Romans 13


Romans 13:8

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

We can live from relationship or religion but relationship is better. We can by guided by love or law but love is better, because love fulfills the law.


Romans 13:9

For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

(a) You shall not… Paul recites some of the Ten Commandments to remind us that the law he is referring to is the law of Moses. See entry for The Law.

(b) Summed up. The whole law is fulfilled in what James called the royal law (see entry for Jas. 2:8).

(c) Love your neighbor. This law, which comes from the law of Moses (Lev. 19:18), was quoted by Jesus more than once (Matt. 19:19, 22:31, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27).

(d) As yourself. Under the old covenant, you provided the love and whatever else was needed to fulfil the law. But in the new covenant, we are able to love others because of the love we have from God (see entry for John 13:34). Under the old, you were the supply, but in the new, God supplies all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Php. 4:19).


Romans 13:10

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

If the love of Christ is in your heart, you will have no problem loving your neighbor, and if you love your neighbor you are not going to murder him, steal his wife, or covet his donkey. This is why James called this the royal law (Jas. 2:8). It is the king of laws because loving others fulfils all the other laws (Rom. 13:8).


Romans 13:14

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

(a) Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Change the way you think. You are a new creation; act like it.

Paul is saying the same thing here as when he says “Lay aside the old self, put on the new self, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Eph. 4:22–24). And he is saying the same thing as when he tells us that God gives us grace to say no to ungodliness and yes to righteousness (Tit. 2:12).

(b) Make no provision for the flesh. Don’t waste energy thinking about ways to gratify the lusts of the flesh. Don’t concern yourself with the trivial cares of this world. Have little regard for things which no lasting consequence.

A mind that is focused on the flesh will never experience the truth life of God (Rom. 8:6). The remedy is not to flagellate or crucify the flesh, but just don’t feed it. Choose to live in step with the spirit. When we walk in the spirit, we will no longer gratify the lusts of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).

Since we are no longer slaves to sin, we can choose whether to walk after the old way of the flesh or the new way of the spirit. God gives us grace to say no to ungodliness and yes to righteousness (Tit. 2:12).


The Grace Commentary is a work in progress with new content added regularly. Sign up for occasional updates below. Got something to say? Please use the Feedback page. To report typos or broken links on this page, please use the comment form below.

Leave a Reply