Some distinguish between tribute and custom, understanding by the former constant standing taxes, and by the latter those which were occasionally required, both which are to be faithfully and conscientiously paid as they become legally due. (3) many of the early Christians were composed of Jewish converts. Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought, Eccl. In his own case the apostle would not have known the sinfulness of his thoughts, motives, and actions, but by the law. On this is built that golden rule of doing as we would be done by. Earlier, Paul admonished, “Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. Many, who in other things seem to be just, yet make no conscience of this, but pass it off with a false ill-favoured maxim, that it is no sin to cheat the king, directly contrary to Paul’s rule, Tribute to whom tribute is due. Or if he was not wrongâand the verdict of mankind has generally justified his actâwhat are we to think of the language that is here used by St. Paul? The night of Jewish rage and cruelty is just at an end; their persecuting power is near a period; the day of our deliverance from them is at hand, that day of redemption which Christ promised, Lu. He that loves his neighbour as himself will be desirous of the welfare of his neighbour’s body, goods, and good name, as of his own. '', Nevertheless, they look upon civil government to be of divine appointment. First, As a holy God, that hates sin, against which, as it appears and puts up its head, a public testimony is thus borne. Jesus Christ is the best clothing for Christians to adorn themselves with, to arm themselves with; it is decent, distinguishing, dignifying, and defending. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. 18:7. Towards the civil power they maintained an attitude of absolute submission. Powers is not in the text, and is supplied from the preceding clause. This is a good argument, but it is low for a Christian. (1) Now he distinctly shows what subjects owe to their magistrates, that is, obedience: from which he shows that no man is free: and the obedience we owe is such that it is not only due to the highest magistrate himself, but also even to the lowest, who has any office under him. God is love (1 Jn. To be just is to give to all their due, to give every body his own. The powers that be - That is, all the civil magistracies that exist; those who have the "rule" over nations, by whatever means they may have obtained it. Have we this light to sleep in? All that is alleged is that, primÃ¢ facie, the magistrate can claim the obedience of the subject. This is equally true at all times, that the powers that exist, exist by the permission and providence of God. To them, and to those that are authorized by them, we must submit, for that is all one as if we did it to themselves, 1 Timothy 2:2 1 Peter 2:14. By baptism we have in profession put on Christ, Gal. 2:1. Surely we serve a good master, that has summed up all our duty in one word, and that a short word and a sweet word—love, the beauty and harmony of the universe. (2) the kingdoms of the world were then "pagan" kingdoms. 6:13, etc. He speaketh not here of the person, nor of the abuse, nor of the manner of getting into power, but of the thing itself, viz. Hence it follows (v. 2) that whosoever resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God. be subject unto the higher powers—or, "submit himself to the authorities that are above him.". II. It is one thing to say that a conflict of duties may arise, and that the higher is to be obeyed. By higher powers, he means the supreme powers; so the word is rendered, 1 Peter 2:13. The nearer we are to our centre the quicker should our motion be. The Christian’s Attitude Towards The State (13:1-7). And, since the certain natural course of things is the conduct of Providence or the government of God, though carried on by the instrumentality of men, the observation here made amounts to this, that mankind find themselves placed by Him in such circumstances as that they are unavoidably accountable for their behaviour, and are often punished and sometimes rewarded under His government in the view of their being mischievous or eminently beneficial to society.â In other words, the machinery of civil society is one of the chief and most conspicuous instruments by which God carries out His own moral government of mankind in this present existence. Because of the temptation which the Christians lay under to be otherwise affected to civil magistrates, some of them being originally Jews, and so leavened with a principle that it was unmeet for any of the seed of Abraham to be subject to one of another nation-their king must be of their brethren, Deu. 2:17) and outward reverence and respect, both in speaking to them and in speaking of them-obedience to their commands in things lawful and honest, and in other things a patient subjection to the penalty without resistance-a conformity in every thing to the place and duty of subjects, bringing our minds to the relation and condition, and the inferiority and subordination of it. The doctrine in these verses Romans 13:11-14, therefore, is, "that a deep conviction of the nearness of eternity will prompt to an upright life in the contact of man with man. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do … Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore the tyranny of the pope over all kingdoms must be thrown down to the ground. Higher powers.âAuthorities, i.e., magistrates, the abstract for the concrete. "Put him on as Lord to rule you, as Jesus to save you, and in both as Christ, anointed and appointed by the Father to this ruling saving work.". Were there no restraints of human laws in these things, no punishments incurred (which the malignity of human nature hath made necessary), the law of love would of itself be effectual to prevent all such wrongs and injuries, and to keep peace and good order among us. This word (as one observes) implieth two things; invention, and ratification. 4:24); get the habit of grace confirmed, the acts of it quickened." But it intimates that our subjection must be free and voluntary, sincere and hearty. Let every soul—every man of you . Romans 13:9 For this, thou shalt not commit adultery The apostle here reckons up the several laws of the second table, with this view, that it might appear that so far as a man loves his neighbour, whether more near or distantly related, he fulfils the law, or acts according to it. What we have we have as stewards; others have an interest in it, and must have their dues. 2. Is there but a step between us and heaven, and shall we be so very slow and dull in our Christian course, and move so heavily? There are three good lessons taught us in this chapter, where the apostle enlarges more upon his precepts than he had done in the foregoing chapter, finding them more needful to be fully pressed. What are we to understand by this? 5:16. Love is a living active principle of obedience to the whole law. Ever written for the one in authority is God ’ s servant for your good our centre quicker... 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