The Letter to the Romans
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Lakeside,
This chapter[ 1 ] has three main points. The duty of Christians toward civil
government. Christians should love one another. Be clothed upon with Christ
(see chart ROMANS 13 OUTLINE).
ROMANS 13 OUTLINE
1. Duty of Christians toward government (Ro 13:1-7).
2. Love one another (Ro 13:8-10).
3. Be clothed upon with Christ (Ro 13:11-14).
DUTY TO CIVIL GOVERNMENT
The Jews tried to array Jesus against Caesar. They said He was a rival king (Lu
23:2). During His trial, they cried out to Pilate:
If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself
a king speaks against Caesar (Joh 19:12)
At Thessalonica, Paul was accused by the Jews of preaching "another king--
Jesus" (Ac 17:7). This is interesting because the Jews themselves were galled
under Roman subjection. The Zealot party fanatically resisted the Romans. There
was a controversy among Jews about paying taxes to a foreign government
(Rome). When the Jews from various sects obeyed the gospel, for a while, some
of them held on to a few of their old prejudices. Although they hated the payment
of taxes, Jesus taught his followers to pay them (Mt 22:17-21; Mk 12:14-17; Lu
22:22-25). The consistent teaching of the Scriptures is that Christians should pay
taxes, obey the laws and pray for rulers (see Mt 5:25, 26; 1Ti 2:1, 2; Tit 3:1; 1Pe
2:13-15). Without this teaching Roman persecution would undoubtedly have been
worse than it was.
Civil obedience is right because it is God's will. Those who resist established
government receive just penalties (see Ro 13:2, 3; paragraph on CIVIL
DISOBEDIENCE below; note on Be subject at verse 1).
The Roman government changed hands rather rapidly and unexpectedly during
the first century. Caligula reigned AD 37-41. Claudius was poisoned in AD 54.
At age 31, Nero committed suicide in AD 68. Murder of an existing ruler was
one way the throne was seized. Was each Caesar "ordained by God"? Yes. Even
the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was carried out by "his armies,"
that is, God's (Mt 22:1-7).
The terrible persecution by Nero began after the great fire in Rome (AD 64).
Paul wrote the Roman letter about seven years prior to that (AD 57). To argue
that Christians were not required to submit to an evil regime because the existing
Roman government was benevolent is to forget that the Holy Spirit knew the
corruption of the Roman state and that persecution was coming on the church just
as surely as Christ knew Jerusalem would be destroyed (see His remarks in Mt
24:2-41; Mk 13:2-30; Lu 21:5-36). Later Christians, some of whom wrote
documents during Roman persecution, continued to confirm what Christ, Paul and
Peter taught, namely, that Christians should pay taxes and obey the civil
authorities.[ 2 ]
What would the world be like without civil government? Consider the riots and
lootings by lawless people. Bad civil government is probably a little better than
total anarchy.[ 3 ]
Is there ever a time when a Christian should disobey civil government? Yes,
when that government contradicts the plain teaching of God (Ac 5:29). Even then
one needs to be very careful. Christ refused to let Peter keep on defending Him
with the sword. Yet Christ knew that His own arrest was unfair (Mt 26:51, 52;
Mk 14:47; Joh 18:10, 11). There has been controversy about Roman laws
protecting the institution of slavery. Paul did not act in contradiction to those laws
when he returned a runaway slave to his master (Phm 10-12, 17; compare Eph
6:5-9; Col 3:22; 4:1; 1Ti 6:1, 2; Tit 2:9; 1Pe 2:18, 19).
SUBJECTION TO HIGHER POWERS
13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no
authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by
Let every soul [let every person, everyone is to].[ 4 ] The Roman letter was
written to both Jews and Gentiles . None is exempt from its teaching. There is no
excuse for anyone of any nation not to be a good citizen. Paul taught that all ages,
races and religions are to submit to the civil authorities.
Be subject [be in subjection, submit to].[ 5 ] Obedience to civil government is
demanded except when the demand is sinful. For example, the Egyptian midwives
were right to refuse to kill the boy babies (Ex 1:17). When Israel entered
Canaan, they were not required to obey the existing rulers. When Nebuchadnezzar
commanded that his golden image be worshipped, Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego appropriately refused. God's honor of their civil disobedience was
confirmed by the divine protection from harm in the fiery furnace (Da 3:5, 6, 17,
18, 25). In about AD 95, when Caesar-worship was demanded, many Roman
Christians suffered death rather than submit to a government requirement to
become guilty of idolatry.
How much rebellion against rulers is allowed? The example of God's OT
prophets may help. As a general rule, the prophets were respectful of governing
authorities. After Moses killed the abusive Egyptian, he feared governmental
reprisals and so escaped into Midian (Ex 2:11, 12). When he returned to Egypt,
he followed God's instructions and made request to Pharaoh for the release of the
Hebrew slaves (Ex 4:23; 5:1; 6:11; 7:16). Moses stretched the favor of Pharaoh
to the limit. Elijah's contest with the prophets of Baal was in rebellion to Queen
Jezebel and King Ahab (1Ki 18:20-21:2). Daniel also was divinely protected from
the lions after he disregarded the king's 30-day decree not petition anyone else (Da
6:7-9, 22). They did not "reject" or "despise" authority nor did they "speak evil
at dignitaries" (Jude 8; compare 2Pe 2:10). Christians would do well to follow
AUTHORITY OF GOD (A)
1. Therefore know this day, and consider it in your
heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven
above and on the earth beneath; there is no other
2. You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might
3. The LORD sits as King forever (Ps 29:10; compare
47:2; 83:18; 93:1).
4. Whatever the LORD pleases He does (Ps 135:6).
5. And He changes the times and the seasons; he
removes kings and raises up kings
(Da 2:21; see 4:17, 25, 32, 34, 35).
AUTHORITY OF GOD (B)
1. God, who made the world and everything in it, since
He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in
temples made with hands (Ac 17:24).
2. But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against
God? (Ro 9:20).
3. For there is no authority except from God, and the
authorities that exist are appointed by God
To the governing authorities [unto the higher powers, the authorities that are
above, the government which is over, him].[ 6 ] God's authority is over and above
all civil government, here called "governing authorities" or "higher powers."
For there is no authority except from God [for there is no power but of
God].[ 7 ] The Jews may have thought theirs was the only governmental power
authorized by heaven's throne. On the other hand, Paul implies that in all lands
including Italy existing governments are of God. This does not mean that
unrighteous civil laws are justified simply because God backs civil authorities.
Neither are civil rulers exempt from committing sin just because God ordains
them. Even though Pilate was governor, his handling of Christ was sinful. "Mob
action" sins were not an innocent diversion either. In fact, what the Jews did to
Christ was worse in God's sight than what the Roman governor did.
You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you
from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin
THINGS ASSUMED BY THE STATE
NOT SPECIFIED IN SCRIPTURE (A)
2. Auto registration.
3. Child care.
4. Divorce for any cause.
5. Economic welfare.
6. Highway system.
7. Liquor and tobacco laws.
THINGS ASSUMED BY THE STATE
NOT SPECIFIED IN SCRIPTURE (B)
1. Medical insurance.
2. Public education.
3. Social security.
4. Space exploration.
5. Support of homosexuality.
6. Support of humanism.
7. War on drugs.
And the authorities that exist [and those that exist, and all of them, for
governments].[ 8 ] "The authorities that exist" were governments that existed at the
time Paul wrote the Romans letter and by extension other governmental systems
even during the present century.
Are appointed by God [are set up, have been instituted, are ordained of, by,
are under, God]. [ 9 ] Whatever government is in power is set in order under God.
Even Pilate received his authority "from above." Jesus said to him:
A Christian may come into conflict with an irritating tax rule, a speed restriction
or a smoking ordinance that, to some, makes little sense. Yet, in honor to Christ,
he submits in obedience.
RESISTING AUTHORITY OPPOSES GOD
13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God,
and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
Therefore whoever resists the authority [therefore whosoever, he who, he
that, so that he that, resisteth, sets himself in opposition to, the authorities,
the power].[ 10 ] "Whoever" is general. It applies to Christians and non-Christians
alike. Anyone who disobeys civil government opposes what God has instituted.
This is reason enough to obey the laws. Another reason not to resist authority is
because it is God-ordained for the good of the citizens.
Resists [withstandeth, resisteth, has set himself in opposition to].[ 11 ] To
oppose, resist or rebel against the government is to withstand or set oneself against
it. The occasional lapse or failure to obey the letter of the law is not in view here
(but see 1Pe 2:13-15).
The ordinance of God [what God has appointed, God's ordinance].[ 12 ] God
ordained or set in place civil government. The man who resists what He set in
place, opposes God.
And those who resist [and they that withstand, who [thus] resist, oppose
God's ordinance].[ 13 ] Resistance or opposition in the present verse is against the
authority, the power or the ordinance of God.
Will bring judgment on themselves [will incur, shall receive, shall bring
damnation, sentence of guilt, condemnation to, upon, themselves].[ 14 ] Verse
3 suggests the civil rulers will judge, sentence and punish those who withstand.
Christians are not to commit sin by resisting established rulers.[ 15 ]
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake,
whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent
by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do
good (1Pe 2:13, 14).
AN AVENGER WHO BRINGS WRATH
13:3, 4 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want
to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise
from the same. 4 For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil,
be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an
avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
For rulers [for the rulers].[ 16 ] Rulers may not be Christians but they are still
servants of God. Their God-ordained mission is to uphold the good and oppose
the evil. They are obligated to enact ordinances according to the good teaching
of the Bible. Those rulers who work against God's people and those who promote
humanism, abortion on demand or the practice of homosexuality are in blatant
violation of God's will and will answer to Him at the judgment.
Are not a terror.[ 17 ] God has appointed that rulers cause evil-doers to fear. He
expects rulers to be a terror to evil doers. When evil men and women are
punished, the government is functioning within its divinely-ordained realm.
However, this does not ensure a persecution-free government anymore than God's
rules for moral living make everybody righteous (see note on Be subject at verse
To good works [to good conduct, to a, to the, good work].[ 18 ] Generally
speaking, rulers are not a terror to good people. Exceptions include the casting
of Jeremiah into a pit, Daniel to the lions, the three Hebrews into the fiery
furnace, the unfair judgment of Christ, the execution of James (Ac 12:2), the
arrest and beheading of Paul, as well as the persecution of Christians by Nero and
But for evil [but evil, the evil, to bad, an evil one]. Rulers are divinely
instructed to be a terror to evil. That is, they should incite fear in those who
would choose to commit crimes. Governors are sent by the king to punish
criminals (1Pe 2:14).
Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? [wilt thou then, would you
have, and wouldest thou have, dost thou desire then not be, not to be, afraid,
to have no fear of, the power, him who is in authority?].[ 19 ] [ 20 ] Like all people,
Christians are motivated by hope of reward and by fear of punishment. Fear
should be a strong deterrent to crime. A backlog of court cases, delayed trials,
over-crowded jails and lenient judges do little to deter crime.
Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore
the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil (Ec 8:11).
Do what is good [then do, practise, that which is, good].[ 21 ] Obedience to a
higher law than civil government prompts the Christian to do what is right. If one
consistently does good, he has little cause to fear. He should not have to fear
governmental authorities because rulers are obligated to appreciate good, peaceful
and patriotic citizens. Even if government should fail in this and should execute
Christians for their faith, they do not really need to fear the persecutors, nor
eternity (see Mt 10:28; Heb 10:31).
And you will have praise from the same [and receive, and thou shalt have,
receive, his approval, praise from it, of it, of the same].[ 22 ] It is the
responsibility of civil government to commend, encourage and praise that which
DUTIES OF THE STATE
1. In the OT, put away or put to death:
a. Homosexuals (Le 20:13; 1Ki 15:11, 12).
b. Mediums and spiritists (2Ki 23:24, 25).
c. Idolatry (2Ki 3:2; 2Ch 15:8).
2. Praise good works (Ro 13:3.
3. Cause fear in those who would do evil (Ro 13:3).
4. An avenger (Ro 13:4).
5. Wrath [taxes paid for that] (Ro 13:5, 6).
[13:4] For he is God's minister [for it is God's servant, a, the, minister of
God].[ 23 ] Rulers are in God's arrangement of things. They are "appointed by
God" (verse 1). Some translators opt to render ESTIN it is.[ 24 ] Others render it
"he is."[ 25 ] Civil government is to be a servant of God. It is divinely authorized
to carry out His will.
To you for good [for your good, to thee for good, to do you good].[ 26 ] The
pronoun SOI[ 27 ] to you refers to Christians, to those to whom the Roman letter was
addressed. Thus rulers have a divine obligation to do positive good to and for
Christians and encourage others to do the same. Under the broad heading "for
good," government has assumed many things that may or may not be divinely
intended as functions of the state (see charts DUTIES OF THE STATE; THINGS
ASSUMED BY THE STATE NOT SPECIFIED IN SCRIPTURE A and B).
But if you do evil [but if thou do wrong, that which is evil, practisest evil]. [ 28 ]
There is a possibility that a Christian may commit a crime. Whoever does so
ought to expect punishment.
Be afraid [fear].[ 29 ] Punishment for crimes should be executed justly and
quickly in order to instill fear in other would-be criminals. When the criminal
justice system becomes so inefficient that criminals have little fear of it, it has
failed in this aspect of its divinely-ordained mission (see note on verse 3).
For he does not bear [for it bears not, beareth not].[ 30 ] The tense of the
Greek verb implies the bearing of the sword is a constant, continuous and never-ending responsibility of civil government. Very few countries have been able to
long exist without some kind of police force.
The sword in vain [the sword without cause].[ 31 ] "The sword" stands for that
which is used to punish criminals, particularly to execute them. One of the Ten
Commandments plainly stated "You shall not RATSACH murder" (Ex 20:13).
Nevertheless, under OT Law, civil government had authority to carry out capital
punishment. In speaking of legal justice, the Lord said, "The man shall surely
HARAG be put to death" (Nu 15:35; compare Ge 9:6). According to Paul, a
similar principle holds true for civil government in the church age.
For he is God's minister [he is, for it is, God's servant, a, the, servant,
minister, of God].[ 32 ] This phrase occurs twice in this verse (see previous note
on For he is God's minister). As a minister or servant of God, civil government
has a responsibility to know God's will and obey it.
An avenger to execute wrath [a revenger, for wrath, to execute wrath, his
wrath].[ 33 ] Christians do not have the right to take the law into their own hands
or carry out personal vengeance. It is, however, God's will that civil government
should punish criminals.
On him who practices evil [on the evildoer, wrongdoer, to him, upon him,
that does, that doeth, evil].[ 34 ] "Him" or "the one" is general and applies to
Christian and non-Christian alike. Civil magistrates should not show partiality.
They are not interested in granting clemency to a law-breaker just because he
happens to be a Christian.
REASONS TO OBEY GOVERNMENT
13:5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for
Therefore [wherefore].[ 35 ] Three reasons are given for Christians to be in
subjection. First, the government is God's minister for good (verse 4). Secondly,
it is an avenger that brings wrath (also verse 4; see next three paragraphs).
Thirdly, one should obey the laws of the land for conscience sake (verse 5).
You must be subject [one must be, ye must needs be, it is necessary to be, in
subjection].[ 36 ] Subjection to civil rulers is commanded. Reasons are listed
Not only because of wrath [not only for, on account of, wrath, to avoid
God's wrath, the wrath].[ 37 ] One reason Paul gives for Christians to obey civil
government is in order to avoid the penalty for disobedience.
But also for conscience' sake [but because of, also for the sake of, on account
of, conscience].[ 38 ] Another reason for Christians to be law-abiding is that God
commands it. Since He commands it, conscience demands it (see 1Pe 2:13, 14).
ALSO PAY TAXES
13:6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers
attending continually to this very thing.
For because of this [for for, this cause, the same reason, on this account]. [ 39 ]
Paul gave reasons for Christians to pay taxes (see verses 4, 5). Another reason
is conscience. The government is expected to bring wrath upon those who practice
You also pay taxes [ye pay, pay ye, tribute also].[ 40 ] Tribute is another word
for taxes, especially property and poll taxes. Christians are to submit to the laws
of their country and pay their taxes.
For they are God's ministers [for the authorities are God's officers, God's
servants, ministers of God, ministers of God's service].[ 41 ] Rulers are divinely
ordained to serve God and carry out His will on earth. Since His will is for good
and against evil, rulers are obligated to be for the good of the people and opposed
to their harm.
Attending continually [devoting themselves].[ 42 ] The work of the government
in punishing criminals is demanding, continuous and never-ending (see Ro 12:12).
To this very thing [on, upon, this very thing].[ 43 ] "This very thing" refers
back to verses 4, 5 and the duty of the government to punish offenders.
MORE ON TAXES
13:7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs
to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
OBLIGATIONS TO GOVERNMENT
1. Be subject, obey (Ro 13:1; Tit 3:1; 1Pe 2:13-15).
a. Exception: Obey God rather than men (Ac 5:29).
2. Fear, honor, do not resist (Ro 13:2; 1Pe 2:17).
3. Pay taxes, tribute, custom (Ro 13:7).
4. Pray (1Ti 2:1, 2).
5. Be ready for every good deed (Tit 3:1).
Render therefore to all their due [pay to all you owe, all of them, render to
all, their dues].[ 44 ] The dues Christians owe the government include submission,
honor, taxes and any required good work (see chart OBLIGATIONS TO
What if the administration is evil? I do not understand the Scriptures to allow
Christians to disobey it even then (see note on Ac 5:29). When Paul wrote this
very letter, there was a fair amount of corruption in the Roman government and
more was looming on the horizon.
It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is
established by righteousness (Pr 16:12).
Taxes to whom taxes are due [tribute to whom tribute, to whom tribute is
due].[ 45 ] "Tribute" is a tax that may be levied on, but not limited to, persons.
The word is broad enough to include income and property taxes.
Customs to whom customs [revenue to whom revenue is due, custom to
whom custom, to whom custom, custom, tax to whom tax].[ 46 ] "Customs" are
taxes levied on goods. Gasoline, luxury, cigarette, import and sales taxes are
examples (see note on verse 6).
Fear to whom fear [respect to whom respect is due, to whom fear, fear].[ 47 ]
Christians are to give honor and respect to the existing authorities, that is to
Honor to whom honor [honor to whom honor is due, to whom honour,
honour].[ 48 ] Paul once called to attention the OT command not to curse a ruler
of your people (Ac 23:5; compare Ex 22:28). David refused to strethc out his
hand against "the Lord's anointed" (1Sa 24:6). Solomon advised not to curse the
king "even in your thought" (Ec 10:20). Jude listed speaking evil of dignitaries
along with filthy dreaming and defiling the flesh (Jude 8).
Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king (1Pe
QUESTIONS ON GOVERNMENT
1. In God's sight, is civil government necessary?
2. Does He set it up or ordain it?
3. Can or does He put it down?
4. Does it have a right to enact bad laws?
5. Can it legislate about Bible teaching and morals?
6. Should it provide freedom of true worship? Freedom
of false worship?
7. Is it right for for it to legislate what violates man's
conscience (Ps 33:12; Isa 60:12)?
8. Does it have the right to persecute religious people?
OWE NOTHING EXCEPT LOVE
13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves
another has fulfilled the law.
Owe no one anything.[ 49 ] Before contracting a debt, one should ask himself the
reason for it. A debt made for vanity, pride or from covetousness is wrong. A
debt made in order to "keep up" with others is in serious question. A debt that
hurts the church, one's family or others is bad. Some have argued that all buying
on credit is sinful. I disagree. As long as the payments are kept current,
installment buying does not violate the command to love one another. My view
is that a debt is not "owed" until it is due or past due.
OWE NO MAN ANYTHING
1. Pay obligations of obedience and taxes to
government (Ro 13:1-7).
2. Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another
3. Love does no harm to a neighbor (Ro 13:10).
4. Christians pay their bills [on time].
5. Sinful to owe "bad debts" that wrong another.
6. Make satisfactory arrangements to pay outstanding
It is never right to "skip out" without paying the last few months' rent. It is a
sin to buy on credit and then move with no forwarding address and no intention
to pay. Such schemes are dishonest. On the other hand, it is an abomination for
the "provider" to sell inferior or unusable goods or to charge for repairs not made.
A landlord who bleeds tenants for all the rent he can get but fails to provide a
livable environment is despicable.
Except to love one another [save to, but to, unless to, love one another].[ 50 ]
Love given away is not lost. It is the only debt that can never be completely
repaid. To whom does one owe a debt of love? To God, one's spouse, children,
parents, the lost, enemies, and others. Specifically, "one another," in the present
context, alludes to Christians (see Mt 22:37, 38; 1Co 13:1-8; Col 3:14; note above
on Owe no man anything).
1. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the
hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a
prowler, and your need like an armed man
(Pr 24:33, 34).
2. Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving
the Lord (Ro 12:11).
3. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him
labor, working with his hands what is good, that he
may have something to give him who has need
4. Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own
business, and to work with your own hands, as we
commanded you (1Th 4:11).
For he who loves another [for he that loveth his neighbor, the other].[ 51 ]
HETEROS another or neighbor usually means another of a different sort.
However, that meaning should not be dogmatically insisted upon here. The Greek
suggests that Christians are to love others who are different. They are not allowed
to freely choose to love only those "others" with whom they have everything in
common. They are to love people dirty and clean, ignorant and educated, old and
young, red and yellow, poor and rich, pretty and ugly, fat and thin, normal and
handicapped, far and near, enemies and friends.LOVE DOES NOT EXCUSE DISOBEDIENCE
Has fulfilled the law [hath fulfilled the law].[ 52 ] Obedience to God is not
complete until one loves his neighbor. Jesus pointed out that OT Laws stemmed
from the commands to love God and man (Mt 22:37-40; Mk 12:29-31; Lu 10:27,
28). However, in the present verse, the law to be fulfilled is the law of Christ
(see Ga 6:2). Since love "does no harm to a neighbor" (verse 10), and since love
is to be "in deed and in truth" (1Jo 3:18), we may conclude that the debt of love
is paid by doing good (and no ill) to others. Love does not excuse or compromise
with sin. Instead, it motivates one to obey even the detailed commandments of
God (verse 9; compare Lu 11:42; Joh 14:15; 15:10; 1Jo 2:5; 5:3). It does not
authorize the violation of a single NT command. On the contrary, it enjoins the
keeping of them all.
LOVE IS THE SUM OF THE LAW
13:9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not
murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall
not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this
saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
For the commandments [for, for this, the commandments].[ 53 ] Although the
phrase "the commandments" does not appear in the first part of this verse in the
Greek, translators appropriately supply it. Those who do so looked ahead in the
verse to the phrase "any other commandment." The commandments mentioned are
similar to those in Exodus 20:13-17 and Deuteronomy 5:17-20 except that they are
not complete and are in a different order.[ 54 ] Because of the unusual order, some
have imagined that Paul was following Christ or James rather than the OT. Note
that all the commandments Paul lists are NT commandments also. "You shall love
your neighbor" was not one of the Ten Commandments. It was first recorded in
Leviticus 19:18. This commandment has a NT counterpart too. Christ enjoins
loving others as He loved us (Joh 13:34; 15:12).
You shall not commit adultery [thou shalt not commit adultery].[ 55 ] Adultery
is sexual intercourse between parties one of whom is married but not to each other.
It is expressly forbidden in the NT (see 1Co 6:9; 2Pe 2:14). It is also forbidden
by implication in the command to love one's neighbor. This commandment shows
that the Lord honors marriage. Obedience to the command against adultery
protects the family from destruction due to infidelity that is so flagrant in our day.
OT COMMANDS (A)
["LOVE" COMMANDS ENCOMPASS THEM ALL]
1. Civil laws of persons
a. Father and son.
b. Husband and wife.
c. Master and slave.
2. Laws about things
a. Land and possessions.
c. Taxation, royal revenue.
(Barnham 535, 536)
OT COMMANDS (B)
["LOVE" COMMANDS ENCOMPASS THEM ALL]
1. Criminal laws
a. Against God.
b. Against man.
2. Judicial and constitutional
b. The power of the king and princes.
(Barnham 535, 536)
OT COMMANDS (C)
["LOVE" COMMANDS ENCOMPASS THEM ALL]
1. Ecclesiastical and ceremonial laws
a. Sacrifices (burnt, meal, peace, sin offerings).
b. Special sacrifices (consecration of priests,
purification of women, cleansing of lepers, day of
atonement, great festivals).
c. Laws of holiness (people, priests, places, things,
(Barnham 535, 536)
You shall not murder [you shall not kill, thou shalt not kill].[ 56 ] The words
RATSACH (Hebrew) and PHONEUSEIS (Greek) appear in commands that
condemn murder.[ 57 ] A reason that murder is wrong is because life is the basic
and ultimate possession of a human being. Murder is also a sin against man who
is made in the image of God (see Ge 1:26; 5:1; 9:6). Most of the reasons not to
murder apply against premeditated abortion.
You shall not steal [thou shalt not steal].[ 58 ] Certain possessions are absolutely
essential to man's well-being. Among these are food and covering (see Pr 30:8;
1Ti 6:8). Whether or not an item is indispensable to daily life, it is a sin to steal
anything. White collar crime is just as heinous as burglary.
You shall not bear false witness [thou shalt not bear false witness]. This
command is omitted in most revised Greek texts. In reciting the commandments
to the rich young ruler Jesus included it (Mt 19:18; Mk 10:19; Lu 18:20). In
Exodus and Deuteronomy, it was limited to bearing false witness "against your
neighbor" (Ex 20:16; De 5:20). In the present chapter, the command is general
enough to include all kinds of false witness such as perjury, libel,
misrepresentation, slander, vilification or defamation of character.
You shall not covet [thou shalt not lust].[ 59 ] Covetousness is a secret sin of the
heart. It is an intense desire. In the present context, it is especially a desire for
forbidden or evil activities involving self, persons or things. It frequently leads
to impure or immoral acts. Paul said a covetous man "is an idolater" (Eph 5:5).
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication,
uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Col
WHY ADULTERY IS WRONG
1. Like fornication, it is a sin against God (Ge 39:9).
2. It is plainly forbidden (Ga 5:19; Eph 5:5).
3. It is unlike Christ in His faithfulness to the church
4. Its sinfulness is implied by the command to love
5. It causes deep-seated and inconceivably dreadful
harm to the family.
NT COMMANDS (A)
["LOVE" COMMANDS ENCOMPASS THEM ALL]
1. Laws of pardon.
a. Alien sinner (hear, believe, repent, confess Christ,
b. Erring Christian (repent, confess sins, pray).
2. Laws of worship.
a. Acts and spirit of worship (singing, praying,
giving, teaching, Lord's supper).
b. Dedication of one's life.
c. Fasting (optional).
d. Time of worship (Lord's day).
LOVE INSPIRES KEEPING ALL NT COMMANDS
And if there is any other commandment [and, and if there be, any other
commandment].[ 60 ]
NT COMMANDS (B)
["LOVE" COMMANDS ENCOMPASS THEM ALL]
1. Laws relating to self.
a. Add Christian graces, fruit of the Spirit.
b. Avoid works of the flesh.
c. Compassion, generosity, moderation.
d. Forgiving spirit.
e. Purity of heart.
f. Repentance, prayer.
2. Laws relating to others.
a. To the brethren (love, kindness, fellowship,
forgiveness, restoration, encouragement).
b. To family (parents, husband and wife, children).
c. Against murder, adultery, fornication, stealing.
d. To the poor.
f. To slaves and masters, employers, employees.
g. To the world (Great Commission).
NT COMMANDS (C)
["LOVE" COMMANDS ENCOMPASS THEM ALL]
1. Laws relating to the government.
b. Subjection, obedience.
2. Laws relating to money and property.
a. Be generous and kind to poor.
b. Elders and others not to love money.
c. Flee from covetousness.
d. Give on first day of week.
e. God's kingdom and righteousness take
precedence over material things.
f. Private ownership of property approved.
Are all summed up in this saying [are, it is, briefly comprehended in this
sentence, word, statement].[ 61 ] The command to love one's neighbor
encompasses all human relationships. All immoral and sinful acts against others
are forbidden by it. All positive humanitarian virtues are encouraged.
Namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself [namely, Thou shalt love
thy neighbor as thyself].[ 62 ] The Greek word for "neighbor" primarily signifies
one who is near. He or she may be of any race, color, status or religious
preference. A neighbor is anyone near enough to meet. The positive Christian
seeks to expand his list of neighbors (Mt 5:46, 47), as well as his neighborliness
(Lu 10:25-37). Does love permit adultery, mercy killing, abortion, stealing,
lying? Not at all. Just the opposite is true. If one truly loves his neighbor he will
totally refrain from violating the other commands (see Le 19:18).
LOVE DOES NO WRONG TO A NEIGHBOR
13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the
Love does no harm [love does no wrong, works, worketh, no ill, no evil].[ 63 ]
Some of the purposes of the OT Law were to focus upon sin, to educate and
benefit man . A major aspect of NT commands are stressed by the statement,
"Love does no harm to a neighbor."
To a neighbor [to its, to his, neighbor].[ 64 ] In the present verse, one's spouse,
family members, relatives and several other people may be considered to be
neighbors (see note on verse 9).
Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law [so love, love therefore, fulfills the
law, is the fulfilling of the whole law].[ 65 ] All NT commandments are summed
up in love (see Ro 13:9). For example, when Christians bear one another's
burdens, their love fulfills the law of Christ (see Ga 6:2).
TIME TO AWAKEN
13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of
sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
And do this [besides this, and this, and that, this also, moreover].[ 66 ] By way
of transition, Paul introduces the idea of spiritual awakening. He then discusses
putting on the armor of light, the urgency of quitting all sins of darkness and a
gives a description of the Christian walk that proper or becoming.
Knowing the time [you know what hour it is, knowing the season].[ 67 ] The
"time" or "season" may have been part of the early church age, the time of the
rapid spread of the gospel as well as the time of bitter persecution. To those in
the present century, it need not correspond to those events. To modern Christians,
it illustrates the urgency of righteous living (compare "Today" in Heb 3:7-15;
That now it is high time [how it is full time now, that already it is time, that
it is already time].[ 68 ] It is always the time to awaken from moral stupor. Such
encouragement is appropriate in any time, especially so in the present century.
AWAKE OUT OF SLEEP
1. Samson's sleep of presumption on Delilah's knees
(Jg 16:19, 20).
2. The sleep of the sluggard (Pr 24:30-34).
3. Sleep to avoid reality (Jonah 1:5; Eph 5:14).
4. The sleep of the foolish virgins (Mt 25:5).
5. The sleep of weary disciples (Mt 26:40).
6. The sleep of the careless (Mk 13:35-37).
7. Spiritual sleep of the Corinthians (1Co 11:30).
(Adapted from Coffman 459, 460)
To awake out of sleep [for you to wake, arise, that we should be aroused,
from sleep]. [ 69 ] The light of the gospel awakens from spiritual sleep. Paul insists
that Christians wake up in order to not be indifferent to evil. There must be no
hesitation in the proclamation of the gospel or in putting away sin. Any heathen,
Jewish or worldly error that remains must be cast off.
Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the
knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame (1Co 15:34; see also Eph
5:14; 1Th 5:6, 7).
For now our salvation is nearer [for salvation is nearer to us now, for now
is, is our, salvation nearer, nearer to us].[ 70 ] "Now" is in accord with Paul's use
of the word "near" or "nigh" earlier in the Roman letter (see note on Ro 5:8). A
good understanding of the gospel motivates Christians to live a better life. As they
grow older and become more conscious of mortality, they realize with certainty
that they are travelling toward the judgment day and heavenly salvation. Their
spiritual goal will come to fruition at the end of a life of faith (see 1Pe 1:9; 1Jo
Than when we first believed [than when we believed].[ 71 ] "When we first
believed" stands for the time when Paul and people in Rome became Christians.
It was the time when they believed in Jesus Christ, repented of sins, confessed
their faith in Him and were baptized into Him. They had since grown in faith and
knowledge. Their better understanding was improving their lives.
THE DAY IS AT HAND
13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the
works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
The night is far spent [the night is far gone, is almost gone].[ 72 ] The "night"
was the time in the past before Paul's readers became Christians. That was the
ideal point of time to cast off the works of darkness. However, time had elapsed.
Now, with more knowledge, they must do so without hesitation (compare a similar
figure in Ro 12:1, 2; 1Co 15:34). Dear reader, let us awaken to a new day of
exhilarating and joyous life of purity in the Lord.
You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor
of darkness (1Th 5:5).
The day is at hand [and the day is near].[ 73 ] Thayer missed the idea when he
attributed the day at hand to the final judgment. The apostles did not believe nor
teach that day was near. Paul simply meant it was "getting-up" time. It was time
to get moving and start obeying the Lord's will in everyday living.
Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ
will give you light" (Eph 5:14).
DID APOSTLES THINK THE FINAL
JUDGMENT WAS NEAR? (A)
1. They knew Jerusalem would first be destroyed
(Mt 24:1, 2; Mk 13:1, 2; Lu 21:5, 6).
2. They knew the gospel of the kingdom would first be
preached to the whole world (Mt 24:14).
3. They knew Paul would suffer for the name of Christ
(Ac 9:15, 16).
4. They knew Paul would first be bound at Jerusalem
DID APOSTLES THINK THE FINAL
JUDGMENT WAS NEAR? (B)
1. They knew Peter and Paul would die first
(Joh 21:18, 19; 2Ti 4:6).
2. They knew the man of sin would first be revealed
(2Th 2:3, 4).
3. They knew the fullness of the Gentiles would first
come in (Ro 11:25).
The Ephesians did not have to wait for the judgment day for Christ to shine upon
them. Neither did the Romans, nor do we (see Joh 9:4).
Therefore let us cast off [let us then, therefore, cast away, put off].[ 74 ] Most
people take off their sleeping clothes when morning comes. In like manner,
Christians cast off or lay aside the works of darkness. This is their definite plan,
not a whim or fantasy. They make an unequivocal decision to cast off the works
of darkness. They form a specific and precise goal and immediately begin to
DISTINCTION BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG
The works of darkness.[ 75 ] There is as much difference between right and
wrong as between light and darkness. Because of carelessness, permissiveness and
indifference, some cannot see the distinction. As one put it, some Christians
"have run with the goats so long they can't tell `sneeze weed' from clover." It
would help if God's people would quit viewing soap operas, begin serious Bible
study, exercise their senses and discern good and evil (compare Eph 5:11; Heb
And let us put on [and put on].[ 76 ] The command to "put on" or be clothed
with the gospel armor is important and should be obeyed decisively. Christians
respond positively and make appropriate changes in order to conform to what they
The armor of light.[ 77 ] God is light (1Jo 1:5). Christians' His armor is made
up of both protection and weapons of light. The battle is against evil forces of
darkness. One must fully armed for a mighty conflict (see 2Co 10:4; Eph 6:13;
1Th 5:8; 2Ti 4:7). In Paul's mind, there was no such thing as fighting with only
part of the armor. All of it was (is) needed for protection and combat-readiness.
The armor of light is "the panoply[ 78 ] of God." "Put on the PANOPLIAN full
armor of God" (Eph 6:11).
WALK PROPERLY AS IN THE DAY
1. Proper behavior as in open sunlight! (Ro 13:13).
2. Living "as is fitting for saints" (Eph 5:3).
4. Conduct worthy of the gospel of Christ (Php 1:27).
5. Proper for women professing godliness, with good
works (1Ti 2:10).
6. Speak the things which are proper for sound
doctrine (Tit 2:1).
7. Deeds of faith, virtue, patience, kindness, love
13:13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness,
not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
Let us walk properly [let us conduct ourselves becomingly, honestly].[ 79 ] The
Christian's daily walk of honesty, decency and righteousness is observed by
others. A life of good works is becoming (compare Mt 3:15; 1Ti 2:10). He who
is properly clad in glistening armor,[ 80 ] consistently and faithfully serving Christ,
is beautiful to see (see 1Th 4:11, 12). His purity and dedication make viewing
him very enjoyable. A Christian is never ashamed of his pure and steadfast life.
Contrast this with the shameful, ugly selfishness of humanistic or atheistic
As in the day.[ 81 ] "Day" is the time when people expect to be seen. Even at
night, Christians are to walk "as" in the day. They expect others to notice their
conduct. In this figure, night-living corresponds to sin, day-living to
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as
children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness,
and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord (Eph 5:8-10; compare
SIX SINS OF DARKNESS
1. Revelry, carousing, drinking parties, orgies.
2. Strong drink, drunkenness.
3. Lewdness, chambering, sexual promiscuity.
4. Lust, sensuality, wantonness, unchaste handling of
males and females.
5. Strife, contention, quarrels, wrangling.
6. Envy, jealousy.
"Day" brings the sunlight of God's blessings. When Jesus was physically present
on earth, it was "day" to those who walked and worked with Him (see Joh 9:4;
11:9). In a very real sense, He is with Christians now (Mt 28:20). A walk with
Him is "day"! In heaven, it is a glorious "day" (see Re 22:5).
Not in revelry [not in reveling, rioting, merry-making].[ 82 ] Carousing is what
goes on late at night in worldly parties. There is usually a lot of eating, drinking
of liquor, immoral talk and shameful activities (see chart SIX SINS OF
And drunkenness.[ 83 ]
Not in lewdness [not in debauchery, chambering, sexual lewdness].[ 84 ] The
Greek word for "lewdness" or "chambering" in the Greek Septuagint OT is the
"lie." In the NT it has to do with what goes on in bed between people not married
to each other. "Lewdness" includes both heterosexual and homosexual
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination (Le
And lust [and licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness].[ 85 ] In this context,
"lust" is associated with sexual excesses and indecency. Some have interpreted
"lust" as "sodomitical practices."[ 86 ]PUT ON CHRIST AS A GARMENT
Not in strife [not in quarreling].[ 87 ] At Rome, there may have been strife
between Jews and Gentiles. There is strife over the authority of Scripture, social
issues, personalities and material things.
And envy [and jealousy, envying, emulation].[ 88 ] Each Christian has an
essential part to play in the body of Christ. Jealousy should not be in any
Christian's thoughts because he or she is fulfilling a special purpose in the work
13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh,
to fulfill its lusts.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ [but put ye on, but clothe yourselves with,
the Lord Jesus Christ].[ 89 ] The figure of putting on or being clothed sometimes
means "abundance." Job said:
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a
turban (Job 29:14).
Righteousness, along with patience, was a major characteristic of Job's life.
Being clothed may suggest abundance.
The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with grain;
they shout for joy, they also sing (Ps 65:13).
Being clothed may also imply nearness or intimacy and, then, inward qualities.
As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, so let it enter his
body like water, and like oil into his bones (Ps 109:18).
Being clothed with Christ implies nearness to Him and being inwardly and
abundantly supplied with His character traits.
At the moment a believer is baptized into Christ he puts on[ 90 ] Christ (Ga 3:27).
Although he is clothed upon with Christ, he does not instantly become fully grown
into His complete likeness. He continues to grow "in grace and knowledge" (2Pe
3:18). The baptized believer is admonished to "put on the new man" (Eph 4:24;
Col 3:10). Putting on "the new man" implies taking on the characteristics of
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies,
kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering (Col 3:12).
Christians follow the example of Christ, learn His doctrine, imbibe His attitudes,
respect His authority and obey His commands.
MAKE NO PROVISION FOR LUST
And make no provision [and make not provision, do not take forethought,
and do not prepare].[ 91 ] A Christian's mind and spirit do not to look forward to
sinful, fleshly gratification. He does not plan, prepare or "make provision" for the
flesh and its unlawful desires.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the
flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit (Ro
The spiritual part of man guides and controls the activities of a Christian's body.
There are desires of the flesh and "desires of the mind" that have to be dealt with
NO PROVISION FOR THE FLESH
1. Dress modestly.
2. Do not view salacious magazines, movies, videos.
3. Turn off questionable TV shows.
4. Never buy tickets to hedonistic movies.
5. Separate from worldly friends.
A Christian has no business engaging in activities calculated to arouse evil,
sensual desires in herself or in others. Some endeavors that seem innocent to a
man in our permissive generation actually "make provision" for the flesh. The
desires of the flesh include more than "wine, women and song" (see Ga 5:19-21).
Amos described them.
Who lie on beds of ivory, stretch out on your couches, eat lambs from the
flock and calves from the midst of the stall; Who sing idly to the sound of
stringed instruments, and invent for yourselves musical instruments like
David; Who drink wine from bowls, and anoint yourselves with the best
ointments, but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph (Am 6:4-6).
To make provision for something implies attention, forethought and preparation.
The Christian is never to dwell upon, plan or prepare for impurity. If he was
"overtaken" or "caught" in any trespass (Ga 6:1), it should never be because he
slowed down on purpose so that the trespass could catch up with him.[ 92 ] In an
effort to obey Paul's command, some have limited or stopped watching television.
Others have trashed some of their literature and videos. A decision to completely
avoid worldly friends has helped a lot of people avoid making provision for the
For the flesh [of the flesh].[ 93 ] The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write the word
SARKOS flesh but, perhaps due to theological bias, some translators, instead of
translating, have supplied "your sinful nature."[ 94 ] Even the scholarly Vine writes
of "the depraved nature" as if to imply one may have inherited from Adam a
nature innately sinful! Some Calvinists argue that so long as the spirit of man is
pure, the body can, and does, sin. They suggest bodily sins never cause the loss
of eternal salvation. Why, then, do they worry at all about a so-called inherited
"sinful nature" if, according to their false theory, it is all bodily anyway! (see
charts IS SIN PART OF MAN'S NATURE at Ro 7:3; MAN'S TWOFOLD
BEING (A) at Ro 7:18). Paul is speaking of the sin of unlawfully satisfying the
"For we are also His offspring" (Ac 17:28). God is "the Father of spirits" (Heb
12:9). Would not the spirit have to be born pure since the inherited spirits come
from God Himself? Nevertheless, Paul taught that one must make a real effort to
control fleshly desires. He did not say one is to make "a little less" provision, but
no provision to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Will it make any difference in eternity
whether one's spirit controlled his bodily lusts? According to Paul, it will matter
greatly. Those who practice the works of the flesh "will not inherit the kingdom
of God" (Ga 5:21).
To fulfill its lusts [to gratify, to its, desires, the lusts thereof, to gratify the
lusts].[ 95 ] The deliberate or careless kindling of evil desires is a peril to one's
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts
which war against the soul (1Pe 2:11).
In Romans 23, we have read about the duty of Christians toward civil
government. Stress was given to the command to love one another. We should
put off sin and be clothed upon with Christ.
[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version.
Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, ESB, KJV and RSV and occasionally another
version. Greek transliteration approximates the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]Several of the above ideas were gleaned from Barclay 186, 187.
[ 3 ]Compare Moule 254.
[ 4 ]PASA PSUCHEE, every soul (Marshall 643); every man (Vincent 3.163); every soul, that is,
every one (Thayer 677); by metonymy, that which possesses life or a soul, a living creature . . .
everyone (Arndt 894); every person (Lenski 785); everybody (Williams).
[ 5 ]HUPOTASSESTHOO, let be subject (Marshall 643); third person singular, present middle
imperative of HUPOTASSOO (Han 312); subject oneself, obey, be subject to (Vine 1099); subject
oneself, be subjected or subordinated, obey, with dative of actual persons worthy of respect, toward
secular authorities (Arndt 848); middle voice, subject one's self, obey, submit to one's control, yield
to one's admonition or advice (Thayer 645); let him range himself under (Lenski 785); must obey
[ 6 ]EXOUSIAS HUPERECHOUSAIS, authorities to superior (Marshall 643); HUPERECHOUSAIS
is the present active participle, dative plural feminine of HUPERECHOO (Han 312); those who possess
authority, authorities, dignities [persons], of magistrates, the prominent men, rulers (Thayer 225, 641);
literally, authorities which have themselves over (Vincent 3.163); literally, to hold over anything, as
bring superior, used metaphorically of rulers, as the "higher powers" (Vine 550); governing authorities
(Arndt 841); superior authority (Lenski 785);the civil [implied in context] authorities that are over him
(Williams); government [from EXOUSIA power; "the powers that be" are political powers, government
[ 7 ]OU GAR ESTIN EXOUSIA EI MEE HUPO THEOU, for there is no authority except by God
(Marshall 643); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 312); see note
above; the bearers of the authority, human authorities, officials, government (Arndt 278); for authority
does not exist except by God (Lenski 785); for no authority exists except by God's permission
[ 8 ]HAI DE HOUSAI, and the existing [ones] (Marshall 643); HOUSAI is the present active
participle, nominatie plural feminine of EIMI (Han 312); literally, the existing. Powers is not in the
text, but is correctly supplied from the preceding clause (Vincent 3.164); and those existing (Lenski
[ 9 ]HUPO THEO TETAGMENAI EISIN, by God having been ordained are (Marshall 643); EISIN
is third person plural, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 312); of positions of military and civil
authority over others, whether appointed by men or God (Vine 61, 816); perfect tense: have been
ordained, and the ordinance remains in force (Vincent 3.164); arranged, assigned a place, appointed
(Thayer 615); [the authorities] who are now in power are instituted by God (Arndt 805); exist as having
been arranged by God (Lenski 785); have been established by Him (Williams).
[ 10 ]HOOSTE HO ANTITASSOMENOS TEE EXOUSIA, so the [one] resisting the authority
(Marshall 643); ANTITASSOMENOS is the present middle participle, nominatie singular masculine
of ANTITASSOO (Han 312); literally, setteth himself in array against (Vincent 3.164); resists, of
resisting human potentates, Vine 958; middle voice, opposes one's self, resists (Thayer 51); opposes,
resists (Arndt 76); therefore, he who ranges himself against the authority (Lenski 787); so that anyone
who resists the authorities (Williams).
[ 11 ]ANTHESTEEKEN, has opposed (Marshall 643); third person singular, perfect active indicative
of ANTHISTEEMI (Han 312); withstandeth (Vincent 3.164); withstands, opposes, resists (Vine 958);
perfect active, sets one's self against, withstands, resists, opposes (Thayer 45); set [themselves] against,
oppose, resist, withstand, used impersonal (Arndt 67); withstands (Lenski 787); sets himself against
[ 12 ]TEE TOU THEOU DIATAGEE, the of God ordinance (Marshall 643); [from TASSOO to put
in place], which appears in the first resisteth [above]. He setteth himself against that which is divinely
set (Vincent 3.164); an ordinance (Vine 314, 818); a disposition, arrangement, ordinance (Thayer 142);
ordinance, direction (Arndt 189); the arrangement of God (Lenski 787); what God has established
[ 13 ]HOI DE ANTHESTEEKOTES HEAUTOIS, and the [ones] having opposed to themselves
(Marshall 643); ANTHESTEEKOTES is the perfect active participle, nominative plural masculine of
ANTHISTEEMI (Han 312); those who resist (Arndt 67); and they who withstand (Lenski 787); and
those who set themselves against Him (Williams)..
[ 14 ]KRIMA LEEMPSONTAI, judgment will receive (Marshall 643); LEEMPSONTAI is third person
plural, future middle indicative of LAMBANOO (Han 312); judicial sentence, judgment (Vincent
3.164); with dative incommodi added, [shall] receive [what is given], gain, get, obtain condemnatory
sentence, penal judgment, sentence, with genitive of the one who pronounces judgment (Thayer 360,
371); of the sentence of condemnation, also of the condemnation and the subsequent punishment itself
(Arndt 450); shall receive judgment for themselves (Lenski 787); will get the penalty due them
[ 15 ]As I edit these notes in 2003, Saddam Hussein has just been deposed in Iraq. North Korea,
Sudan, Cambodia and other nations are said to be ruled by despots. Some readers will recall the bloody
reigns of Noriega, Adolf Hitler, Benitto Mussilini, Josef Stalin and others.
[ 16 ]HOI GAR ARCHONTES, for the rulers (Marshall 643; Lenski 788); magistrates (Thayer 79);
of those in authority, authorities, officials (Arndt 114); for civil authorities (Williams).
[ 17 ]OUK EISIN PHOBOS, are not a fear (Marshall 643); EISIN third person plural, present active
indicative of EIMI (Han 312); in an objective sense, that which strikes terror, or more correctly, a
terror to [or for] (Thayer 656); fear (Vine 1131); that which causes fear, a terror (Arndt 863); are not
a fright (Lenski 788).
[ 18 ]TOO AGATHOO ERGOO, to the good work (Marshall 643); deeds, acts of believers, that
which is salutary, suited to the course of human affairs (Vine 494, 1243); of the deeds of men,
exhibiting a consistent moral character (Arndt 308); for the good work (Lenski 788); to the man who
does right (Williams).
[ 19 ]ALLA TOO KAKOO, but to the evil (Marshall 643); [morally, that is,] of a mode of thinking,
feeling, acting; base, wrong, wicked (Thayer 320); of the characteristics , actions, emotions, plans, etc.,
of men, bad deeds (Arndt 397); but for the bad (Lenski 788); but they are to the man who does wrong
[ 20 ]THELEIS DE MEE PHOBEISTHAI TEEN EXOUSIAN, and wishest thou not to fear the
authority? (Marshall 643); THELEIS is second person singu lar, present active indicative of THELOO;
PHOBEISTHAI is the present middle infinitive of PHOBEOO (Han 312); by metonymy, that which
causes fear (Vine 414); fear, fear, be afraid, of one, lest he do harm, be displeased (Thayer 656); [of]
human authorities, officials, government (Arndt 279); now dost thou not want to be frightened by the
authority? (Lenski 788, 789); do you want to have no dread of the civil authorities? (Williams).
[ 21 ]TO AGATHON POIEI, the good do (Marshall 643); POIEI is third person singular, present
active indicative of POIEOO (Han 312); do what is good, Arndt 681); keep doing the good (Lenski
789); then practice doing right (Williams).
[ 22 ]KAI EXEIS EPAINON EX AUTEES, and thou wilt have praise from it (Marshall 643); EXEIS
is second person singular, future actie indicative of ECHOO (Han 312); the approbation of well-doers
by human rulers (Vine 870); approbation, commendation, praise (Thayer 227); praise, approval,
recognition from men (Arndt 281); and thou shalt have praise from it (Lenski 789); and you will be
commended for it (Williams).
[ 23 ]THEOU GAR DIAKONOS ESTIN, for of God a minister he is (Marshall 643); ESTIN is third
person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 312); servant, attendant, minister, deacon (Vine
744); those through whom God carries on his administration on earth, as magistrates (Thayer 138);
helper, agent, the governmental authorities (Arndt 184); for God's minister it is (Lenski 789); for the
civil authorities are God's servants (Williams).
[ 24 ]ESTIN may be rendered "it is" in order to modify "the authority" or "the power" (see verse 3).
[ 25 ]ESTIN may be rendered "he is" in order to modify the bearer of the sword (verse 4).
[ 26 ]SOI EIS TO AGATHON, to thee for the good (Marshall 643; Lenski 789); specifically, what
is salutary, suited to the course of human affairs (Thayer 3); for good, to advantage (Arndt 3); to do
you good (Williams).
[ 27 ]The pronoun SOI is in the dative case, to or for you.
[ 28 ]EAN DE TO KAKON POIEES, but if the evil thou doest (Marshall 643); POIEES is second
person singular, present active subjunctive of POIEOO (Han 312); do, commit evil (Thayer 320); do
[what is] evil (Arndt 397); but if thou doest the bad (Lenski 789); but if you practice doing wrong
[ 29 ]PHOBOU, fear (Marshall 643); second person singular, present middle imperative of PHOBEOO
(Han 312); fear, be afraid, be struck with fear, be seized with alarm: of those who fear harm or injury
(Thayer 655); be frightened! (Lenski 789); you should dread them (Williams).
[ 30 ]OU GAR PHOREI, for not he bears (Marshall 643); PHOREI is third person singular, present
active indicative of PHOREOO (Han 312); beareth and weareth [a frequentative form of PHEROO to
bear] (Vincent 3.164); not the simple act of bearing, but a continuous or habitual condition, for
example, of the civil authority in bearing the sword as symbolic of execution (Vine 93); [does not] bear
consistently, wear (Thayer 657); bears [in contrast to PHEROO bear, carry], for a considerable time
or regularly, hence, wear (Arndt 864); for not does it bear (Lenski 789); for they do not wield
[ 31 ]EIKEE TEEN MACHAIRAN, in vain the sword (Marshall 643; Lenski 789); borne as the
symbol of the magistrate's right to inflict capital punishment (Vincent 3.164); a short sword or dagger,
as the instrument of a magistrate or judge, to no purpose, in vain (Vine 1113, 1193); bear the sword,
is used of him to whom the sword has been committed, that is, to use when a malefactor is to be
punished; hence it is to have the power of life and death (Thayer 393); carry the sword to no purpose
(Arndt 222); the sword for nothing (Williams).
[ 32 ]THEOU GAR DIAKONOS ESTIN, for of God a minister he is (Marshall 643); helper, agent,
the governmental authorities (Arndt 184); for God's minister it is (Lenski 789); indeed, they are God's
[ 33 ]EKDIKOS EIS ORGEEN, an avenger for wrath (Marshall 643; Lenski 789); primarily, without
law, then, one who exacts a penalty from a person, an avenger, a punisher, of a civil authority in the
discharge of his function of executing wrath on the evildoer (Vine 82); an avenger who brings [God's]
wrath upon the evil-doer (Arndt 238); to inflict punishment [Greek, avengers for wrath] (Williams).
[ 34 ]TOO TO KAKON PRASSONTI, to the [one] evil practicing (Marshall 643); PRASSONTI is
the present active participle, dative singular masculine of PRASSOO (Han 312); [that does what is] evil
(Arndt 397, 398); upon people who do wrong (Williams); to the one doing the bad (Lenski 789).
[ 35 ]DIO, wherefore (Marshall 643; Lenski 793); equivalent to DIA HO (the neuter of the relative
pronoun HOS (Vine 1222); inferential conjunction, therefore, for this reason (Arndt 198); therefore
[ 36 ]ANANKEE HUPOTASSESTHAI, it is necessary to be subject (Marshall 643);
HUPOTASSESTHAI is the present middle infinitive of HUPOTASSOO (Han 312); literally, [it is]
necessary [to be subject] (Vine 777); middle voice, necessity, imposed either by the external condition
of things, or by the law of duty, followed by infinitive, [to] subject one's self, obey, submit to one's
control; yield to one's admonition or advice (Thayer 36, 645); subject [yourselves] (Vine 1099);
therefore it is necessary [for you] to be subject, subject oneself, be subjected or subordinated, obey
(Arndt 52, 848); [there is] necessity for being in subjection (Lenski 793); you must obey them
[ 37 ]OU MONON DIA TEEN ORGEEN, not only because of wrath (Marshall 643); because
disobedience is visited with punishment (Thayer 452); of the judgment upon the desert generation, the
wrath (Arndt 579); not only because of this wrath (Lenski 793); not only for the sake of escaping
punishment [literally, because of wrath] (Williams).
[ 38 ]ALLA KAI DIA TEEN SUNEIDEESIN, but also because of conscience (Marshall 643); [SUN
with, OIDA to know], acting in a certain way because conscience requires it (Vine 220); for conscience'
sake, because the conscience requires it (Thayer 602); for conscience' sake (Arndt 786); but also
because of the conscience (Lenski 793); but also for conscience' sake (Williams).
[ 39 ]DIA TOUTO GAR, for therefore (Marshall 644); for this cause, for this reason, therefore, on
this account, since this is so (Thayer 134); literally, on account of this, for this cause, signifying the
ground or reason (Vine 167); for for this reason (Lenski 794); for this is the reason (Williams).
[ 40 ]KAI PHOROUS TELEITE, also taxes pay (Marshall 644); TELEITE is second person plural,
present active indicative of TELEOO (Han 312); [akin to PHEROO to bring], tribute paid by a
subjugated nation (Vine 1168); TELEITE ye pay is, literally, ye accomplish or fulfill, carrying the sense
of the fulfillment of an obligation. PHOROUS tribute is from PHEROO to bring, something brought
(Vincent 3.164); bring to an end, complete, fulfil, [here] has the meaning pay (Vine 841); pay tribute,
especially the annual tax levied upon houses, lands, and persons (Thayer 619, 657); pay tribute to the
one entitled to receive tribute (Arndt 865); also you keep paying taxes (Lenski 794); why you pay your
[ 41 ]LEITOURGOI GAR THEOU EISIN, for ministers of God they are (Marshall 644); EISIN is
third person plural, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 312); the word here brings out more fully
the ruler, like the priest, discharges a divinely ordained service. Government is thus elevated into the
sphere of religion (Vincent 3.164); those by whom God administers his affairs and executes his decrees:
so of magistrates (Thayer 376); of earthly rulers, who though they do not all act consciously as servants
of God, yet discharge functions which are the ordinance of God (Vine 744); literally, of Greco-Roman
officials, servants of God (Arndt 471); for public servants of God are they (Lenski 794); for the civil
authorities are God's official servants (Williams).
[ 42 ]PROSKARTEROUNTES, attending constantly (Marshall 644); the present active participle,
nominative plural masculine of PROSKARTEREOO (Han 312); [PROS towards, intensive, KARTEROS
strong], continuing steadfastly in a thing and giving unremitting care to it, of rulers in the discharge of
their functions (Vine 79); continuing steadfastly (Vincent 3.164); steadfastly attending unto, giving
unremitting care to (Thayer 547); busying themselves with, be busily engaging in, being devoted to
(Arndt 715); steadily attending (Lenski 794); faithfully devoting themselves (Williams).
[ 43 ]EIS AUTO TOUTO, for this very thing (Marshall 644); [this] very thing (Vine 1197); to this
very thing (Lenski 794); to this very end (Williams).
[ 44 ]APODOTE PASIN TAS OPHEILAS, render to all men the dues (Marshall 644); APODOTE
is second person plural, second aorist active imperative of APODIDOOMI (Han 312); probably all
magistrates, though some explain all men (Vincent 3.165); pay off, discharge, what is due [because a
debt, like a burden, is thrown off, APO, by being paid]; tribute and other dues to the government, that
which is owed, metaphorically, plural, dues (Thayer 61, 469); of human acts, give up or back, render
dues (Vine 334, 949, 950); fulfill [your] duty, obligation to [all their] due, of taxes (Arndt 90, 598);
duly give to all their dues (Lenski 794); pay all of them what is due them (Williams).
[ 45 ]TOO TON PHORON TON PHORON, to the [one] tax the tax (Marshall 644); tribute on persons
(Vincent 3.165); [akin to PHEROO to bring] denotes tribute paid by a subjugated nation (Vine 1168);
tribute (Thayer 657); tax to whom the tax (Lenski 794); tribute to the officer [only implied] to receive
[ 46 ]TOO TO TELOS TO TELOS, to the [one] the tribute the tribute (Marshall 644); custom on
goods (Vincent 3.165); toll, custom, [that is, an indirect tax on goods] (Thayer 620); an end,
termination, whether of time or purpose, denotes in its secondary significance, what is paid for public
ends, a toll, tax, custom. In Palestine the Herods of Galilee and Perea received the custom; in Judea
it was paid to the Procurator for the Roman Government (Vine 255); tax to whom the tax (Lenski 794);
taxes to the officer to receive them (Williams).
[ 47 ]TOO TON PHOBON TON PHOBON, to the [one] the fear the fear (Marshall 644); reverence,
respect [for authority, rank, dignity] (Thayer 656); respect that is due officials (Arndt 864); fear to
whom fear (Lenski 794); respect to the man entitled to it (Williams).
[ 48 ]TOO TEEN TIMEEN TEEN TIMEEN, to the [one] the honor the honor (Marshall 643);
deference, reverence (Thayer 624); primarily a valuing, hence, objectively, honor, esteem, to be given
to all to whom it is justified before God thereby (Vine 560); the respect that one enjoys, honor (Arndt
817); deference, reverence (Thayer 624); honor to whom the honor (Lenski 794); and honor to the man
entitled to it (Williams).
[ 49 ]MEEDENI MEEDEN OPHEILETE, to no one no(any)thing owe ye (Marshall 644);
OPHEILETE is second person plural, present active indicative or imperative of OPHEILOO (Han 313);
[do not] owe, be a debtor (Vine 826); owe nothing to anyone (Arndt 598); owe no one anything except
to love one another, because we must never cease loving and the debt of love can never be paid (Thayer
469); be owing no one anything (Lenski 797); stop owing anybody anything (Williams).
[ 50 ]EI MEE TO ALLEELOUS AGAPAN, except one another to love (Marshall 644); AGAPAN
is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of AGAPAOO (Han 313); with accusative
of the person, have a preference for, wish will to, regard the welfare of (Thayer 3); except to love each
other (Arndt 598); except to be loving each other (Lenski 797); except the obligation to love one
[ 51 ]HO GAR AGAPOON TON HETERON, for the [one] loving the other (Marshall 644);
AGAPOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of AGAPAOO (Han 313);
that is in the process of loving (Harrison 572); literally, the other, or the different one, the word
emphasizing more strongly the distinction between the two parties (Vincent 3.165); the other, when the
relation of conduct to others is under consideration is often put by way of example for any other person
whatever, and stands for "the other affected by the action in question" [and may be translated thy
neighbor, thy fellow, etc.] (Thayer 254); one's neighbor [the contrast is with AUTOS self] (Arndt 315);
for he that loves the other (Lenski 797).
[ 52 ]NOMON PEPLEEROOKEN, law has fulfilled (Marshall 644); PEPLEEROOKEN is third
person singular, perfect active indicative of PLEEROOO (Han 313); is in a state of having fulfilled the
law (Harrison 572); of the observance of the [Mosaic] law, a fulfilling, keeping (Thayer 427, 428, 518);
"the royal law," the law of love, royal in the majesty of its power, the law upon which all others hang
(Vine 645); fulfilled by deeds . . . a law, a commandment (Arndt 671); has fulfilled law (Lenski 797);
has perfectly satisfied [Greek, has fulfilled or filled to the full] the law (Williams).
[ 53 ]TO GAR, for (Marshall 644); the neuter [Greek] article TO can turn any word or collection of
words which follow it into a noun equivalent, especially when the words are a quotation of something
which has been said before (Nunn 73); for this (Lenski 798); for the commandments (Williams).
[ 54 ]Some Scriptures giving the commandments in different orders are Mt 19:18; Mk 10:19; Lu
18:20; Jas 2:11. In the original Ten Commandments, the command not to murder came before the one
against adultery (see Ex 20:13, 14; De 5:17, 18).
[ 55 ]OU MOICHEUSEIS, thou shalt not commit adultery (Marshall 644); MOICHEUSEIS is second
person singular, future active indicative of MOICHEUOO (Han 313); commit adultery [be an adulterer]
(Thayer 417; Vine 25); OU is used to negative the prohibitive future [as in] [all the commandments
from the Decalogue], commit adultery, of both sexes (Arndt 526, 590); thou wilt not commit adultery!
(Lenski 798); you must not commnit adultery (Williams).
[ 56 ]OU PHONEUSEIS, thou shalt not kill (Marshall 644); PHONEUSEIS is second person singular,
future active indicative of PHONEUOO (Han 313); [akin to PHONEUS a murderer] (Vine 620); kill,
slay, murder, absolutely commit murder (Thayer 657); you shall not commit murder (Arndt 864); thou
wilt not murder! (Lenski 798); you must not murder (Williams).
[ 57 ]Several other words are used elsewhere for "kill" including the Hebrew HARAG and the Greek
SPHAZOO, THANATOOO, DIACHEIRIZOO and APOKTEINOO. The Ten Commandments (with
the exception of the Sabbath command) apply today because they are "brought over" into the NT.
[ 58 ]OU KLEPSEIS, thou shalt not steal (Marshall 644); KLEPSEIS is second person singular, future
active indicative of KLEPTOO (Han 313); steal, commit a theft (Thayer 348); [akin to KLEPTEES a
thief; compare English kleptomania], steal (Vine 1085, 1086); steal (Arndt 434); thou wilt not steal!
(Lenski 798); you must not steal (Williams).
[ 59 ]OUK EPITHUMEESEIS, thou shalt not covet (Marshall 644); EPITHUMEESEIS is second
person singular, future active indicative of EPITHUMEOO (Han 313); [EPI upon, used intensively,
THUMOS passion], fix the desire upon whether things good or bad; hence, long for, lust after, covet,
used with the meaning, covet evilly (Vine 244); lust after, covet, of those who seek things forbidden
(Thayer 238); desire, long for (Arndt 293); thou wilt not covet! (Lenski 798); you must not have an
evil desire (Williams).
[ 60 ]KAI EI TIS HETERA ENTOLEE, and if [there is] any other commandment (Marshall 644);
commandment, that is, a prescribed rule in accordance with which a thing is done, especially of
particular precepts of this law as distinguished from HO NOMOS [the law] their body or sum (Thayer
218); in general, an injunction, charge, precept, commandment (Vine 202); of single commandments
(Arndt 269); and if there be any other commandment (Lenski 798); and any other commandment if
there is any (Williams).
[ 61 ]EN TOO LOGOO TOUTOO ANAKEPHALAIOUTAI, in this word it is summed up (Marshall
644); ANAKEPHALAIOUTAI is third person singular, present passive indicative of
ANAKEPHALAIOOO (Han 313); [ANA up, KEPHALEE a head], summed up, gathered up, presented
as a whole, passive voice (Vine 1105); ANA has the force of again in the sense of recapitulation . .
. the verb is compounded, not with KEPHALEE head, but with its derivative KEPHALAION the main
point (Vincent 3.165); [from KEPHALAIOO to summarize, from KEPHALAION the main point], is
summed up [again], repeated summarily and so condensed into a summary [as the substance of a
speech] (Thayer 38); everything is summed up in this word [the commandment of love] (Arndt 56); it
is summed up, namely, in this one (Lenski 798); are summed up in this command (Williams).
[ 62 ][EN TOO] AGAPEESEIS TON PLEESION SOU HOOS SEAUTON, thou shalt love the
neighbor of thee as thyself (Marshall 644); AGAPEESEIS is second person singular, future active
indicative of AGAPAOO (Han 313); the Greek idiom is the whole commandment being taken as a
substantive with the definite article (Vincent 3.165); the preposition EN in, with the article [is] literally
"in the," and is translated "namely" (Vine 773); any other person, according to the teaching of Christ,
any other man irrespective of race or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet [which
idea is clearly brought out in the parable, Lu 10:25-37] (Thayer 519); near, close by, the one who is
near or close by, the fellow man (Arndt 672); thou wilt love thy neighbor as thyself! (Lenski 798).
[ 63 ]HEE AGAPEE KAKON OUK ERGAZETAI, love evil works not (Marshall 644); affection,
good-will, love, benevolence (Thayer 4); used transitively, works something, produces, performs (Vine
1243); human love does, accomplishes, carries out, [no] evil, harm, wrong, does [no] wrong (Arndt
5, 307, 398); the love works no ill (Lenski 799); love never does a wrong (Williams).
[ 64 ]TOO PLEESION, to the (one's) neighbor (Marshall 644); the neuter of the adjective PLEEISOS
[from PELAS near] is used as an adverb accompanied by the article, literally, "the [one] near;" hence,
one's neighbor (Vine 779); to one's neighbor (Arndt 307); to the neighbor (Lenski 799); to one's
[ 65 ]PLEEROOMA OUN NOMOU HEE AGAPEE, [is] fulfillment therefore of law love (Marshall
644); a fulfilling, keeping TOU NOMON [the law] (Thayer 518); filling up, fulfillment, of the fulfilling
of the Law (Vine 467); fullness, accordingly, of law-- this love (Lenski 800); so love is the perfect
satisfaction of the law (Williams).
[ 66 ]KAI TOUTO, and this[,] (Marshall 644); and this, and that, and that too, especially (Thayer
316); the article TO [the neuter] is virtually equivalent to "the following" (Vine 1142); and, also
ascensive, and indeed, and at that (Arndt 393); and this too (Lenski 801); do [implied] this in particular
[ 67 ]EIDOTES TON KAIRON, knowing the time (Marshall 644); EIDOTES is the perfect active
participle, nominative plural masculine of OIDA (Han 313); knowing, seeing that ye know, the
particular season or juncture (Vincent 3.165); a fixed and definite time (Thayer 318); used in the NT
to signify a season, a time, a period possessed of certain characteristics, frequently rendered "time" or
"times" (Vine 1005); the present time, [some interpret it as] one of the chief eschatological terms, the
time of crisis, the last times (Arndt 395, 396); knowing the time-period (Lenski 801); because you know
the present crisis [literally, time] (Williams).
[ 68 ]HOTI HOORA EEDEE, that hour now=it is now an hour (Marshall 644); already, Vincent
3.165; any definite time, point of time, moment (Thayer 679); EEDEE [already] is always used of time
in the NT and means now, at (or by) this time, sometimes in the sense of "already," that is, without
mentioning or insisting upon anything further; (primarily, any time or period fixed by nature (Vine 41,
1150); the time when something took place, is taking place, or will take place (Arndt 896); that it is
already time (Lenski 801).
[ 69 ]HUMAS EX HUPNOU EGERTHEENAI, you out of sleep to be raised=for you to be raised
out of sleep (Marshall 644); EGERTHEENAI is the first aorist passive infinitive of EGEIROO (Han
313); metaphorically, of awaking from a state of moral sloth (Vine 84); metaphorically, to arise from
a state of moral sloth to an active life devoted to God (Thayer 165); awaken from sleep [that is,
thoughtless indolence] (Arndt 215); for us to be aroused from sleep (Lenski 801).
[ 70 ]NUN GAR ENGUTERON HEEMOON HEE SOOTEERIA, for now nearer [is] of us the
salvation (Marshall 644); construe HEEMOON of us [salvation of us, that is, our] with nearer, and
render salvation is nearer to us (Vincent 3.165); to sentences in which something is commanded or
forbidden, GAR annexes the reason why the thing must either be done or avoided (Thayer 109); of the
future deliverance of believers at the Parousia of Christ for His saints, a salvation which is the object
of their confident hope, nearer, ENGUTERON is the comparative degree of ENGUS [near, nigh], and
the neuter of the adjective ENGUTEROS [nearer], used adverbially (Vine 776, 988); for now the
salvation is near to us (Lenski 801); for our salvation is now nearer [final deliverance at Christ's second
coming is nearer] to us (Williams). This verse has been given different interpretations: (1) Salvation,
or deliverance, from Jewish persecution was nearer and would end about AD 70. This interpretation
would not especially motivate Roman Christians to become less indifferent toward sin, as would the
following two possible meanings. (2) The eternal reward is nearer for all than when they first became
Christians. This is sometimes described as "total salvation," or all Christ will do for believers at his
second advent (Harrison 573). (3) It is possible that salvation is used by metonymy to mean the gospel
of salvation is nearer, that is, God's will is better understood than when first believed (see Lu 19:9; Ac
13:26; Ro 11:11; 2 Co 6:2).
[ 71 ]EE HOTE EPISTEUSAMEN, than when we believed (Marshall 644); EPISTEUSAMEN is first
person plural, first aorist active indicative of PISTEUOO (Han 313); aorist, became believers (Thayer
512); when we first believed (Arndt 588); than when we came to believe (Lenski 801).
[ 72 ]HEE NUX PROEKOPSEN, the night advanced (Marshall 644); PROEKOPSEN is third person
singular, first aorist active indicative of PROKOPTOO (Han 313); originally to beat forward or
lengthen out by hammering; hence to promote, and intransitively to go forward or proceed (Vincent
3.165, 166); to cut forward a way, advance, said metaphorically of "the night," the whole period of
man's alienation from God. Though the tense is aorist, it must not be rendered "was far spent," as if
it referred, for example, to Christ's first Advent. The aorist is here perfective, "is far spent," the
advanced state of the "night" of the world's spiritual darkness (Vine 25, 1074); metaphorically, the time
for deeds of sin and shame, the time of moral stupidity and darkness, the night is advanced [day is at
hand] (Thayer 421); of a time of darkness, is advanced, far gone, the night is far gone (Arndt 546,
708); the night has advanced (Lenski 801); the night has almost passed (Williams).
[ 73 ]HEE DE HEEMERA ENGIKEN, and the day has drawn near (Marshall 644); ENGIKEN is
third person singular, perfect active indicative of ENGIZOO (Han 313); day, the period of natural light,
used figuratively (Vine 521); the last day of the present age, the day in which Christ will return from
heaven, raise the dead, hold the final judgment, and perfect his kingdom, intransitive, draws, or comes
near, approaches (Thayer 164, 278); of approaching time, the day (Arndt 213, 346); and the day is near
(Lenski 801); the day is at hand (Williams).
[ 74 ]APOTHOOMETHA OUN, let us cast off therefore (Marshall 644); APOTHOOMETHA is first
person plural, second aorist middle subjunctive of APOTITHEEMI (Han 313); as one puts off the
garments of the night (Vincent 3.166); put off, lay aside, denotes, in the middle voice, put off from
oneself, cast off, used figuratively of works of darkness, "let us cast off," [aorist tense, denoting a
definite act] (Vine 165); aorist, put off from one's self, tropically, those things are said to be put off
or away, which any one gives up, renounces (Thayer 69); take off, literally, of clothes, figuratively,
lay aside, rid oneself of (Arndt 101); let us put away, therefore, from ourselves (Lenski 804); so let
us put aside (Williams).
[ 75 ]TA ERGA TOU SKOTOUS, the works of the darkness (Marshall 644; Lenski 804); deeds, acts,
of evil works of unbelievers (Vine 260; 1243); acts, deeds, things done, done in darkness, deeds done
in darkness, harmonizing with it (Thayer 248, 580); sins (Arndt 758); the deeds of darkness (Williams).
[ 76 ]ENDUSOOMETHA DE, and let us put on (Marshall 644); ENDUSOOMETHA is first person
plural, first aorist middle subjunctive of ENDUOO (Han 313); middle voice, metaphorically of putting
on the armor of light (Vine 908); [properly to envelop in, to hide in], put on, in metaphorical phrases:
of armor, figuratively so-called (Thayer 214); middle voice, [let us] clothe [ourselves] in, put on, wear
(Arndt 264); and let us draw on (Lenski 804); and put on (Williams).
[ 77 ]TA HOPLA TOU PHOOTOS, the weapons of the light (Marshall 645); the armor of light,
righteousness (Vine 67, 670); plural, arms used in warfare, weapons, adapted to the light, such as light
demands (Thayer 449); put on the weapons of light (Arndt 575); the weapons of the light (Lenski 804).
[ 78 ]PANOPLIA is from PAS all and HOPLON a weapon. It is, literally, all armor, full armor (see
notes on Eph 6:10-17; Songs 480).
[ 79 ]EUSCHEEMONOOS PERIPATEESOOMEN, becomingly let us walk (Marshall 645);
PERIPATEESOOMEN is first person plural, first aorist active subjunctive of PERIPATEOO (Han
313); [from EU well, SCHEEMA fashion], becomingly, refers more particularly to the outward life,
and thus accords with walk, and in the day the time of observation (Vincent 3.166); figuratively,
signifying the whole round of the activities of the individual life, whether of the unregenerate [Eph
4:17] or the believer [1Co 7:17; Col 2:6], in honesty (Vine 1207); regulate one's life, conduct one's
self in a seemly manner, decently (Thayer 262, 504); figuratively, of the walk of life, decently,
becomingly, behave decently [as of one properly attired] (Arndt 327, 649); let us walk decorously
(Lenski 806); let us live becomingly (Williams).
[ 80 ]See Romans 13:12.
[ 81 ]HOOS EN HEEMERA, as in [the] day (Marshall 644); figuratively, for a period of opportunity
for service [is] drawing nigh (Vine 262); live decorously as though it were light, that is, as if HO
AIOON HO MELLOON [the future age] were already come (Thayer 277); the period of human life
(Arndt 346); as in daytime (Lenski 806); for people who are in the light of day (Williams).
[ 82 ]MEE KOOMOIS, not in revelings (Marshall 645); plural, literally, revellings (Vincent 3.166);
revels, carousals, the concomitant and consequence of drunkenness, used in the plural, translated by
the singular (Vine 965); generally feasts and drinking-parties that are protracted till late at night and
indulge in revelry; plural, revellings (Thayer 367); carousing, revelry (Arndt 461); from KOOMOS the
god of feasting and revelling (Macknight 124); not with carousings (Lenski 806); not in carousing
[ 83 ]KAI METHAIS, and in drunken (Marshall 645); [akin to METHU wine], plural, strong drink,
denotes drunkenness, habitual intoxication (Vine 333, 334); [METH mead] intoxication, drunkenness
(Thayer 395); drunkenness (Arndt 498); and drunkenness (Lenski 806; Williams).
[ 84 ]MEE KOITAIS, not in beds (Marshall 645); primarily a place in which to lie down, hence, a
bed, especially the marriage bed, denotes illicit intercourse (Vine 171); plural, sexual intercourse
(Thayer 352); sexual excesses (Arndt 440); not with harlotries (Lenski 806); not in sexual immorality
[ 85 ]KAI ASELGEIAIS, and excesses (Marshall 645; Lenski 806); plural, excess, licentiousness,
absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness (Vine 640); plural, "wanton [acts or] manners, as filthy
words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females, etc." (Thayer 79, 80);
follow the inclination to sensuality, especially of sexual excesses (Arndt 114); and licentiousness
[ 86 ]Hesychius, Phavorinus, cited by Macknight 124.
[ 87 ]MEE ERIDI, not in strife (Marshall 645); strife, contention, the expression of enmity (Vine
1095); contention, strife, wrangling (Thayer 249); quarrels (Arndt 309); not with strife (Lenski 806);
not in quarreling (Williams).
[ 88 ]KAI ZEELOO, and in jealousy (Marshall 645); zeal, jealousy (Vine 603); an anxious and
contentious rivalry, jealousy (Thayer 271); jealousy, envy (Arndt 337); and jealousy (Lenski 806;
[ 89 ]ALLA ENDUSASTHE TON KURION 'IESOUN CHRISTON, but put ye on the Lord Jesus
Christ (Marshall 645); ENDUSASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of
ENDUOO (Han 313); middle voice, put on oneself, or on another, metaphorically, of putting on the
Lord Jesus Christ (Vine 908); become so possessed of the mind of Christ as in thought, feeling, and
action to resemble him and, as it were, reproduce the life he lived (Thayer 214); clothe [yourselves]
in the Lord Jesus Christ (Arndt 264); but put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Lenski 806); instead, put on
the Lord Jesus Christ (Williams).
[ 90 ]"Put on" in Galatians 3:27 is "clothed upon."
[ 91 ]KAI PRONOIAN MEE POIEISTHE, and forethought make not (Marshall 645); POIEISTHE
is second person plural, present middle imperative of POIEOO (Han 313); and etymologically akin to
take thought for, in Romans 12:17 (Vincent 3.166); stop making provision (Harrison 573); forethought
[PRO before, NOEOO to think], provision (Vine 899); forethought, provident care, make provision for
a thing, have regard for, care for, make provision for (Thayer 526, 540); foresight, care, make
provision for something, be concerned for or about something (Arndt 708); and be making no
provisions (Lenski 806).
[ 92 ]See notes and chart on WHY FLEE FORNICATION at 1 Corinthians 6:18; FLEE FROM
IDOLATRY at 1 Corinthians 10:14, 15.
[ 93 ]TEES SARKOS, of the flesh (Marshall 645); in the moral sense, the depraved nature (Vincent
3.166); [for] the flesh, the willing instrument of sin (Arndt 744); for the flesh (Lenski 806).
[ 94 ]See the NIV; also some of the Greek-English lexicons.
[ 95 ]EIS EPITHUMIAS, for [its] lusts (Marshall 645); [EIS denotes] the end by which a thing is
completed, that is, the result or effect, so that iniquity was the result, to arouse lusts (Thayer 185, 239);
evil desires which are ready to express themselves in bodily activity, the lusts of the flesh ( Vine 697);
[make [no] provision, care (Arndt 683); for lusts (Lenski 806); evil desires (Williams).
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Lakeside, California,
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Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
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