2:13-17 A Christian conversation must be honest; which it cannot be, if there is not a just and careful discharge of all relative duties: the apostle here treats of these distinctly. Regard to those duties is the will of God, consequently, the Christian's duty, and the way to silence the base slanders of ignorant and foolish men. Christians must endeavour, in all relations, to behave aright, that they do not make their liberty a cloak or covering for any wickedness, or for the neglect of duty; but they must remember that they are servants of God.
17. Honour all men—according to whatever honor is due in each case. Equals have a respect due to them. Christ has dignified our humanity by assuming it; therefore we should not dishonor, but be considerate to and honor our common humanity, even in the very humblest. The first "honor" is in the Greek aorist imperative, implying, "In every case render promptly every man's due" [Alford]. The second is in the present tense, implying, Habitually and continually honor the king. Thus the first is the general precept; the three following are its three great divisions.
Love—present: Habitually love with the special and congenial affection that you ought to feel to brethren, besides the general love to all men.
Fear God … the king—The king is to be honored; but God alone, in the highest sense, feared.