Ro 13:1
13:1 Let {1} every {a} soul be subject unto the higher {2}
     powers. {3} For there is no power but of God: the powers
     that be are {b} ordained of God.

 (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.
     (a) Indeed, though an apostle, though an evangelist, though a
         prophet; Chrysostom.  Therefore the tyranny of the pope
         over all kingdoms must be thrown down to the ground.
 (2) A reason taken from the nature of the thing itself: for to
     what purpose are they placed in higher degree, but in order
     that the inferiors should be subject to them?
 (3) Another argument of great force: because God is author of
     this order: so that those who are rebels ought to know that
     they make war with God himself: and because of this they
     purchase for themselves great misery and calamity.
     (b) Be distributed: for some are greater, some smaller.

Ro 13:3
13:3 {4} For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the
     evil. {5} Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do
     that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

 (4) The third argument, taken from the reason for which they
     were made, which is that they are to be most profitable:
     because God by this means preserves the good and bridles
     the wicked: by which words the magistrates themselves are
     put in mind of that duty which they owe to their subjects.
 (5) An excellent way to bear this yoke, not only without grief,
     but also with great profit.

Ro 13:4
13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. {6} But if
     thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not
     the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a
     {c} revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.

 (6) God has armed the magistrate even with an avenging sword.
     (c) By whom God avenges the wicked.

Ro 13:5
13:5 {7} Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for
     wrath, but {d} also for conscience sake.

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

Ro 13:6
13:6 {8} For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are
     God's ministers, attending continually upon this very

 (8) He sums up the main thing, in which consists the obedience
     of subjects.

Ro 13:7
13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute
     [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom {e} fear;
     honour to whom {f} honour.

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

Ro 13:8
13:8 {9} Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: {10} for
     he that loveth another hath fulfilled the {g} law.

  (9) He shows how very few judgments need to be executed, that
      is, if we so order our life as no man may justly require
      anything from us, besides only that which we owe one to
      another, by the perpetual law of charity.
 (10) He commends charity as a concise statement of the whole
      (g) Has not only done one commandment, but performed
          generally that which the law commands.

Ro 13:9
13:9 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,
     namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

     (h) For the whole law commands nothing else but that we
         love God and our neighbour.  But seeing that Paul
         speaks here of the duties we owe one to another, we
         must restrain this word "law" to the second table of
         the ten commandments.

Ro 13:11
13:11 {11} And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high
      time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation
      nearer than when we believed.

 (11) An application taken from the circumstances of the time:
      which also itself puts us in mind of our duty, seeing that
      this remains, after which the darkness of ignorance and
      wicked affections by the knowledge of God's truth is
      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 power of the Spirit of

Ro 13:12
13:12 The night is far spent, the day is {i} at hand: let us
      therefore cast off the works {k} of darkness, and let us
      put on the armour of light.

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

Ro 13:14
13:14 But {l} put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not
      provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].

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