Friday, April 25, 2008

Notes on Romans--Part Forty Four

Here is my translation of Romans 13--

Everyone must submit to the government for those in such positions have been placed there by God for all authority comes from God. So anyone who rebels against that authority is rebelling against what God has instituted and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will reward you.
The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

For these same reasons you should pay your taxes for government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and fees to those who collect them, encourage and give respect to those who are in authority.

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you take care of your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s commands for they state, “You must not cheat on your spouse. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not lust after material things.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Take care of your neighbor as you do yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

This is all the more important, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up! For our rescue is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of rescue will soon be here. So put away your dark actions like dirty clothes, and put on the white armor of upright living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or lusting and other immoral living, or in arguing and jealousy. Instead, surround yourself with the presence of our King Jesus, our teacher, savior and high priest and don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.