13 All of you must yield to the government rulers. No one rules unless God has given him the power to rule, and no one rules now without that power from God. 2 So those who are against the government are really against what God has commanded. And they will bring punishment on themselves. 3 Those who do right do not have to fear the rulers; only those who do wrong fear them. Do you want to be unafraid of the rulers? Then do what is right, and they will praise you. 4 The ruler is God’s servant to help you. But if you do wrong, then be afraid. He has the power to punish; he is God’s servant to punish those who do wrong. 5 So you must yield to the government, not only because you might be punished, but because you know it is right.
6 This is also why you pay taxes. Rulers are working for God and give their time to their work. 7 Pay everyone, then, what you owe. If you owe any kind of tax, pay it. Show respect and honor to them all.
8 Do not owe people anything, except always owe love to each other, because the person who loves others has obeyed all the law. 9 The law says, “You must not be guilty of adultery. You must not murder anyone. You must not steal. You must not want to take your neighbor’s things.”[a] All these commands and all others are really only one rule: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”[b]10 Love never hurts a neighbor, so loving is obeying all the law.
11 Do this because we live in an important time. It is now time for you to wake up from your sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The “night”[c] is almost finished, and the “day”[d] is almost here. So we should stop doing things that belong to darkness and take up the weapons used for fighting in the light. 13 Let us live in a right way, like people who belong to the day. We should not have wild parties or get drunk. There should be no sexual sins of any kind, no fighting or jealousy. 14 But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and forget about satisfying your sinful self.
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