omans 13: 1-7, Submit to government authorities and pay taxes
VV 1-3, 1 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. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
Paul exhorts his audience, and us, to submit to government authorities, because God had allowed them to exist. If anyone oppose government authorities, they are opposing God and will bring judgment on themselves. You will not be afraid of the government authorities if you abide to the law of the government.
VV 4-7, 4 For he is God’s minister 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, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
If anyone practice evil or break the laws of the government, they will be punished by the government. Paul exhorts his audience, and us, to submit to the government because this is the right thing to do and for conscience’ sake. As citizens of our country, we are to pay taxes to the government who imposed them. As citizens of God in heaven, we are to give back to God the things that belonged to Him, our time, talent, treasure, torso, tribe, temple, and testimony.
Matthew 22:21, ”So give therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and render to God the things that are God’s.”
VV 8-10, 8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 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.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Paul exhorts his audience, and us, not to owe anything to anyone except the debt of love. The greatest commandment is love, vertical love for God, and horizontal love for people. Paul quoted the last 5 of the 10 commandments, Exodus 20:13-17.
Matthew 22:36-40, ”Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments”.
VV 11-14, 11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
The time for salvation is running out very fast. Very soon, the dispensation of grace will be over, and the dispensation of judgment will start. Therefore, we are to put away the works of darkness and put on the armour of the light of Christ. We are to walk worthy of our calling, not in drunkenness, lewdness, lust, strife, and envy. We are to walk with moral integrity and put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding us to submit to the government and to pay taxes to the government. We also give You all that belonged to You, our time, talent, treasure, torso, tribe, temple, and testimony, in Jesus’ name, Amen.