13 Every person should obey the government in power. No government would exist if it hadn’t been established by God. The governments which exist have been put in place by God. 2 Therefore, whoever resists the government opposes what God has established. Those who resist will bring punishment on themselves.
3 People who do what is right don’t have to be afraid of the government. But people who do what is wrong should be afraid of it. Would you like to live without being afraid of the government? Do what is right, and it will praise you. 4 The government is God’s servant working for your good.
But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid. The government has the right to carry out the death sentence. It is God’s servant, an avenger to execute God’s anger on anyone who does what is wrong. 5 Therefore, it is necessary for you to obey, not only because you’re afraid of God’s anger but also because of your own conscience.
6 That is also why you pay your taxes. People in the government are God’s servants while they do the work he has given them. 7 Pay everyone whatever you owe them. If you owe taxes, pay them. If you owe tolls, pay them. If you owe someone respect, respect that person. If you owe someone honor, honor that person.
Love One Another
8 Pay your debts as they come due. However, one debt you can never finish paying is the debt of love that you owe each other. The one who loves another person has fulfilled Moses’ Teachings. 9 The commandments, “Never commit adultery; never murder; never steal; never have wrong desires,” and every other commandment are summed up in this statement: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 10 Love never does anything that is harmful to a neighbor. Therefore, love fulfills Moses’ Teachings.
11 You know the times in which we are living. It’s time for you to wake up. Our salvation is nearer now than when we first became believers. 12 The night is almost over, and the day is near. So we should get rid of the things that belong to the dark and take up the weapons that belong to the light. 13 We should live decently, as people who live in the light of day. Wild parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, promiscuity, rivalry, and jealousy cannot be part of our lives. 14 Instead, live like the Lord Jesus Christ did, and forget about satisfying the desires of your corrupt nature.
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