11 For the grace(A) of God has appeared(B) that offers salvation to all people.(C) 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions,(D) and to live self-controlled,(E) upright and godly lives(F) in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing(G) of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,(H) 14 who gave himself for us(I) to redeem us from all wickedness(J) and to purify(K) for himself a people that are his very own,(L) eager to do what is good.(M)

15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Saved in Order to Do Good

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities,(N) to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,(O) to slander no one,(P) to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

At one time(Q) we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness(R) and love of God our Savior(S) appeared,(T) he saved us,(U) not because of righteous things we had done,(V) but because of his mercy.(W) He saved us through the washing(X) of rebirth and renewal(Y) by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us(Z) generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace,(AA) we might become heirs(AB) having the hope(AC) of eternal life.(AD) This is a trustworthy saying.(AE) And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.(AF) These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

But avoid(AG) foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels(AH) about the law,(AI) because these are unprofitable and useless.(AJ) 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.(AK) 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

Final Remarks

12 As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus(AL) to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there.(AM) 13 Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos(AN) on their way and see that they have everything they need. 14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good,(AO) in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.

15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.(AP)

Grace be with you all.(AQ)

Submission to Governing Authorities

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities,(A) for there is no authority except that which God has established.(B) The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted,(C) and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.(D) For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.(E) Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.(F)

This is also why you pay taxes,(G) for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes;(H) if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Love Fulfills the Law

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.(I) The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[a](J) and whatever other command there may be, are summed up(K) in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b](L) 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.(M)

The Day Is Near

11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come(N) for you to wake up from your slumber,(O) because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.(P) So let us put aside the deeds of darkness(Q) and put on the armor(R) of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness,(S) not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.(T) 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,(U) and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.[c](V)

Footnotes

  1. Romans 13:9 Exodus 20:13-15,17; Deut. 5:17-19,21
  2. Romans 13:9 Lev. 19:18
  3. Romans 13:14 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.

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