Paraphrase of the Book of Romans
by E.H. Jack Sequeira
Chapter 13Duties 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 Gods [Acts 5:29]. For no
authority exists except by Gods 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 Gods 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.