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The apostle now showed what attitude the believer will take toward the world. The first thing dealt with is submission to authority. These powers are of God. The believer's submission to the will of God is manifested in the world by his obedience to properly constituted authority. The very statement of the case, however, inferentially reveals another side of the question. The believer subjects himself to the power when he fulfils the true intent of his calling and office. Paul's own case will give examples of rebuking rulers.
Again, abandonment to the will of God is evidenced before the world by the discharge of all just debts. This is summed up in the first injunction, "Owe no man anything save to love one another." Always to owe love is to render it impossible to defraud in matters of purity, of life, of property. Thus, as the apostle declares, "Love, therefore, is the fulfilment of the law."
Thus ends the section dealing specifically with the requirement of the Christian's submission to God, personal humility in love, relative submission to love. These are the true credentials of the life abandoned to God in spirit, soul, and body.
The apostle then declared what is the perpetual incentive to realization of the abandonment of life, in both its inner and its outward manifestations. Darkness is everywhere. The children of the Lord are to walk as in the day, even though as yet the night is round about them. They already feel the breath of the morning moving through the darkness, and, casting off the garments of the night, they are to clothe themselves with the armor of light and watch for the first gleam of the breaking dawn.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Romans 13". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12