1Every 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. 2So anyone who opposes the authority is standing against what God has established. People who take this kind of stand will get punished. 3The 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. 4It 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. 5That 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. 6You should also pay taxes for the same reason, because the authorities are God’s assistants, concerned with this very thing. 7So 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.
8Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law. 9The commandments, “Don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t desire what others have,”#13.9 Exod 20:13-15, 17; Deut 5:17-19, 21 and any other commandments, are all summed up in one word: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”#13.9 Lev 19:18 10Love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is what fulfills the Law.
The day is near
11As 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. 12The 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. 13Let’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. 14Instead, dress yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t plan to indulge your selfish desires.