Paul's Letter to the Romans

Chapter 13

Subjection and many other duties we owe to the magistrates, 1-7. Love is the fulfilling of the law, 8-10. Gluttony and drunkenness, and the works of darkness, are out of season in the time of the Gospel, 11-14.

1 Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, for there is no power but from God. The powers that exist are ordained by God. 2 Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist shall receive for themselves condemnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Will you then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good and you shall have praise from the same, 4 For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain, for he is the minister of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him who does evil. 5 Therefore, it is necessary for you to be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 6 For because of this you also pay tribute, for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

8 Owe no man anything, but to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not kill," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love works no ill to one's neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

11 And this, knowing the time, that it is already to awaken from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in lewdness and wantonness, and not in strife and envying. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and do not make provision for the lusts of flesh.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Romans, Chapter 13[➚]


[v.1] - Reference, 1st Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 3:1; 1st Peter 2:13.

[v.7] - Reference, Matthew 22:17-21; Mark 12:14-17; Luke 20:22-25.

[v.9a] - "'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not kill,'" - See the Note for Mark 10:19.

[v.9b] - Quoting Exodus 20:13-17 (LXX); Leviticus 19:18 (LXX). See also, Deuteronomy 5:17-21.

[v.10a] - "Love works no ill" - Reference, 1st Corinthians 13:4-5.

[v.10b] - "love is the fulfilling of the law" - Reference, Galatians 5:14.

[v.12-14] - Reference, Matthew 5:16.