Our attitude to governments and rulers
Let every one of you be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no power but by God, and the powers that be have been ordained by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. If you wish to live without fear of the authorities- then do that which is good! And you shall have praise from the same. 4 For he is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil- be afraid! For he carries not the sword in vain. For he is a minister of God, an avenger of God’s anger to him that does evil. 5 Therefore you must be in subjection, not only because of God’s anger against sin, but also for the sake of your conscience. 6 For this cause you pay tribute also. For they are ministers of God's service, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render to all their dues. Tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour. 8 Owe no one anything, apart from to love one another. For he that loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet- and if there be any other commandment- it is summed up in this word, namely: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. 10 Love works no evil to his neighbour. Love therefore is the fulfilment of the law.
11 And consider this too: Knowing the time, that already it is time for you to awake out of sleep. For now is our salvation nearer to us than when we first 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 armour of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
13:2 We must compare this teaching with Peter’s example in Acts 4:19; we can only submit to authorities until such a point as to do so further would lead us to be disobedient to God. Paul seems to take this as assumed and obvious, therefore he doesn’t specifically state it.
13:7 Tax evasion is clearly wrong for Christians.
13:10 Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses by dying on the cross (Mt. 5:17; Lk. 24:44); but here Paul says that love fulfils the Law. The death of Jesus by crucifixion was therefore ‘love to the end’ (Jn. 13:1), the ultimate definition of love, in a very public, memorable and graphic display.
13:13 “The day” refers to the time of God’s future Kingdom in v. 12. We should live now as if we are in the Kingdom. In this sense we ‘have eternal life’ in that we live right now the kind of life which we will eternally live.