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 what 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’re going against the people that God put there. And 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 that job to punish everybody that does bad things, and he helps them do it.
5 So you have to do what they say, so that they don’t punish you. And you know that it is the right thing to do, so you will not feel bad about it.
6 You have to pay tax money to the government too, for the same reason. Those 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 those 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 somebody that you are not married to, as if they are your wife or husband,” and, “Don’t murder anybody,” and, “Don’t steal anything,” and, “If something belongs to somebody else, don’t think about getting it for yourself.” But if you really love other people, you will not do any of those wrong things anyway. So that law that says to love people, it says what all the other laws say when you listen to them all together.
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 that Jesus will come back soon and save us from the bad things that are going on. There is not much time left. It is closer now than it was at the time when we first believed in him. It’s like it’s night time now, but Jesus will come back soon, so it is like the day-light will come soon. It’s like it’s time for us to wake up from sleep. We have to stop doing the bad things that people do in the dark. Instead, we have to do the good things that people do in the light.
13 We have to do things that are right and good and honest, like the things people do in the day-light. 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, it will be like they see him. And whenever that bad part inside you makes you want to do something bad, take no notice of it. Just don’t think about doing that bad thing.