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. Chapter 13.

Obedience to Rulers

1 Every person must submit to the supreme authorities. There is no authority but by act of God, and the existing authorities are instituted by him; 2 consequently anyone who rebels against authority is resisting a divine institution, and those who so resist have themselves to thank for the punishment they will receive. 3 For government, a terror to crime, has no terrors for good behaviour. You wish to have no fear of the authorities? Then continue to do right and you will have their approval, 4 for they are God's agents working for your good. But if you are doing wrong, then you will have cause to fear them; it is not for nothing that they hold the power of the sword, for they are God's agents of punishment, for retribution on the offender. 5 That is why you are obliged to submit. It is an obligation imposed not merely by fear of retribution but by conscience. 6 That is also why you pay taxes. The authorities are in God's service and to these duties they devote their energies.

7 Discharge your obligations to all men; pay tax and toll, reverence and respect, to those to whom they are due.

Brotherly Love

8 Leave no claim outstanding against you, except that of mutual love. He who loves his neighbour has satisfied every claim of the law. 9 [ Ex.20.13-17. ] For the commandments, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet', and any other commandment there may be, are all summed up in the one rule, 10 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' Love cannot wrong a neighbour; therefore the whole law is summed up in love. [Or: the whole law is fulfilled by love.]

The Approach of the Day of Christ

11 In all this, remember how critical the moment is. It is time for you to wake out of sleep, for deliverance is nearer to us now than it was when first we believed. 12 It is far on in the night; day is near. Let us therefore throw off the deeds of darkness and put on our armour as soldiers of the light. 13 Let us behave with decency as befits the day: no revelling or drunkenness, no debauchery or vice, no quarrels or jealousies! 14 Let Christ Jesus himself be the armour that you wear; give no more thought to satisfying the bodily appetites.

<< | Romans: 13 | >>

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