ROMANS CHAPTER 13

OBSERVATION STAGE

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic which limits the observer to the content offered by the book of Romans. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

*** EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 12 ***

IN VIEW OF GOD'S MERCY BESTOWED UPON THEM, PAUL AUTHORITATIVELY EXHORTS GENTILES WHO ARE FELLOW BELIEVERS, TO OFFER THEIR BODIES - THEIR THOUGHTS, WORDS & DEEDS - AS A LIVING / DAILY SACRIFICE, HOLY AND PLEASING TO GOD AS THEIR SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP

(Ro 11:30 NKJV) For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, (Ro 11:31 NKJV) even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. (Ro 11:32 NKJV) For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. (Ro 11:33 NKJV) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! [Isa 40:13] (Ro 11:34 NKJV) For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor? (Ro 11:35 NKJV) Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him? [Job 41:11] (Ro 11:36 NKJV) For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Ro 12:1 NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies [lit, as a living sacrifice], holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." =

The phrase in Ro 12:1, "Therefore I urge you, brothers" refers to Gentile believers, i.e., "brothers" with Paul relative to having in common, saving faith in Jesus Christ unto eternal life, (Ro 1:6-7). The Greek word "parakaleO" rendered "I urge" in the NIV conveys authoritative exhortation from Paul, an Apostle appointed by God, (Ro 1:1). The last seven verses of Romans chapter 11, (11:30-36), are a precursor to chapter 12, hence chapter twelve begins with the word rendered, "Therefore." The verses reflect upon the sovereignty; the infinite unsearchable wisdom and the unfathomable mercy of God Who has committed all mankind to disobedience in order to bestow mercy upon them all - a key theme expounded upon in the book of Romans from chapters 1 through 11. Chapters 1 through 11 are a doctrinal exposition of God's mercy being bestowed upon mankind resulting in eternal salvation and temporal deliverance / reconciliation for those who become believers in His Son as Messiah-Savior and thereafter are enabled to become faithful servants of the LORD respectively. Thereafter, beginning in Romans chapter 12, the Apostle Paul, continuing to address Gentile believers, authoritatively urged, i.e., exhorted his "brothers" in the faith, that in view of the mercy bestowed upon them by the LORD, their response should be to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice to the LORD, holy and pleasing to God. Paul defines this response as their spiritual act of worship.

The Greek phrase in Ro 12:1

"parastEsai ta ..sOmata humOn ......thusian ...zOsan

"to present .the bodies ...your ....[a] sacrifice .living

hagian, .euareston ......tO theO"

holy, .....well pleasing .to .God"

rendered "to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God" in the NIV in verse 12:1 conveys the idea of the Gentile believer, (and by implication, all believers), choosing to serve God with every member of their bodies. This must include the believer's volition as well as the members of his physical body as expressed in every thought, word and deed. Hence Ro 12:1 refers to Gentile believers (and by implication all believers) offering to God their thoughts, words and deeds as a living / daily sacrifice to God resulting in a pleasing obedience which is holy = set apart to the service of the LORD such that it is actually a spiritual act of worship as verse 12:1 stipulates. Such living sacrificial action as opposed to the sacrifice of a dead animal, portrays the individual's ongoing, daily dedication and devotion to God and His standard of holiness.

[BKC, p. 487]:

"Paul divided several of his letters into two major sections, a doctrinal portion and a practical one. He followed that pattern in this epistle too, though the doctrinal part is more than twice as long as the practical...

12:1-2. The start of this practical section is indicated by Paul's exhortation I urge (the first word of v. 1 in the Gr. text.). Therefore also shows a transition ... The basis of Paul's exhortation is God's mercy... God's compassion has been described in detail in the first 11 chapters of Romans. The content of Paul's urging is to offer your bodies (cf. Rom 6:13) as living sacrifices... The word 'bodies,' mindful of the Old Testament sacrifices, represents the totality of one's life and activities, of which his body is the vehicle of expression. In contrast with Old Testament sacrifices this is a 'living' sacrifice. Such an offering is holy (set apart) and pleasing... to God. Furthermore, it is spiritual (logikEn...) worship (latreian). Latreian refers to any ministry performed for God, such as that of the priests and the Levites... A believer's offering of his total life as a sacrifice to God is therefore sacred service. In the light of Paul's closely reasoned and finely argued exposition of the mercies of God (Rom 1-11), such an offering is obviously a desirable response for believers."

*** END OF EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 12 ***

I) [Ro 13:1-5]:

(Ro 13:1 NKJV) "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

(Ro 13:2 NKJV) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

(Ro 13:3 NIV) For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you

(Ro 13:4 NIV) For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

(Ro 13:5 NIV) Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience."

A) LET EVERY SOUL = EVERY PERSON BE SUBJECT TO GOVERNING AUTHORITIES. SINCE ALL AUTHORITIES ARE APPOINTED OVER MEN BY GOD ALONE, THEN WHOEVER RESISTS AUTHORITY RESISTS THE ORDINANCE / THE AUTHORITY OF GOD HIMSELF AND BRINGS GOD'S JUDGMENT UPON HIMSELF

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 13:1 NKJV) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Ro 13:2 NKJV) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves." =

Romans 12:1-2 command believers to "offer [their] bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God ... [and to] not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but [to] be transformed by the renewing of [the] mind. Then [they] will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." So the believer is to be transformed by the conforming of his conscience to the will of God through a study, acceptance and application to his life of the words of God's Word which explain His will]. Romans 12:3 through 15:13, which follow, stipulate specific things to obey in order to achieve that transformation. So the command in Ro 13:1 rendered in the NKJV, "Let every soul [= every person] be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God" implies that it is God's will that believers and every individual must be subject in deed and conscience to the governing authorities that God has placed them under. This implies compliance not only in deed but with a godly conscience from which those deeds originate. Note that Ro 13:1 gives special emphasis to the fact that all rulers are established solely by the LORD.

Since all governing authorities are established by God alone and for His holy purposes, i.e., there is no one else Who establishes ruling authority in the universe except God;

and since it is evident from history that some ruling authorities have been more disciplinary than others, even cruel and ungodly; and since individuals are treated by God in accordance with their faithfulness, (cf. Ro 10:10 );

then the manner in which individuals are treated by their ruling authorities is directly related to their faith and faithfulness to God. Exceptions noted: believers under testing and martyrdom. So whoever resists governmental authority - even if only in conscience - resists the ordinance / the authority of God Himself and brings God's judgment upon himself which judgment is often wielded by that government.

On the other hand, since God establishes all ruling authority, then all ruling authority is responsible to represent His will. When it does not, that authority will suffer the consequences. Hence the evil behavior of rulers is in no way condoned by the LORD.

B) INDIVIDUALS WHO DO RIGHT BY SUBMITTING TO THE AUTHORITY OF THEIR RULERS WITH A GODLY CONSCIENCE - FREE FROM A MENTAL ATTITUDE OF REBELLIOUSNESS - (1) ARE PLACED UNDER THE LORD'S PROTECTION, (2) ARE IN A POSITION TO BE FREE FROM FEARING THOSE IN AUTHORITY AND (3) WILL BE COMMENDED BY THEM

RULERS HOLD NO TERROR FOR SUBMISSIVE INDIVIDUALS BUT FOR THOSE WHO DO EVIL BY RESISTING THEIR AUTHORITY. SINCE RULERS ARE GOD'S SERVANTS WHO BEAR THE SWORD AS AVENGERS TO EXECUTE GOD'S WRATH ON THOSE WHO PRACTICE EVIL, THEN ONE MUST BE SUBJECT TO ONES RULERS NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE POTENTIAL OF GOD'S WRATH BUT ALSO BECAUSE OF THE CONSCIENCE GOD HAS PROVIDED WITHIN THEM

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 13:1 NKJV) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Ro 13:2 NKJV) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Ro 13:3 NIV) For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you (Ro 13:4 NKJV) For he is God's minister [lit., servant] to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister [lit., servant], an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (Ro 13:5 YLT) Wherefore it is necessary to be subject, not only because of the wrath, but also because of the conscience." =

(Ro 13:3a Greek) "hoi ..gar archontes ouk eisin phobos ....tOn ...agathOn

................................The ..for .rulers ......not .are .[a] terror .of the good

ergOn, alla tOn ...katOn"

works, .but of the evils."

The Greek phrase for Ro 13:3a, "Hoi gar archontes out eisin phobos tOn agathOn ertOn" noted above and rendered "For rulers hold no terror for those who do right" in the NIV, has in view those who do right, i.e., those who submit to governmental authority with a godly conscience free from a mental attitude of rebelliousness who are consequently described as those for whom rulers hold no terror, i.e., no traumatizing fear of losing their authority or forced from their position of authority. Those who exemplify such submissiveness to authority are stipulated as doing right, (lit., "good"), as opposed to those who do wrong, (lit., "evils"), the latter referring to those who resist governmental authority; even if only in their attitude or conscience. Those who do right avoid the consequent temporal judgment of God stipulated in verse 13:2. Then a question is posed in 13:3b, "Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority?" and the answer, "Then do what is right, (lit., "good"), and he [the ruler] will commend you." This implies that if the believer submits himself to his governing authorities and does not rebel against them in conscience or deed, he will be doing right in the sight of God and should be free from fear of the ones in authority over him. Furthermore, it suggests that God will enable the believer who submits to governmental ruling authority to be protected and commended by his rulers.

[Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, Victor Books, USA, 1988, Walvoord and Zuck Eds., p. 490]:

"13:1-3. Paul discussed a Christian's relationship to his government and civil rulers... The apostle's basic exhortation is, Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities (lit., 'higher authorities'). The basic reason for such submission is that those authorities are established by God... An individual who rebels against the authority, therefore, is rebelling against (lit., 'has taken a stand against') what God has instituted (lit., 'the ordinance of God'). Such persons are thus actually rebelling against God, and bring civil and / or divine judgment on themselves. Those who obey and do right need have no fear of authorities; in fact, civil leaders commend those who do good."

C) BELIEVERS ARE ENDOWED BY GOD WITH A CONSCIENCE: A CONSCIOUS UNDERSTANDING AND MENTAL IMPETUS TO CHOOSE TO OBEY GOD - TO CONSCIOUSLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND SUBMIT TO THE LORD'S DESIGNATED GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY OVER THEM

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 13:1 NKJV) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Ro 13:2 NKJV) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Ro 13:3 NIV) For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you (Ro 13:4 NKJV) For he is God's minister [lit., servant] to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister [lit., servant], an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (Ro 13:5 YLT) Wherefore it is necessary to be subject, not only because of the wrath, but also because of the conscience." =

Romans 13:4 indicates that a governmental ruling authority is God's servant to do the believer good when the believer submits to it with a godly conscience free from a mental attitude of rebelliousness. Thus the believer is to trust in God to deliver him from fear and harm as he is faithful to God's command to be subject to his governing authorities in godly conscience and deed. Hence the believer is not to fear punishment from the ruler when he is submissive. On the other hand, if the believer or any subject under authority does wrong by evidencing rebellion to the ruler in conscience and/or deed, he should be afraid, for the ruler as God's servant bears the sword by God's design in the sense of having the armed capacity and authority to exact physical punishment, even death, upon a rebellious subject in order to bring God's wrathful punishment on the wrong doer.

Verse 13:5 then corroborates that it is necessary to submit to authorities not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

This implies that believers are endowed by God with a conscience: a conscious understanding and mental impetus to choose to conform to God's command to consciously acknowledge and submit to the LORD's designated governmental authority over them. If they trust in and are faithful to Him then they will be protected from harm and even commended by that ruler.

So one must submit oneself to governmental authority in actions and in conformance with ones conscience, i.e., with a godly conscience = action backed up by a godly attitude of submission. Hence one must not have a mental attitude of resisting governmental authority while submitting to ones rulers, otherwise one is still resisting governmental authority and liable to receive the wrath of God. One is to maintain a godly conscience toward God relative to constantly acknowledging and submitting to ones governmental authorities with the understanding that they have been appointed over one by God as His servants to do His will.

D) PEOPLE RECEIVE FROM GOD THE KIND OF GOVERNMENT THAT THEY DESERVE - THAT REFLECTS THEIR CHARACTER - THAT MIRRORS THEIR RESPONSE TO THEIR GOD GIVEN CONSCIENCE. IN ORDER TO BE BLESSED BY GOD WITH A GODLY RULING AUTHORITY, THE PEOPLES' ACTIONS AND RESPONSES TO THEIR CONSCIENCES MUST LARGELY BE GODLY AND FREE FROM REFLECTING AN UNWILLINGNESS TO SUBMIT TO GOVERNMENTAL RULERS EVEN WHEN THE RULERS ARE EVIL, INEPT OR CORRUPT

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 13:1 NKJV) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Ro 13:2 NKJV) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Ro 13:3 NIV) For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you (Ro 13:4 NKJV) For he is God's minister [lit., servant] to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister [lit., servant], an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (Ro 13:5 YLT) Wherefore it is necessary to be subject, not only because of the wrath, but also because of the conscience." =

Since ruling authorities are appointed by God, (cf Ro 13:2); and since the character of ruling authorities varies from godly to ungodly, mostly the latter, largely reflecting the people they rule; then groups of people forming rulerships, (villages, cities, states, nations, etc.), receive from God the kind of government that they deserve - that mirrors their character - that reflects their response to their God given consciences. Hence a people who exemplify a pattern of ungodliness will eventually receive an ungodly ruler, sending them in the direction of self-destruction. This implies that the character of ruling authorities, being under God's sovereign control, will be changed to reflect the character of its people.

So in order to be blessed by God with a godly ruling authority, the peoples' actions and responses to their God given consciences must largely be godly and free from reflecting an unwillingness to submit to governmental rulers even when the rulers are evil, inept or corrupt - which is most often the case. So even personal accusations from rulers cannot be answered in a manner which even if true - undermine the authority of ones rulers. An accusation of a government ruler of corruption, ineptitude, greed, evil, etc., in a manner which in the ruler's mind encourages rebellion against his authority or undermines his authority is not justified before God, even if the accusation is true. God put that ruler in place and will take him out by godly means and not through ungodly tactics.

When rulers can be changed by some kind of election, godly tactics must be used by the candidates or suffer the consequences. So smear campaigns, evil debating tactics, innuendo wars, etc., are not permitted. False accusations by incumbent rulers toward others, no matter how evil and untrue, can only be answered in such a fashion that does not undermine the authority of that incumbent ruler. This leaves the result in God's hands - an example of walking by faith. The campaign of the godly man is to be the same as his godly lifestyle - one of walking by faith as an example to others. If the nation seeks a godly ruler who is supported by God Himself then he will be placed in position as ruler by God through election or other means.

E) GOD IS A HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS GOD WHO DOES NOT CONTRADICT HIMSELF BY COMMANDING RULERS OR BELIEVERS TO ISSUE OR OBEY UNRIGHTEOUS COMMANDS RESPECTIVELY. SO THE BELIEVER IS TO REFUSE TO OBEY COMMANDS THAT VIOLATE THE HOLINESS OF GOD IN A MANNER WHICH STILL RESPECTS GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 13:1 NKJV) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Ro 13:2 NKJV) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Ro 13:3 NIV) For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you (Ro 13:4 NKJV) For he is God's minister [lit., servant] to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister [lit., servant], an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (Ro 13:5 YLT) Wherefore it is necessary to be subject, not only because of the wrath, but also because of the conscience." =

Although Romans 13:1-5 make it clear that believers are commanded by God to be subject to their governing authorities, this is not to say that the believer must obey commands from governmental authority which violate God's righteousness. For it is God, the Righteous One Who commands righteousness, not evil, Who has placed all rulers in positions of authority. God is a Holy and Righteous God Who does not contradict Himself by commanding rulers or believers to issue or obey unrighteous commands respectively:

1) [Compare Ro 6:13 ]:

(Ro 6:13 NIV) "Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness."

So the believer must refuse to obey commands that violate the holiness of God in a manner which still respects governmental authority. The believer must depart the rulership or freely submit to the decision of his rulers when he decides to stand firm in the holiness of God by refusing to obey an ungodly command. This might lead to persecution and martyrdom - possibilities in the Christian life; or God may work the situation out favorably for the faithful believer. By reacting in a submissive manner to ones rulers yet refusing to obey commands that violate the holiness of God which the former includes a godly conscience - free from a mental attitude of rebelliousness, the believer remains faithful to God's holiness as well as God's command to submit to governmental authorities. The implication is one of faith in God to work each situation out in accordance with His sovereignty, (Ro 8:28);

2) [Compare Ro 8:28]:

(Ro 8:28 YLT) "And we have known that to those loving God all things do work together for [godly] good, to those who are called according to [His] purpose"

Notice that believers - those who are called according to [His] purpose - who are demonstrating obedience to God's commands, will have all things work together for [godly] good.

[Expositor's, pp. 136-7]:

"A circumstance may arise in which he must choose between obeying God and obeying men... But even then he must be submissive to the extent that, if his Christian convictions do not permit his compliance, he will accept the consequences of his refusal.

Those to whom submission must be rendered are called 'governing authorities' (v. 1). The first word (exousia) is not a specific or technical term; it simply means those who are over others. With respect to the second word (archOn v. 3) we find ... [Paul] using it... with reference to Roman rulers... specifically those who ruled in the name of Rome over the Jews in Palestine....

Paul makes a sweeping statement when he says, 'There is no authority except that which God has established' (v. 1b)...

2. Those who refuse submission are in rebellion against what God has ordained...

3, 4. ... A few years after Paul wrote these words, Nero launched a persecution against the church at Rome; multitudes lost their lives... Later on, other emperors would lash out against Christians in several waves of persecution stretching over more than two centuries. However, the empire did not persecute Christians for their good works, and not directly because of their faith, but rather, as Stifler observes, 'because of... the mistaken notion that the peace and safety of the state were imperiled by the Christians' refusal to honor the gods....'

... the principle of Romans 8:28 whereby God finds ways to bring good out of apparent evil, so that even in the event that the state should turn against the people of God in a way that could rightly be termed evil, He will bring good out of it in the long run...

The state is presented as 'God's servant' to extend commendation to the one who does good and, conversely, to punish the wrongdoer.... While 'God's servant' is an honorable title, it contains a reminder that the state is not God and that its function is to administer justice for Him in areas where it is competent to do so. Even as God's servant in the spiritual realm can err, so the state is not to be thought of as infallible in its decisions. Yet this does not entitle the individual to flout the state's authority when the decision is not to his liking.

The warning to the believer to avoid evil carries with it the admonition that if this warning is neglected, fear will be in order because the authority has the power to use the sword. This... refers to public acts that would threaten the well-being or security of the state.

5 In bringing this portion of the discussion to a close, Paul advances two reasons why the Christian must be in submission to the state. One is the threat of punishment (the Gr. word is orgE, 'wrath') if one does not put himself in subjection. This appeal is based on personal advantage, the instinct of self-preservation. To defy the state could mean death. The other reason is... conscience (syneidEsis)... responsible awareness that the ultimate foundations both of one's own being and also of the state are in God."

II) [Ro 13:6-7]:

(Ro 13:6 NKJV) "For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers, attending continually to this very thing.

(Ro 13:7 NKJV) Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor."

A) GOVERNMENTAL RULERS ARE GOD'S MINISTERS AND NO MATTER HOW UNWORTHY REQUIRE FINANCIAL SUPPORT BECAUSE THEY ARE APPOINTED BY GOD TO FUNCTION IN THEIR POSITION TO ATTEND TO THE PURPOSES OF GOD

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 13:1 NKJV) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Ro 13:2 NKJV) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Ro 13:3 NIV) For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you (Ro 13:4 NKJV) For he is God's minister [lit., servant] to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister [lit., servant], an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (Ro 13:5 YLT) Wherefore it is necessary to be subject, not only because of the wrath, but also because of the conscience. (Ro 13:6 NKJV) For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers, attending continually to this very thing." =

Romans 13:6 explains more about God's appointed governmental authority, i.e., rulers, of people. The rulers are God's servants who should be submitted to by the individuals they have been appointed to rule over by God. Those who are under a ruler are to pay taxes to that ruler as he so designates because he is God's minister - His servant who continually attends to the purposes of the LORD and in need of financial support to fulfill those purposes. The governmental rulers, no matter how unworthy, must receive financial support because they are appointed by God to function in their positions for the purposes of God and require that support.

[Expositors, op. cit.]:

6,7 ...The governing authority is God's servant, [hence] the greater appears the reasonableness of providing support by these payments. The man in authority may be unworthy, but the institution is not, since God wills it. Without financial undergirding, government cannot function. For the third time Paul speaks of rulers as God's servants, but this time he uses a different word, [Gk "leitourgoi" = lit., "ministers"] one that means workers for the people, public ministers."

III) [Ro 13:8-10]:

(Ro 13:8 NKJV) "Owe no one anything except to [agape / godly] love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled law.

(Ro 13:9 NKJV) For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'You shall not covet,' and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

(Ro 13:10 NKJV) Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of law"

(Ro 13:10 Greek) "hE .agapE tO .....plEsion ....kakon ouk ergazetai

.............................."The love ....to the neighbor, evil .....not .does work:

plErOma oun ...........nomou hE agapE"

fulness .....therefore .of law .the love"

A) BELIEVERS ARE TO OWE NO ONE ANYTHING EXCEPT TO EXPRESS AGAPE / GODLY LOVE TOWARD ONE ANOTHER. A LIFESTYLE CHARACTERIZED BY AGAPE LOVE TOWARD OTHERS QUALIFIES AS FULFILLING THE RIGHTEOUS STANDARD OF THE LAW, I.E., RULES GOVERNING HUMAN CONDUCT - SPECIFICALLY THE MOSAIC LAW

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 13:8 NKJV) Owe no one anything except to [agape / godly] love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled law." =

Paul continues to stipulate specific things for the believer to obey in order to achieve the transformation in view in Romans 12:1-2: To "offer [their] bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God ... [and to] not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but [to] be transformed by the renewing of [the] mind. Then [they] will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." So the believer is to be transformed by the conforming of his conscience to the will of God through a study, acceptance and application to his life of the words of God's Word which explain His will]. Author Paul says that one is to "owe no one anything except to love ["agapan" = express godly love toward] one another. The Greek word "agapan" is defined as follows:

**** EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 12 ****

A PARAMOUNT CHARACTERISTIC FOR BELIEVERS TO EXERCISE IS AGAPE / GODLY LOVE TOWARD OTHERS WHICH IS WITHOUT PRETENSE - A SELF-SACRIFICIAL REGARD FOR THE WELFARE OF ANOTHER - A REGARD WHICH NATURE IT IS TO ABHOR WHAT IS EVIL AND CLING TO WHAT IS GODLY

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 12:3 NIV) For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Ro 12:4 NIV) Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, (Ro 12:5 NIV) so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Ro 12:6 NIV) We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, [let him use it] in proportion to his faith. (Ro 12:7 NIV) If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; (Ro 12:8 NIV) if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (Ro 12:9 NKJV) [Let] love [be] without hypocrisy. [Abhoring] what is evil. [Clinging] to what is good." =

Verses 4 through 8 of Romans chapter 12 continue to elaborate upon Apostle Paul's authoritative exhortation to Gentile believers in 12:1-2 to offer their bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Paul explains in 12:4-5 that each member of the body of believers in Christ belongs to one another and has varying functions within that body. He lists a number of gifts given to the members by God which are to be utilized to perform those varying functions in accordance with His grace and the proportion of faith given to them by God to exercise those gifts. Whereupon verse 9 moves to characteristics which the body of believers are to exemplify in their lives as part of the offering of their bodies as a living sacrifice to God. Verse 9a lists the first and evidently paramount characteristic to exercise which is agape / godly love without pretense / hyposcrisy followed by two participle phrases which further define agape love: "abhoring what is evil" and "clinging to what is good." Agape love is defined as follows:

[The New Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the NT, Joseph Henry Thayer, Hendrickson, Peabosy, Ma, 1981, p. 3]:

"agapaO ..... to love, to be full of good-will and exhibit the same... to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of ... often of the love of Christians towards one another; of the benevolence which God in providing salvation for men, has exhibited by sending His Son to them and giving Him up to death... of the love which led Christ, in procuring human salvation to undergo sufferings and death... of the love with which God regards Christ..."

Note that it is the nature of agape / godly love to abhor what is evil and cling to what is good, (Ro 12:9b).

**** END OF EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 12 ****

So the believer is not to owe anything to others, neither material, nor emotional nor spiritual things to others. He is to operate according to the grace of godly agape love toward others, to not operating on credit. If necessary for the sake of godliness, he is to do without rather than to incur debt. This implies a lifestyle which is openly honest, unwilling to be indebted to others - one which freely gives and freely receives when freely offered. So believers are not to be involved with individuals or circumstances that put them in a position of indebtedness - except for agape / godly love. Such a gracious and godly lifestyle is hence, described as fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law - the Law of Moses, referred to Ro 13:9.

1) [Compare Ro 8:3-4]:

(Ro 8:3 YLT) "For what the Law was not able to do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, His own Son having sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, did condemn ...sin in the flesh.

(Ro 8:4 NASB) so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to [the] flesh but according to [the] Spirit." "

Note that the righteous requirement of the Law is fulfilled in believers who walk according to the Spirit. So to live in accordance with the Spirit is to live in accordance with the will of God which fulfills the righteous requirement of the Law. Such a lifestyle which can also be described as a transformation:

2) [Compare Ro 12:1-2]:

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.

(Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."

IV) [Ro 13:11-14]:

(Ro 13:11 NAS) "Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.

(Ro 13:12 NAS) The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

(Ro 13:13 NKJV) Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

(Ro 13:14 NIV) Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature [lit., "flesh"]."

A) BELIEVERS ARE TO OWE NO ONE ANYTHING EXCEPT TO EXPRESS AGAPE / GODLY LOVE TOWARD ONE ANOTHER. A LIFESTYLE CHARACTERIZED BY AGAPE LOVE TOWARD OTHERS QUALIFIES AS FULFILLING THE RIGHTEOUS STANDARD OF LAW, I.E., RULES GOVERNING HUMAN CONDUCT - SPECIFICALLY THE MOSAIC LAW. THE HOUR FOR BELIEVERS TO AWAKEN FROM THEIR INACTIVE FAITH IS NOW, FOR THE COMPLETION OF THEIR SALVATION IS NEARER THAN WHEN THEY FIRST BELIEVED. THEY ARE TO LAY ASIDE THE DEEDS OF DARKNESS, (SIN), AND PUT ON THE ARMOR OF LIGHT, I.E., CLOTHE THEMSELVES WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST - HIS STANDARD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND NOT THINK ABOUT HOW TO GRATIFY THE DESIRES OF THE SINFUL NATURE

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 13:8 NKJV) Owe no one anything except to [agape / godly] love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled law. (Ro 13:9 NKJV) For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'You shall not covet,' and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' (Ro 13:11 NAS) Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. (Ro 13:12 NAS) The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Ro 13:13 NKJV) Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. (Ro 13:14 NIV) Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature [lit., 'flesh']." =

Paul concludes the message of Romans 13:8-10 that believers are to owe no one anything except to express agape / godly love toward one another. A lifestyle characterized by agape love toward others qualifies as fulfilling the righteous standard of law, i.e., rules governing human conduct. The Mosaic Law is specifically in view, (cf. Ro 13:9). He states in 13:11 the urgency of following through on this exhortation of expressing agape / love one for another with the phrase, "Knowing [that] the time, now it is high time, [lit., 'the hour is already here'] to awaken out of sleep." He refers to believers awakening from an inactive faith because the completion of their salvation is nearer in their temporal lives to being fulfilled than when they first believed. Although Paul wrote these words millennia ago, the urgency remains for all believers because their temporal lives are finite. They only have so much time before their physical lives come to an end, time which needs to be spent in the service of the LORD relative to preserving / saving the value of their lives for all eternity via eternal rewards earned through faithfulness on earth.

In Ro 13:12, Paul continues the subject of the fulfillment of the believers' salvation, describing the period of time leading up to it as "night," evidently referring to the period in history of mankind - of the physical / temporal / life with trials and tribulations occurring in the mortal body which is contaminated by the sinful nature, [lit., 'flesh']. Notice the reference in Ro 13:13 to "deeds of darkness," i.e., sin. This time of "night," times characterized by the darkness of tribulation and sin, Paul declares is almost over for mankind, and the day is near, referring to the fulfillment of the salvation of those of mankind who have become believers when they will no longer dwell in sin. For the waning moments of this darkness, Paul exhorts believers to put on the armor of light, i.e., to walk properly, as in the day. They are not to walk in revelry and drunkeness, nor lewdness and lust, nor strife and envy - the latter being characteristics of the sinful nature and pictured by Paul as in the darkness of the night. Rather they are exhorted to put on the armor of light. The armor of light is paralleled with the phrase "clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ" as if to say that believers are to act in accordance with His righteousness and holiness as opposed to thinking about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Notice that not only ones deeds, but ones thoughts are to be Christ like.

The Greek phrase "endusOmetha ta hopla tou phOtos" in Romans 13:12 rendered "[believers] should put on the armor of light" in the NAS is in opposition to "deeds of darkness," i.e., sin; specific sinful acts listed in 13:13b, and "gratify[ing] the desires of the sinful nature," (13:14b). On the other hand, the phrase is paralleled to "walk properly" and "clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ," i.e., His righteousness. Hence the word "hopla" rendered "armor," when put on by the believer, portrays protection against the commission of sinful acts.

[Expositor's, op. cit., p. 143]:

"12,13... Even as darkness is symbolic of evil and sin, the light fittingly depicts those who have passed through the experience of salvation. Paul pictures the Christian as one who anticipates the day by rising early. His night clothes are the works of darkness, the deeds that belong to the old life. The garments to which he transfers, however, are unusual. They are likened to armor... Evidently the purpose is to suggest that to walk through this world as children of light involves a warfare with the powers of darkness... Even though the day as an eschatological point has not yet arrived, the believer belongs to the day..., anticipating by the very atmosphere of his transformed life the glory that will then be revealed...

This is the basis for the plea, ['Let us walk properly, as in the day,'] The Christian is to live as though that final day had actually arrived, bringing with it the personal presence of Christ. There should be no place, then, for the conduct that characterizes unsaved people, especially in the night seasons.

14 In conclusion, the apostle returns to his figure of putting on clothing (cf. v. 12), but now the garment is personalized. He urges his readers to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. This amounts to appropriation - the deliberate, conscious acceptance of the lordship of the Master - so that all us under His control - motives, desires, and deeds.... "

ROMANS CHAPTER 14