Romans 13 – Live Out the Life on Earth as in Heaven 羅馬書 13 – 活出在地如在天的生命
Tuesday, 20th June 2023
Sister Emily Huang
Section One V1-7 Submitting Under Authority Benefits Us 順福權柄與我有益
V1-4 ‘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 God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 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. 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.’
V1-4 ‘在上有權柄的，人人當順服他，因為沒有權柄不是出於神的，凡掌權的都是神所命的。 所以，抗拒掌權的就是抗拒神的命，抗拒的必自取刑罰。 做官的原不是叫行善的懼怕，乃是叫作惡的懼怕。你願意不懼怕掌權的嗎？你只要行善，就可得他的稱讚； 因為他是神的用人，是於你有益的。你若作惡，卻當懼怕；因為他不是空空地佩劍，他是神的用人，是申冤的，刑罰那作惡的。’
At Paul’s time, who was the authority? Who was ruling over them? The Government of the Romans. If we were living back then, would we want to submit under this kind of authority? Nowadays we already have so many complaints about our governments and our ruling authorities, but what about the people back in Paul’s time? The Jews hated their government and those who worked under them, yet Paul’s teaching was for them to submit under this authority. Paul explained that every authority came from God, and when we submit to our authority, we submit to God.
Naturally we are afraid of authorities, we are afraid of those who are ruling over us, and we are uncomfortable about being under the authorities. Paul is giving us a new perspective that God gives us authority to benefit us not to harm us. Our authority should be like our sword, a weapon, which can restrain the sins and the evil around us. What we must do when we are challenged by the authority is to first examine ourselves, have we done something wrong? Is there anything in our lives that are not pleasing to God? God may be using authority to teach us the lesson of life, and even though we know our authority is not perfect, we must know that our God is perfect, and He can vindicate us.
V5-7 ‘Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour.’
V5-7 ‘所以你們必須順服，不但是因為刑罰，也是因為良心。 你們納糧也為這個緣故，因他們是神的差役，常常特管這事。 凡人所當得的，就給他：當得糧的，給他納糧；當得稅的，給他上稅；當懼怕的，懼怕他；當恭敬的，恭敬他。’
We can also learn to communicate with our authority, if there is really something we cannot understand, there will always be a channel of communication. God allows us to be born in a society like this, He also gives us ways to raise our voice to our authority. When we have this willingness to submit, and to convey our messages humbly, then we can better receive the blessings God will give to us through our authority. Even Jesus did not fight back the Roman government, who put Him on the cross. Because of Jesus’ submission, He was able to accomplish the great work of God for all people. We must not only submit by action, but also in our attitude, to show that we are willingly submitting to our authority because of our submission to God.
Section Two V8-10 Loving Others As Ourselves Fulfils the Law 愛人如己完全律法
V8-10 ‘Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 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 neighbour as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.’
V8-10 ‘凡事都不可虧欠人，唯有彼此相愛，要常以為虧欠。因為愛人的，就完全了律法。 像那「不可姦淫，不可殺人，不可偷盜，不可貪婪」，或有別的誡命，都包在「愛人如己」這一句話之內了。 愛是不加害於人的，所以愛就完全了律法。’
Loving others as ourselves is not an easy thing to do. So often we can do well by ourselves and keep ourselves under the law of God, but when it involves other people, everything becomes complicated and difficult. Paul teaches us that when we love, we complete and fulfil the law, and the right attitude for us here is to know that we owe others, and we can make it up by loving them. Again, no one is perfect, and no one a reach God’s standards, but by loving others, we can come closer and closer to this standard. We can learn to love others more, to understand them more, to listen to them more… not in a ‘doing’ mode, but to live it out the special identity God has given to us. We cannot love with our own strength but by the strength of God, which we can seek every day. All we need is a willing heart, God will help us to do everything else
Section Three V11-14 Putting On Christ Entering the Light 披戴基督進入光明
V11-14 ‘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. 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 armour of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts.’
V11-14 ‘再者，你們曉得，現今就是該趁早睡醒的時候，因為我們得救，現今比初信的時候更近了。 黑夜已深，白晝將近，我們就當脫去暗昧的行為，帶上光明的兵器。 行事為人要端正，好像行在白晝。不可荒宴醉酒，不可好色邪蕩，不可爭競嫉妒。 總要披戴主耶穌基督，不要為肉體安排，去放縱私慾。’
This is the end time, there are so many challenges around us, our health, our finance, our work, our family, our relationship with others… we are in deep darkness, but do we know that the deepest darkness is closest to the dawn. This is the time we must wake up, we must stay alert, and we must leave the desires of the world. God calls us to be awaken, to put down our own desires and thoughts, to submit to God all our worries, to turn away from all the sins, and to put on Jesus Christ.
Today is the day we cast off the works of the darkness, the things of the world, which disturbs us, challenges us, stirs up our faith, and makes us afraid; instead, put on the armour of God, the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and we can win this battle together with God. We are in the Kingdom of Light, God put us here today for us to stay alert, not for us to conform with our worldly desires. Be awake, arise and shine, experience God every day, and live out every blessing of God for us.