Summary: Paul urged his audience to honor God with/in their giving. Believers are driven to honor God thru their giving. What drives a believer’s giving? Believers are driven by...
DRIVEN TO GIVE—Romans 13:7-14
As in many homes on New Year's Day, my wife & I faced the annual conflict of which was more important - the football games on television, or the dinner itself. To keep peace, I ate dinner with the rest of the family, & even lingered for some pleasant after-dinner conversation before retiring to the family room to turn on the game.
Several minutes later, my wife came downstairs & graciously even brought me a drink. She smiled, kissed me on the cheek & asked what the score was. I told her it was the end of the third quarter & that the score was still nothing to nothing.
"See?" she said, continuing to smile, "You didn't miss a thing."
We are entering a New Year...2012! & some of us are still missing the play-by-play! When we should rather ‘get in the game.’
Background per :1-6...
Paul has just described the Christian’s duty of subjection “to the governing authorities”(:1) He has stated that such authorities are “appointed by God.”(:1) Therefore anyone “resisting” such will incur judgment upon themselves from God(?)(:2). Such authorities are God’s ministers with the intent of accomplishing “good”(:3-4). In fact, said authorities are God’s ministers of mortal judgment(:3-4).
Thereby it is expedient for the believer to “be subject” to said authorities for 2 reasons, which are 1) Their authoritatively instituted “wrath” & 2) Our own “conscience’s sake”(:5).
A practical outworking of such obedience is the Christian’s obligation to pay taxes. Paying taxes rightly provides the income necessary for those who attend to godly governmental matters even if operated on a basis of secular belief(:6).
Paul urged his audience to honor God with/in their giving.
Believers are driven to honor God thru their giving.
What drives a believer’s giving?
3 drivers of Christ-honoring giving are...
1—Believers are driven by...
:7—“Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”
As exemplified in the previous verses(:1-6), there arises a general principle for spiritual application which follows in :8-14.
It is vital that the believer & church are obliged to give or deliver(“render”) everything that is “due” to others. This of course is to be applied in the broadest terms. Drawing from the practical surrender of “taxes”(property & income) & “customs”(import), which has just been discussed(:1-6), Paul then brings the underlying principle of paying taxes to other areas of one’s life, regarding the obligation to render both “fear” & “honor.” This is because the rendering of taxes is an interrelated obligation based on the principles of “fear” & “ honor” for authority.
In this transition from :1-6, Paul already is granting the Christian a vital & far-reaching principle for living rightly before God & man in a sin-sick world(:8-14).
“Render”—apodidwmi—V.—1) To deliver, to give away for one's own profit what is one's own, to sell; 2) To pay off, discharge what is due—2a) A debt, wages, tribute, taxes, produce due, 2b) Things promised under oath, 2c) Conjugal duty, 2d) To render account; 3) To give back, restore; 4) To requite, recompense in a good or a bad sense. Strong—To give away, i.e. Up, over, back, etc. (in various applications).
“Due”—ofeilh—N. f.—1) That which is owed; 2) A debt; 3) metaph. dues: specifically of Conjugal duty. Strong—Indebtedness, i.e. (concretely) A sum owed; figuratively, obligation, i.e. (conjugal) Duty. Used 2X.
“Taxes”—forov—N. m.—1) Tribute, esp. The annual tax levied upon houses, lands, & persons. Indicates a direct tax which was levied annually on houses, lands, & persons, & paid usually in produce. Strong—from ferw(to bear or carry); A load (as borne), i.e. (figuratively) A tax (properly, an individual assessment on persons or property; whereas telov is usually a general toll on goods or travel). Used 5X.
“Customs”—telov—1) End; 2) Toll, custom (i.e. indirect tax on goods). Telov is an indirect tax on merchandise, which was collected at piers, harbors, & gates of cities. It was similar to modern import duties. Strong—from a primary tellw(to set out for a definite point or goal); properly, The point aimed at as a limit, i.e. (by implication) The conclusion of an act or state (termination [literally, figuratively or indefinitely], Result [immediate, ultimate or prophetic], Purpose); specifically, An impost or levy (as paid).
“Fear”—fobov—1) Fear, dread, terror—1a) That which strikes terror; 2) Reverence for one's husband. Strong—Alarm or fright.
“Honor”—timh—1) A valuing by which the price is fixed; 2) Honor which belongs or is shown to one. Strong—A value, i.e. Money paid, or (concretely & collectively) Valuables; by analogy, Esteem (especially of the highest degree), or The dignity itself.
FEAR to whom FEAR:
2Cor. 7:1—“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh & spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”