Being Subject to Authorities
13:1Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers:1 for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God. 13:2Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to themselves judgment. 13:3For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. And wouldest thou have no fear of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from the same: 13:4for he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil. 13:5Wherefore ye must needs be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 13:6For this cause ye pay tribute also; for they are ministers of God's service, attending continually upon this very thing. 13:7Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
- Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers. See Unity Bible Lesson Commentary for Romans 13. Unity published commentary on Romans 13:1-7 each presidential election cycle in the United States: November 1928, October 1932, November 1936, November 1944. Unity's consistent message is: (1) We should make ourselves subject to the authority of the indwelling Spirit of God. Jesus said: I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me; I speak these things." Individually, each of us is responsible for making our life full, rich, and satisfying, a life under law. Individually and collectively we are responsible for raising the level of the race consciousness until it reaches there permanently. (2) What follows when we make ourselves obedient to God is a demonstration that God is love, and the law of love overcomes the world. We obtain universal peace on earth and permanent well-being by holding in mind persistently a vision of universal understanding, universal harmony, and universal peace by declaring it to be now realized, and by working faithfully toward the realization of it. (3) Temporal rulers represent the ruling principle of divine law, and in the degree that we become obedient to that law their authority to us is divine. Man, exercising his own judgment and ignoring the divine law, forms an adverse state of mind. Through its activity he sets up an independent kingdom which sooner or later comes to an end, with the result that he calls down upon himself what in the Old Testament is termed the vengeance of Jehovah.
Love for One Another
13:8Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law.1 13:9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 13:10Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: love therefore is the fulfilment of the law. 2
- he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law. Through love, the energies of Being are stirred up, both in the lover and the Universal, and as equilibrium of forces is thus established.
- love therefore is the fulfilment of the law. Other commandments are fulfilled through loving one’s neighbors as oneself. Love works good to our neighbor, and makes the sins of murder, adultery, theft, and covetousness against him imporrible. He who loves what is honest, true, just, pure, and good is fortified against gross social sins.
An Urgent Appeal
13:11And this, knowing the season, that already it is time for you to awake out of sleep: for now is salvation nearer to us than when we first believed. 13:12The night is far spent, and the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.1 13:13Let us walk becomingly, as in the day;2 not in revelling and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy. 13:14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,3 and make not provision for the flesh,4 to fulfil the lusts thereof.
- the armor of light. The protective influence of a true understanding in man’s mind of his own well-being, including all that promotes it.
- walk becomingly, as in the day. Our habitual behavior is to be intelligent instead of being merely a dim out-picturing of sense desires. When we realize that a certain course is right and good, we are to follow it faithfully.
- put on the Lord Jesus Christ. By realizing that through claiming our dominion and mastership, we rise to newness of life in our I AM selfhood. As we do this we put on the perfect idea/conception of Divine Mind.
- make not provision for the flesh. We are to make provision for faith in our divine nature. As children of God, we are to provide for suitable expression of our divine qualities and leave behind us all provision for externals.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks
Following Entry: Rom. 14