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Chapter 13

1Everyone must obey the authorities that are over him, for no authority can exist without the permission of God; the existing authorities have been established by him, 2so that anyone who resists the authorities sets himself in opposition to what God has ordained, and those who oppose him will bring down judgment upon themselves. 3The man who does right has nothing to fear from the magistrates, as the wrongdoer has. If you want to have no fear of the authorities, do right, and they will commend you for it, 4for they are God’s agents to do you good. But if you do wrong you may well be afraid, for they do not carry swords for nothing. They are God’s servants, to execute his wrath upon wrongdoers. 5You must obey them, therefore, not only to escape God’s wrath, but as a matter of principle, 6just as you pay your taxes; they are God’s ministers, devoting themselves to this service. 7Pay them all what is due them—tribute to the man entitled to receive it, taxes to the man entitled to receive them, respect to the man entitled to it, and honor to the man entitled to it. 8Owe nobody anything—except the duty of mutual love, for whoever loves his fellow-men has fully satisfied the Law. 9For the commandments, “You must not commit adultery, You must not murder, You must not steal, You must not covet,” and any other commandments there are, are all summed up in one saying, “You must love your neighbor as you do yourself.” 10Love never wrongs a neighbor, and so love fully satisfies the Law.

11All this especially, because you know this critical time and that it is time for you to wake from your sleep, for our salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over; the day is at hand. So let us throw aside the deeds of darkness, and put on the armor of light. 13Let us live honorably, as in the light of day, not in carousing and drunkenness, or in immorality and indecency, or in quarreling and jealousy. 14But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about gratifying your physical cravings.

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