Obedience to the Governing Authorities
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except by God, and those that exist are put in place by God. 2So then, the one who resists authority resists the ordinance which is from God, and those who resist will receive condemnation on themselves. 3For rulers are not a cause of terror for a good deed, but for bad conduct. So do you want not to be afraid of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from it, 4for it is God’s servant to you for what is good. But if you do what is bad, be afraid, because it does not bear the sword to no purpose. For it is God’s servant, the one who avenges for punishment on the one who does what is bad. 5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities#Literally “they” are servants of God, busily engaged in this very thing. 7Pay to everyone what is owed: pay taxes to whom taxes are due; pay customs duties to whom customs duties are due; pay respect to whom respect is due; pay honor to whom honor is due.#Due to the very compressed style in this verse, many words must be supplied to make sense in English
Love Fulfills the Law
8Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another, for the one who loves someone else has fulfilled the law. 9For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,”#A quotation from Exod 20:13–15, 17; Deut 5:17–19, 21 and if there is any other commandment, are summed up in this statement: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”#A quotation from Lev 19:18 10Love does not commit evil against a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
11And do this because you#*Here “because” is supplied as a component of the participle (“know”) which is understood as causal know the time, that it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we believed. 12The night is far gone, and the day has drawn near. Therefore let us throw off#Some manuscripts have “let us lay aside” the deeds of darkness and put on the weapons of light. 13Let us live decently, as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and licentiousness, not in strife and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and do not make provision for the desires of the flesh.