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Romans 13-15 Common English Bible (CEB)

13 Every person should place themselves under the authority of the government. There isn’t any authority unless it comes from God, and the authorities that are there have been put in place by God. So anyone who opposes the authority is standing against what God has established. People who take this kind of stand will get punished. The authorities don’t frighten people who are doing the right thing. Rather, they frighten people who are doing wrong. Would you rather not be afraid of authority? Do what’s right, and you will receive its approval. It is God’s servant given for your benefit. But if you do what’s wrong, be afraid because it doesn’t have weapons to enforce the law for nothing. It is God’s servant put in place to carry out his punishment on those who do what is wrong. That is why it is necessary to place yourself under the government’s authority, not only to avoid God’s punishment but also for the sake of your conscience. You should also pay taxes for the same reason, because the authorities are God’s assistants, concerned with this very thing. So pay everyone what you owe them. Pay the taxes you owe, pay the duties you are charged, give respect to those you should respect, and honor those you should honor.

Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law. The commandments, Don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t desire what others have,[a] and any other commandments, are all summed up in one word: You must love your neighbor as yourself.[b] 10 Love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is what fulfills the Law.

The day is near

11 As you do all this, you know what time it is. The hour has already come for you to wake up from your sleep. Now our salvation is nearer than when we first had faith. 12 The night is almost over, and the day is near. So let’s get rid of the actions that belong to the darkness and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let’s behave appropriately as people who live in the day, not in partying and getting drunk, not in sleeping around and obscene behavior, not in fighting and obsession. 14 Instead, dress yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t plan to indulge your selfish desires.

Welcoming each other like Christ

14 Welcome the person who is weak in faith—but not in order to argue about differences of opinion. One person believes in eating everything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Those who eat must not look down on the ones who don’t, and the ones who don’t eat must not judge the ones who do, because God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servants? They stand or fall before their own Lord (and they will stand, because the Lord has the power to make them stand). One person considers some days to be more sacred than others, while another person considers all days to be the same. Each person must have their own convictions. Someone who thinks that a day is sacred, thinks that way for the Lord. Those who eat, eat for the Lord, because they thank God. And those who don’t eat, don’t eat for the Lord, and they thank the Lord too. We don’t live for ourselves and we don’t die for ourselves. If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to God. This is why Christ died and lived: so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you look down on your brother or sister? We all will stand in front of the judgment seat of God. 11 Because it is written,

As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me,
    and every tongue will give praise to God.[c]

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

13 So stop judging each other. Instead, this is what you should decide: never put a stumbling block or obstacle in the way of your brother or sister. 14 I know and I’m convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is wrong to eat in itself. But if someone thinks something is wrong to eat, it becomes wrong for that person. 15 If your brother or sister is upset by your food, you are no longer walking in love. Don’t let your food destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 And don’t let something you consider to be good be criticized as wrong. 17 God’s kingdom isn’t about eating food and drinking but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever serves Christ this way pleases God and gets human approval.

19 So let’s strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up. 20 Don’t destroy what God has done because of food. All food is acceptable, but it’s a bad thing if it trips someone else. 21 It’s a good thing not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that trips your brother or sister. 22 Keep the belief that you have to yourself—it’s between you and God. People are blessed who don’t convict themselves by the things they approve. 23 But those who have doubts are convicted if they go ahead and eat, because they aren’t acting on the basis of faith. Everything that isn’t based on faith is sin.

15 We who are powerful need to be patient with the weakness of those who don’t have power, and not please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good in order to build them up. Christ didn’t please himself, but, as it is written, The insults of those who insulted you fell on me.[d] Whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction so that we could have hope through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures. May the God of endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude toward each other, similar to Christ Jesus’ attitude. That way you can glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ together with one voice.

So welcome each other, in the same way that Christ also welcomed you, for God’s glory. I’m saying that Christ became a servant of those who are circumcised for the sake of God’s truth, in order to confirm the promises given to the ancestors, and so that the Gentiles could glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

Because of this I will confess you among the Gentiles,
    and I will sing praises to your name.[e]

10 And again, it says,

Rejoice, Gentiles, with his people.[f]

11 And again,

Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
    and all the people should sing his praises.[g]

12 And again, Isaiah says,

There will be a root of Jesse,
    who will also rise to rule the Gentiles.
        The Gentiles will place their hope in him.[h]

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles

14 My brothers and sisters, I myself am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and are able to teach each other. 15 But I’ve written to you in a sort of daring way, partly to remind you of what you already know. I’m writing to you in this way because of the grace that was given to me by God. 16 It helps me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I’m working as a priest of God’s gospel so that the offering of the Gentiles can be acceptable and made holy by the Holy Spirit. 17 So in Christ Jesus I brag about things that have to do with God. 18 I don’t dare speak about anything except what Christ has done through me to bring about the obedience of the Gentiles. He did it by what I’ve said and what I’ve done, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, and by the power of God’s Spirit. So I’ve completed the circuit of preaching Christ’s gospel from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum. 20 In this way, I have a goal to preach the gospel where they haven’t heard of Christ yet, so that I won’t be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Instead, as it’s written, Those who hadn’t been told about him will see, and those who hadn’t heard will understand.[i]

Travel plans to visit Rome

22 That’s why I’ve been stopped so many times from coming to see you. 23 But now, since I don’t have any place to work in these regions anymore, and since I’ve wanted to come to see you for many years, 24 I’ll visit you when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while I’m passing through. And I hope you will send me on my way there, after I have first been reenergized by some time in your company.

25 But now I’m going to Jerusalem, to serve God’s people. 26 Macedonia and Achaia have been happy to make a contribution for the poor among God’s people in Jerusalem. 27 They were happy to do this, and they are actually in debt to God’s people in Jerusalem. If the Gentiles got a share of the Jewish people’s spiritual resources, they ought to minister to them with material resources. 28 So then after I have finished this job and have safely delivered the final amount of the Gentiles’ offering to them, I will leave for Spain, visiting you on the way. 29 And I know that when I come to you I will come with the fullest blessing of Christ.

30 Brothers and sisters, I urge you, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggles in your prayers to God for me. 31 Pray that I will be rescued from the people in Judea who don’t believe. Also, pray that my service for Jerusalem will be acceptable to God’s people there 32 so that I can come to you with joy by God’s will and be reenergized with your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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