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Romans 13


 1 Let (*) (1) every (a) soul be subject unto the higher (2) powers. (3) For there is no power but of God; and the powers that be, are (b) ordained of God.


(*) Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13 .

(1) Now he sheweth severally, what subjects owe to their Magistrates, to wit, obedience; From which he sheweth that no man is free; and in such sort that it is not only due to the highest Magistrate himself, but also even to the basest, which hath any office under him.
(a) Yea, though an Apostle, though an Evangelist, though a Prophet: Chrysostom. Therefore the tyranny of the Pope over all kingdoms must down to the ground.
(2) A reason taken of the nature of the thing itself; For to what purpose are they placed in higher degree, but that the inferior should be subject unto them?
(3) Another argument of great force: Because God is author of this order; so that such as are rebels ought to know, that they make war with God himself; wherefore they cannot but purchase to themselves great misery and calamity.
(b) Be distributed; for some are greater, some smaller.


 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist, shall receive to themselves (*) condemnation.


(*) Not only the punishment of the Judges, but also the vengeance of God.


  (4) For (*) Magistrates are not to be feared for good works, but for evil. (5) Wilt thou then be without fear of the power? Do well, so shalt thou have praise of the same.


(4) The third argument taken from the end wherefore they were made, which is most profitable, for that God by this means preserveth the good and bridleth the wicked, by which words the Magistrates themselves are put in mind of that duty which they owe to their subjects.

(*) Or, princes, or rulers.
(5) An excellent way to bear this yoke, not only without grief, but also with great profit.


 4 For he is the minister of God for thy wealth, (6) but if thou do evil, fear; for he beareth not the sword for nought; for he is the minister of God (*) to (c) take vengeance on him that doeth evil.


(6) God hath armed the Magistrate even with a revenging sword.

(*) Greek, a revenger with wrath.
(c) By whom God revengeth the wicked.


  (7) Wherefore ye must be subject, not because of wrath only, but (d) also for (*) conscience’ sake.


(7) The conclusion: We must obey the Magistrate, not only for fear of punishment, but much more because that (although the Magistrate have no power over the conscience of man, yet seeing he is God's minister) he cannot be resisteth by any good conscience.
(d) So far as lawfully we may; for if unlawful things be commanded us, we must answer as Peter teacheth us, It is better to obey God than men.

(*) For no private man can condemn that government which God hath appointed without the breach of his conscience; and here, he speaketh of civil magistrates, so that Antichrist and his cannot wrest this place to establish their tyranny over the conscience.


  (8) For, for this cause ye pay also tribute, for they are God’s ministers, applying themselves for the same (*) thing.


(8) He reckoneth up the chiefest things wherein consisteth the obedience of subjects.

(*) That is, to defend the good and to punish the evil.


  (*) Give to all men therefore their duty: tribute, to whom ye owe tribute; custom, to whom custom; fear, to whom (e) fear; honor, to whom ye owe (f) honor.


(*) Matthew 22:11 .

(e) Obedience, and that from the heart.
(f) Reverence, (which as reason is) we must give to the Magistrate.


  (9) Owe nothing to any man, but to love one another; (10) for he that loveth another, hath fulfilled the (g) (*) Law.


(9) He sheweth how very few judgments need to be executed, to wit, if we so order our life, as no man may justly require anything of us, besides that only that we owe one to another, by the perpetual law of charity.
(10) He commendeth charity as an abridgement of the whole law.
(g) He hath not only done one commandment, but performed generally that which the Law commandeth.

(*) He meaneth only the second table, meaning, the second commandment; Exodus 20:4 .


 9 For this, (*) Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is (h) briefly comprehended in this saying, even in this, (♣) Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.


(*) Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18 .

(h) For the whole Law commandeth nothing else, but that we love God and our neighbor. But seeing Paul speaketh here of the duties we owe one to another, we must restrain this word, Law to the second Table.

(♣) Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8 .


 10 Love doeth not evil to his neighbor; therefore is love the (*) fulfilling of the Law.


(*) 1 Timothy 1:5 .


 11  (11) And that, considering the season, that it is now time that we should arise from sleep; for now is our salvation (*) nearer, than when we believed it.


(11) An application taken of the circumstance of the time; which also itself putteth us in mind of our duty, seeing that this remaineth after that the darkness of ignorance and wicked affections by the knowledge of God's truth be driven out of us, that we order our life according to that certain and sure rule of all righteousness and honesty, being fully grounded upon the virtue of the Spirit of Christ.

(*) Before we believed, it had been in vain to tell us these things; but now seeing our salvation is near, let us take heed that we neglect not this occasion.


 12 The night is past, and the day is (i) at hand, let us therefore cast away the works (k) of darkness, and let us put on the (*) armor of light,


(i) In other places we are said to be in the light, but yet so, that it appeareth not as yet what we are, for as yet we see but as it were in the twilight.
(k) That kind of life, which they lead that flee the light.

(*) That is, honest manners and godly.


 13 So that we walk honestly, as in the day; not in (*) (♣) gluttony, and drunkenness, neither in chambering and wantonness, nor in strife and envying.


(*) Luke 21:34 .

(♣) Or, riot.


 14  (*) But (l) put ye on the Lord JESUS CHRIST, and take no thought for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts of it.


(*) Galatians 5:16; 1 Peter 2:11 .

(l) To put on Christ, is to possess Christ, to have him in us, and us in him.




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