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Bible Commentaries
Romans 13

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NTLuscombe's NT Commentary

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Verses 1-7

1 Every soul = all people, every person

Subject = submit to, obey their directions, orders

All power is from God - Hitler, Saddam Hussein, etc. are from God. We may not understand their purpose; "Why would God put them in power?" Same is true of Pharoah ( Rom_9:17-20 )

Ordained - set in office, appointed, granted the power and authority that goes with that office.

NOTE: Elders are ordained. ( Tit_1:5 ) Preachers are ordained. ( 1Ti_2:7 ) Apostles were ordained. ( Mar_3:14 )

2 Resist power = resist ordainance of God

Laws of man = Laws of God.

Only exception - when in conflict - God is higher. ( Act_4:19-20 ; Act_5:29 )

Resist = damnation

3 Rulers - not a terror to good; but to evil

Do evil = we ought to fear (set cruise control and not fear the policeman with his radar; don't drink = no fear of police and their cameras)

Do good - have praise

4 He = the civil ruler

Minister of God - worker, servant, one who serves

Do evil - be afraid

He has a sword - has right to use it

NOTE: Capital punishment - since Noah's day ( Gen_9:5-6 )

Revenger, execute wrath - Vengeance belongs to God, civil government is God's minister to deal with that wrath.

5 Why obey the civil laws?

A. For wrath's sake Fear of punishment

B. For conscience sake Because it is right

6 Pay your taxes - help them continue in doing God's work

7 Render to all their dues

A. Tribute - where trbute is due - to another nation, tax due a foreign government

B. Custom - local taxes

C. Fear - reverence, respect

D. Honor - praise, recognition

Verses 8-10

8 Own no man anything -

Can we owe on our house? car? etc.?

When payment is due - pay it!

Debt you can't pay = love one another.

9 Look at the law of Moses --

Not commit adultery

Not kill

Not steal

Not bear false witness

Not covet

Any other commandment

Summarized in this: Love thy neighbor as thyself



10 Love does not harm to anyone. It will never hurt you to love someone. Name someone you should NOT love. You can't do it. We should learn to love all men.

Love fulfills the law. Fulfill = make complete, whole, entire, finished.

Verses 11-12

11 When should we start loving all men? NOW!

Know the time = "Wake up and smell the coffee."

It is high time to awake from sleep. Sleep = apathy, "I don't care about others."

Sleep <> a rest in a bed. Sleep = not alert, not aware, not showing love for others.

Salvation < > baptism, obey Gospel

Salvation (here) = eternal life, in heaven

We are nearer to heavern than ever before. When clock struck 13 times - Husband said, "It is later than it has ever been before."

We are closer to judgment, eternity and heaven than when we first believed (baptized, obey gospel).

12 Night = gloom, doom, pain, dispair, hurts of this life.

Day = opportunity, freedom

Our time of pain and suffering is soon over. Our chance to show love to others is upon us now.

Cast off works of darkness (sin).

Put on the armor of light (righteousness).

Verses 13-14


1. Walk honestly. We need to lern to be honest, people of our word, "Word is his bond."

2. Not rioting. Wild dancing parties. "Revelling"

3. Not drunkenness. Three levels: [1] Judgment drunk, [2] Party drunk, [3] Dead drunk

4. Not in chambering. "Going to bed" Denotes illicit intercourse, fornication. Prostitution. Adultery.

5. Not in wantonness. Wasteful spending, insolent luxury, delicacies, live wastefully.

6. Not in strife. Contention, debate. fussing over things that relaly don't matter. People who push their views (or opinions) on others.

7. Not in envying. "The feeling of displeasure by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others."

NOTE: Envy = anger at the blessing of another; the desire to have what another has. I could envy the promotion or recognition another recieved.

Jealousy = fear of losing what one has; the desire to protect and keep. I could be jealous of a spouse because I might not be able to keep them, or the fear of losing them to someone who is better looking.

14 Put on - wrap yourself in; a cloak, coat, blanket that wraps around; cover and protect

Lord Jesus Christ -

1. When do you put on Christ? Baptism.

2. How do you put on Christ? Accept Him as Lord.

Make not provision for the flesh - We often make a FIRM COMMITMENT with a BUT. We say, "I am dedicated to Jesus Christ and will worship Him -- unless it rains."

Boy to girlfriend - I will swim ocean, climb mountain, fight wild beasts to be with you. I will be over Saturday night unless it rains.

Flesh - Carnal, earthly, material, this world

Lusts - desires, seek to satisfy self

NOTE: Serving Christ must be without reservations. We cannot serve Christ when it is easy and pleasant. We must also serve when it is hard, painful, dangerous and even deadly. Rev_2:10 - "Be thou faithful unto death" does not mean "remain faithful until you die." It means we must "remain faithful even it means our death."

Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Romans 13". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mlc/romans-13.html. 2021.
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