A Christian’s Duties to the State

1 Everyone must submit to the governing authorities,(A) for there is no authority except from God,(B) and those that exist are instituted by God. 2 So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror(C) to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. 4 For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger(D) that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. 5 Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience.(E) 6 And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks.(a) 7 Pay your obligations(F) to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes,(G) tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect,(H) and honor to those you owe honor.

Love, Our Primary Duty

8 Do not owe anyone anything,(b) except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.(I) 9 The commandments:

Do not commit adultery;
do not murder;
do not steal;(c)
do not covet;(J)(d)

and whatever other commandment—all are summed up by this: Love your neighbor as yourself.(K)(e)
10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.

Put On Christ

11 Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour(L) for you(f) to wake up from sleep,(M) for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.(N) 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near,(O) so let us discard the deeds of darkness(P) and put on the armor of light.(Q) 13 Let us walk with decency,(R) as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness;(S) not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,(T) and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.(U)


a. Romans 13:6: Lit to this very thing
b. Romans 13:8: Or Leave no debt outstanding to anyone
c. Romans 13:9: Other mss add you shall not bear false witness
f. Romans 13:11: Other mss read for us

Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.