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Christians Should Obey the Law

13 All of you must ·yield [obey; submit; be subject] to the government ·rulers [authorities]. [L Because; For] ·No one rules [L There is no authority] ·unless God has given him the power to rule [L except by/through God], and ·no one rules now without that power from God [L those that exist are appointed/established by God]. So those who ·are against the government [rebel/resist the authority] are really ·against [resisting; opposing] what God has ·commanded [ordained; instituted]. And they will bring ·punishment [judgment] on themselves. [L For] Those who do ·right [good] do not have to fear the rulers; only those who do ·wrong [evil] fear them. Do you want to be unafraid of the ·rulers [L authority]? Then do what is ·right [good], and they will ·praise [commend] you. The ruler is God’s servant ·to help you [for your good]. But if you do wrong, then be afraid. ·He has the power to punish [L For he does not bear the sword in vain]; he is God’s servant ·to punish [an avenger for (God’s) wrath to] those who do wrong. So you must ·yield [submit; be subject] to the government, not only because ·you might be punished [L of wrath], but because ·you know it is right [of (your) conscience].

This is also why you pay taxes. [L Because] Rulers are ·working for God [God’s servants/ministers] ·and give their time to [devoting themselves to] their work. Pay everyone what you owe them: taxes to those you owe taxes, ·fees [tolls] to those you owe ·fees [tolls], ·respect [reverence; fear] to those you owe ·respect [reverence; fear], and honor to those you owe honor.

Loving Others

Do not owe ·people [L anyone] anything, except always owe love to each other, because the person who loves others has ·obeyed all [fulfilled] the law. [L For] 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 [covet; Ex. 20:13–15, 17; Deut. 5:17–21].” All these commands and all others are really summed up in this one ·rule [command; word]: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself [Lev. 19:18].” 10 Love never ·hurts [does wrong/evil to] a neighbor, so loving is ·obeying all [fulfilling] the law.

11 Do this ·because you know the times in which we live [L knowing the time/season]. It is ·now [or already the] ·time [hour] for you to wake up from your sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night [C a metaphor for the present evil age] is ·almost finished [advancing], and the day [C the time of final judgment and reward] is ·almost here [near; or at hand]. So we should ·stop doing [put aside; cast off] ·things that belong to [L the deeds/works of] darkness and ·take up the weapons [or put on the armor] ·used for fighting in [or that belong to; L of] the light. 13 Let us ·live [walk] ·in a right way [properly; decently], 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 [L sexual immorality or debauchery/sensuality], no ·fighting [strife; quarrels] or jealousy. 14 But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and ·forget about satisfying [or give no opportunity to the desires of; or don’t think about ways to gratify] ·your sinful self [the sinful nature; T the flesh].

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