For the authorities do not frighten people who are doing right, but they frighten those who do wrong. So do what they say, and you will get along well.
The authorities are sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for you will be punished. The authorities are established by God for that very purpose, to punish those who do wrong.
So you must obey the government for two reasons: to keep from being punished and to keep a clear conscience.
Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid so they can keep on doing the work God intended them to do.
Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and import duties, and give respect and honor to all to whom it is due.
Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God's law.
For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting -- and any other commandment -- are all summed up in this one commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself." a10
Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God's requirements.
Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So don't live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light.
We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behavior. Don't participate in wild parties and getting drunk, or in adultery and immoral living, or in fighting and jealousy.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)