I wrap up my study of the Book of Romans with this final entry, much of which consists of further advice from Paul on how a Christian should live and act.
Notes on Chapters 13-16
- Be subject to those in authority for the sake of God’s wrath and your conscience (Romans 13:1,5). I do believe this is qualified by first obeying the law of the Lord above all else.
- Pay what you owe and seek to owe no debts (Romans 13:7,8). This applies not just to money but also respect and honor (Romans 13:7). I would extend this further and apply it to things like a kind word or good deed for those who merit it, which I think is similar to the concept of honoring another person.
- Love fulfills the law (Romans 13:10). Love is the completion of the law and so I believe when we do truly love the Lord with all of our being and our neighbor as ourselves we will have fulfilled the law.
- Do not gratify the desires of the flesh (Romans 13:14). This I anticipate (at least for myself) to be a lifelong struggle, but hopefully with increasing success as time passes.
- Don’t quarrel over opinions with those weak in faith (Romans 14:1).
- We all live and die to God, which means all that we do is to God (Romans 14:8).
- We all will give an account of ourselves to God (Romans 14:12). This is something I pray that we all keep in mind.
- If your brother is bothered by what you eat then don’t eat it (Romans 14:15, 20).
Whatever doesn’t proceed from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).
- Let us build up our neighbors and do those things that please him (Romans 15:2).
- Scripture is intended for instruction, to build up endurance and also for encouragement (Romans 15:4). I find the story of David to be particularly helpful as well as of course the story of Christ.
- Watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles to the Gospel and avoid them (Romans 16:17). It is by smooth talk and flattery that these divisive people attempt to deceive (Romans 16:18). I think it’s interesting Paul says “avoid” instead of confront here, perhaps he is advocating social separation as a means of countering their message.
- Thanks for reading and “[the] grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” (Romans 16:20 English Standard Version). To our Heavenly Father be glory eternally through his son, our Lord, Jesus the Christ. Amen. (Romans 16:27).