Paraphrase of the Book of Romans
by E.H. “Jack” Sequeira

Chapter 13

Duties to the State

1 While we Christians may not be of the world, we are still living in the world, and therefore must obey the state authorities; that is, as long as their dermands do not conflict with God’s [Acts 5:29]. For no authority exists except by God’s permission, including the present authorities. 2 Therefore, anyone resisting the government authorities is really opposing a divine institution, and must be prepared to face the penalties.

3 Law-abiding citizens have no need to fear the police, but the law-breakers do. So if you want to avoid anxiety every time you see a police officer, make sure you obey the laws of the state and you will have a clear conscience instead. 4 After all, police officers are God’s means of curbing crime and maintaining law and order in a sinful world. 5 For this reason you must obey the law officers of the state, not simply because you want to escape punishment, but because, as a Christian, you believe it is the right thing to do.

6 Likewise, as a child of God, you must be faithful taxpayers, since all government workers are also servants of God, even though some may not realize this. They are there to fulfill a divine purpose. 7 Be diligent, therefore, in regards to paying all your taxes and give respect to those who run the country.

Duties to One Another

8 Keep out of financial debt as far as possible, but always be in debt when it comes to loving another; for when you love another unselfishly, you are truly keeping the law. 9 For the last six commandments of the moral law, which deal with relationships with one another, such as “You must not commit adultery,” “You must not murder,” “You must not steal,” “You must not entertain an evil desire,” etc., can be summed up positively in this one command: “Love your neighbor unconditionally, just as you naturally love yourself unconditionally.” 10 True, unselfish, agape love never thinks of, or does wrong to another and, as our Lord pointed out, such love is the true fulfilling of the law [Matt. 22:35-40].

Witnessing the Spirit-Filled Life

11 These things I am counseling you to do must be put into practice all the more as you see the end approaching so that you will be found faithful and not asleep when Christ comes, which is much nearer than you think. 12 The night is nearly over and the day, which represents the second advent, is about to dawn. Let us therefore put away everything that contradicts the Christian lifestyle and let us live like true converted Christians. 13 Let the world see the transforming power of the gospel in you so that your behavior is totally different from that of the worldly people who spend much of their time in drinking, indulging in immoral sex, fighting, and jealousy. 14 What I am saying is, let Christ through His Spirit completely dominate your life so that you leave no room to gratify the sinful desires of your fallen nature.
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