Love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
In our last visit we reviewed what is involved in doing an inductive Bible study of a given Scripture. Today let’s begin a study of Romans 13 using the inductive approach. In this approach you first observe what is said in the text.
Paul is teaching about the importance of living rightly in your social setting. He makes it clear that we should be good citizens. That involves having respect for governmental authorities and submitting to them. The promise is that if you live rightly, the authorities, who are put in their place of leadership to keep law and order, will reward you. If you live wrongly, they will punish you.
Because governmental authorities are servants of God you are to pay taxes so they will have resources to run the government. The best way to live is to owe no one anything, with one exception. You are to always feel obligated to love others. In fact, if you do this, you will fulfill all of the moral laws spelled out in the Bible.
We are to live this way because we are living in a world that is careening down the broad road that leads to destruction. It is a dark world, and we are to live in it as children of light. Though we might have lived as they do in the world we are now Christians so we must clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and “not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” We are to do this because it is right as well as because we understand the present time. We are to wake up to this way of living “because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”
Take some time to read Romans 13 again to see if you have noted all that it says.