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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Romans 13

Verses 1-14


Duties to rulers and to others (13:1-14)

Since God is the source of all authority, governments exercise power by his permission. Christians should therefore obey the ruling authorities (13:1-2). If they keep the laws of the country, Christians have nothing to fear. They should have no difficulty in cooperating with the government, because the basic functions of government are the promotion of the well-being of society and the restraint of wrongdoing, and these functions are in keeping with Christian ideals (3-4). Christians should obey the law and pay their taxes, not just because they fear the penalties, but because they see these duties as further ways of acknowledging God’s rule in the world (5-7).
Christians should also have good relations with their fellow citizens, again not just because the law tells them to, but because Christian love has changed them within (8-10). With the day of final salvation drawing nearer day by day, the time available for the development of truly Christian character grows shorter and shorter. Paul therefore urges Christians to wake up before it is too late. They must not behave as non-Christians do, and must not give the sinful nature any chance to do its evil work. They must live in the victory of Christ, with behaviour that reflects his character (11-14).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Romans 13". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/romans-13.html. 2005.