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Romans 13

SUMMARY.--Civil Government an Appointment of God. A Protection to the Law-Abiding. A Terror to Evil Doers. Must be Supported by Taxes and Customs. Love the Fulfillment of the Divine Law. The Christian to Live a Holy, Spiritual Life.

      8-10. Owe no man any thing, save to love one another. Not only pay all tribute due, but all that is due every man. Every obligation must be discharged. The church member, who makes debts and does not meet them, violates this command. Bengel says: "Pay every debt; let none remain due to any man, save that immortal debt of mutual love, which, though fully paid, is still forever due." Hath fulfilled the law. He who loves his neighbor will not do to his neighbor any of the things forbidden by the law; will not steal, kill, commit adultery, bear false witness, covet, and hence his love fulfills the Mosaic law. 9. It is briefly comprehended. It is summed up in the single sentence Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The several laws that flow from love are gathered up in this saying as a fountain head. 10. Love worketh no ill, etc. Neither the ills forbidden in the commandments, not any other. Love is the fulfilling of the law. Not the law, but law. There is no article in the Greek. All divine law is fulfilled by love. God requires nothing which is not comprehended in this word.

      11-14. It is high time to awake out of sleep. To awake from carelessness and indifference. For now is our salvation nearer, etc. Their eternal salvation. That was certainly true of them, and is true of every believer now. Some have thought that Paul referred to the speedy second coming of the Lord. He did not know the time of that event, nor did any man ( Matt. 24:36 ), but it might be that he shared the hope of the early, suffering church, that it would be speedy. See 1 Thessalonians 5:1 1 Thessalonians 5:2 1 Thessalonians 5:2 2 Thess. 2:1 . 12. The night is far spent. The night is the period before the full realization of that salvation named in verse 11 , whether that be when Christ comes, or when we are called to Christ. That salvation is the day. The works of darkness. Such sinful deeds as men do under the cover of darkness, and all sinful deeds. The armour of light. The armor worn in the light, and with which the Christian will be clad when "the day" comes. See Eph. 6:11 . 13. Let us walk honestly. Dishonesty seeks the night. The children of the day will walk honestly. This implies honest, upright, pure lives, which need no concealments. Not in rioting. Nocturnal revels. Chambering and wantonness. In lascivious vice. Not in strife and envying. These followed naturally upon revels and drunkenness, and shameless sensuality. This passage is referred to by the great Augustine as the cause of his conversion. It rebuked his own sins, which were the common sins of his time. (Confessions, 8.12.). 14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. See Gal. 3:27 , for the way to put on Christ. To put on Christ is to enter into fellowship with him. He who is in fellowship with Christ cannot fulfill the lusts of the flesh. "He walks after the Spirit, and not after the flesh."

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