Respect the government
1 Now I will talk about the government bosses. Remember that God put them there and gave them their jobs as bosses, so you have to do whatever they say. They make laws for everybody and they make sure we all follow those laws.
2 So if you don’t do the things that their law says, you aren’t doing the things that God wants, and he doesn’t like that. He will get those bosses to punish you.
3 People that do whatever is right don’t have to worry about those bosses. But people that do things that are wrong will get frightened of them. So if you do things that are right the bosses will say that you are good.
4 Those government bosses really work for God and their job is to make things good for you. But if you do things that are wrong, look out. You can be frightened of them. They will get you and punish you. God gave them this job to punish everybody that does bad and he helps them do it.
5 So you have to do whatever they say so that they don’t punish you. And you know it is the right thing to do.
6 You have to pay tax money to the government too, for the same reason. These government bosses work for God and they need that money to do their job.
7 So you have to give everybody whatever you owe to them. You have to pay taxes and pay the bills the government bosses send you. And you still have to respect these bosses.
8 If ever you borrow anything from anybody you have to give it back, so that you don’t owe anything to anybody. But you always owe each other this one thing – you have to love each other. If you love other people you keep God’s law.
9 God’s law says, “Love other people just as much as you love yourself.” You know there are lots of other laws too, like, “Don’t sleep with people that you are not married to, as if they are they are your wives or husbands,” and, “Don’t murder anybody,” and, “Don’t steal anything,” and, “Don’t think about getting something for yourself if it belongs to somebody else.” But if you really love other people you will not do any of these wrong things anyway. So this law, that says to love people, it says what all the other laws put together are saying.
10 If you really love people you will never do bad things to them, so you will be doing what God’s law says you have to do.
Wake up. Jesus will come back soon
11-12 And here is another thing to think about. You know what it is like these days. There is not much time left. Jesus will soon come back to save us from the bad things that are going on. He is closer now than he was at the time when we first believed in him. So we have to get busy. Its like the night will soon finish and daylight will soon come, and people will wake up from sleep and get ready to do things. Look, that time is nearly here. So we have to stop doing the bad things that people do in the dark. We have to do good things instead.
13 We have to do things that are right and good and honest, like people that like the daylight. We can’t go to wild grog parties and we can’t get drunk. We can’t sleep with anyone that is not our own wife or husband, as if we are married to them. We can’t do wrong things with our bodies. We can’t get into fights and arguments. We can’t be jealous of other people.
14 But instead, you have to be like our leader, Jesus Christ, so that whenever other people look at you they will really see him. And whenever that bad part of you inside you makes you want to do something bad, take no notice of it. Just don’t think about doing it.