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Obey Your Government Rulers

13 1All of you must obey the government rulers. Every person who rules was given the power to rule by God. And all the people that rule now were given that power by God. 2So the person that is against the government is really against something God has commanded. People that are against the government cause themselves to be punished. 3People that do right don't have to fear the rulers. But those people that do wrong must fear the rulers. Do you want to be free from fearing the rulers? Then you should do right. If you do right, then the rulers will praise you. 4A ruler is God's servant to help you. But if you do wrong, then be afraid. The ruler has the power to punish, and he will use that power. He is God's servant to punish people that do wrong. 5So you must obey the government. You should obey because you might be punished if you don't obey. And you should also obey because you know that is the right thing to do. 6And this is why you pay taxes too. Those rulers are working for God and give all their time to the work of ruling. 7Give all people what you owe them. If you owe them any kind of tax, then pay it. Show respect to the people you should respect. And show honor to the people you should honor.

Loving Other People Is the Only Law

8Don't owe people anything. But you will always owe love to each other. The person that loves other people has obeyed all the law.* 9[Why do I say this?] Because the law says, "You must not do the sin of adultery,* you must not murder anyone, you must not steal anything, you must not want things that belong to other people."* All these commands and all other commands are really only one rule: "Love other people the same as you love yourself."* 10Love doesn't hurt other people. So loving is the same as obeying all the law. 11I say these things because you know that we live in an important time. Yes, it is now time for you to wake up from your sleep. Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The "night"* is almost finished. The "day"* is almost here. So we should stop doing things that belong to darkness (sin). We should prepare ourselves with the things that belong to light (good). 13Let us live in a right way, like people that belong to the day. We should not have wild and wasteful parties. We should not be drunk. We should not do sexual sins or sin in any way with our bodies. We should not cause arguments and trouble or be jealous. 14But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. Don't think about how to satisfy your sinful self and the bad things you want to do.

law God's law. It is represented in the law of Moses. adultery Breaking a marriage promise by sexual sin. "You must not ... people" Quote from Ex. 20:13-15, 17. "Love other people ... yourself" Quote from Lev. 19:18. night Used as a symbol of the sinful world we live in. day Used as a symbol of the good time that is coming.

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