. Commentary on Romans 13:8-14 View Bible Text . It is high time to awake; for others are awake and up about us. Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible. 19:3, You shall fear every man his mother and his father; not with a fear of amazement, but a loving, reverent, respectful, obediential fear. View Bible Text In the first part of Romans 13, Paul addresses what those in the Christian community owe the civil authorities. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. 1. "Let every soul"-"The thirteenth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, according to J.W. And, lastly, He finally submitted to the civil power, as the instrument divinely employed to inflict upon Him those sufferings which were to be the cause of our redemption. By higher powers, he means the supreme powers; so the word is rendered, 1 Peter 2:13. Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible. But pity it is that ever this gracious intention should be perverted, and that those who bear the sword, while they countenance and connive at sin, should be a terror to those who do well. 37:21. magistracy and authority: and he says, it is of God; he instituted the office, and he appointeth or permitteth the person that executes it. The Apostle would be aware of this. It is the magistrate quâ magistrate, not quâ just or unjust magistrate. The eternal happiness we chose for our portion is now nearer to us than it was when we became Christians. It forbids an anxious encumbering care. Hence Bishop Butler feels himself justified in taking the principles which regulate civil society as an analogy for those which will regulate the ultimate divine disposition of things. Lest this liberty should be turned into licentiousness, and misconstrued to countenance faction and rebellion, the apostle enjoins obedience to civil government, which was the more necessary to be pressed now because the magistrates were heathens and unbelievers, which yet did not destroy their civil power and authority. We are not forbidden barely to provide for the body (it is a lamp that must be supplied with oil), but we are forbidden to fulfil the lusts thereof. Because of the temptation which the Christians lay under to be otherwise affected to civil magistrates, some of them being originally Jews, and so leavened with a principle that it was unmeet for any of the seed of Abraham to be subject to one of another nation-their king must be of their brethren, Deu. Some distinguish between tribute and custom, understanding by the former constant standing taxes, and by the latter those which were occasionally required, both which are to be faithfully and conscientiously paid as they become legally due. Put on the spirit and grace of Christ for sanctification; put on the new man (Eph. As the killing of an inferior magistrate, while he is actually doing his duty, is accounted treason against the prince, so the resisting of any magistrates in the discharge of these duties of their place is the resisting of an ordinance of God. The usurpation of power and the abuse of power are not of God, for he is not the author of sin; but the power itself is. Know the time to be a perilous time. Were there no restraints of human laws in these things, no punishments incurred (which the malignity of human nature hath made necessary), the law of love would of itself be effectual to prevent all such wrongs and injuries, and to keep peace and good order among us. Earlier, Paul admonished, “Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. (3.) Magistrates bear the sword, and to oppose them is to hazard all that is dear to us in this world; for it is to no purpose to contend with him that bears the sword. 17:15. See 1 Jn. However the persons themselves may be wicked, and of those vile persons whom the citizen of Zion contemneth (Ps. proceeding of all magistracy whatever from God, still more precisely defined, in respect of those magistracies which exist in concreto, detailed and emphatic inculcation of obedience towards the magistracy, ἀνδρὸς ἐν ὑπεροχῇ κειμένοÏ, οὐ γὰρ ἔστιν ἐξουσία εἰ μὴ ὑπὸ θεοῦ, ἔσται γὰρ ὑμῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ ἐπάγοντος μνεία, ἐξουσίαις ὑπερεχούσαις. I. Romans 13. We are not called upon to enter into the casuistry of the subject. II. Greathouse understood the first clause here as the negative statement of the first clause in Romans 13:7, thus referring it to the obligations of custom, tribute, honor, etc. Same Subject Continued—Political and Social Relations—Motives. For wrath’s sake. Not that our consciences are to be subjected to the will of any man. This stands in opposition to a great many base lusts, mentioned v. 13. We must not walk in rioting and drunkenness; we must abstain from all excess in eating and drinking. "What we must put on." I. Without Christ, we are naked, deformed; all other things are filthy rages, fig-leaves, a sorry shelter. The necessities of the body must be considered, but the lusts of it must not be gratified. When we are up and dressed, we are not to sit still in an affected closeness and privacy, as monks and hermits. Therefore the tyranny of the pope over all kingdoms must be thrown down to the ground. Hence devising iniquity is called working evil upon the bed, Mic. 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