‘…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.’ — Romans 13:9b–10
After eleven chapters of explaining God’s mercy and grace in salvation, Romans looks at how we live out our Christianity. Romans 12 seems to relate primarily to our behaviour among Christians. Romans 13 looks at our behaviour toward the outside world.
First, we notice the need to be in submission to civil authorities (v.1-7). This includes: acknowledging their authority comes from God, the need to not resist their authority, and the importance of giving them their proper tax, tribute, respect and honour.
Second, we notice the need to love our neighbours (v.8-10). If we love our neighbour as ourselves, it will cause us to fulfil all the commands of the law in how we treat them. We will not work any ill toward them.
Third, we are to live holy lives (v.11-14). We are to cast off the works of darkness and make no provision for the flesh because we have put on the Lord Jesus Christ and we know that He is going to return very soon.
As we observe these three areas, we will be in a much better position to share the gospel with the world around us. We will show forth Christ to our neighbours by our submission, our love, and our holiness. So often, we undermind our testimony by being rebellious, unloving, and unholy.