Overview of Romans 13
Wenstrom Bible Ministries
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Tuesday December 1, 2009
Romans: Overview of Romans 13
Lesson # 430
Please turn in your Bibles to Romans 13:1.
This evening we will present an overview of Romans chapter 13, which continues the sixth major section in the book of Romans, which concludes in Romans 15:13.
First six sections of the book of Romans: (1) 1:1-17: Introduction and Presentation of the Theme of the Epistle (2) 1:18-3:19: Both Jew and Gentiles are in need of the righteousness of God (3) 3:20-5:21: How to receive the righteousness of God (4) 6-8: How to live in the righteousness of God (5) 9-11: God’s righteousness is vindicated in His relationship to Israel (6) Romans 12:1-15:13: The righteousness of God manifested through believers in Jesus Christ.
In Romans 12:1-15:13, Paul discusses God’s righteousness being manifested in believers in the local assembly (12:1-21) and by their dedication to God (12:1-2) and in their use of their spiritual gift (12:3-8) and in the sincerity of their love for each other (12:9-21).
In Romans 13:1-14, Paul teaches his readers that the righteousness of God is manifested in the believer’s conduct in relation to civil government (13:1-7) and towards the unbeliever (13:8-10) and their conduct in view of their eschatological confident expectation (13:11-14).
In Romans 14:1-15:13, the apostle Paul instructs his readers that the righteousness of God is manifested in their conduct in relation to Christian freedom.
He instructs them to not judge each other in relation to eating and drinking and teaches them the principle of Christian freedom (14:1-12) and exhorts stronger believers to not put up stumbling blocks for weaker believers by what they eat or drink and exhorts them to walk according to the principle of love (14:13-23).
He closes this section by prohibiting selfishness and challenges them to imitate Christ (15:1-13).
In Romans 13:1-7, Paul teaches his readers that the righteousness of God is manifested in the believer’s conduct in relation to civil government.
Romans 13:1, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”
Romans 13:2, “Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”
Romans 13:3-4, “For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.”
Romans 13:5, “Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.”
Romans 13:6, “For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.”
Romans 13:7, “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
Romans 13:1-7 refers to one of four institutions established by God.
Each of these institutions is a system of authority designed to protect the freedom of members of the human race, both unbeliever and the believer.
(1) Volition: You have authority over your own soul (Gen. 2:16-17).
(2) Marriage: Husband has authority over the wife (Gen. 2:22-24).
(3) Family: Parents have authority over the children (Gen. 4:1; Ephesians 6:1-2).
(4) Government: Government has authority over its citizens (Gen. 9:5-6).
This passage discusses the relationship between church and state and the relations between the individual Christian and the various functions of government.
It speaks of the responsibility of the citizen of heaven as a citizen of a nation.
Paul in this passage expands upon what our Lord said in Luke 20:25.
Luke 20:25, “And He said to them, ‘Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’”
Paul echoes his teaching in Romans 13 in Titus 3:1.
Titus 3:1, “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed.”
Paul’s teaching in Romans 13:1-7 regarding civil authorities echoes the teaching of the Old Testament.
Deuteronomy 17:12, “The man who acts presumptuously by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the LORD your God, nor to the judge, that man shall die; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.”
Proverbs 24:21, “My son, fear the LORD and the king.”
Ecclesiastes 8:2, “I say, ‘Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God.’”
The apostle Peter taught his congregations to be obedient to civil authorities.
1 Peter 2:13-14, “Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.”
1 Peter 2:15, “For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
1 Peter 2:16, “Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.”
1 Peter 2:17, “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”
Not only does Paul teach that all Christians are to respect the civil authorities but also he commanded his congregations to pray for their leaders.
1 Timothy 2:1-2, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”
1 Timothy 2:3-4, “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:5-6, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.”
1 Timothy 2:7, “For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
1 Timothy 2:8, “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.”
In Romans 13:8-10, Paul teaches his readers that the righteousness of God is manifested in the believer’s conduct towards the unbeliever.
In this passage, he teaches that loving one’s neighbor as oneself is the fulfillment of the Law.
Romans 13:8, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”
Romans 13:9, “For this, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’”
Romans 13:10, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Romans 13:10 echoes the teaching of the Lord Jesus.
Matthew 22:35-40, “One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
In Romans 13:11-14, Paul teaches his readers that the righteousness of God is manifested in the believer’s conduct in view of their eschatological confident expectation of blessing.
Romans 13:11, “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.”
Romans 13:12, “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.”
Romans 13:13, “Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.”
Romans 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”