Applying Love in the Real World
You are reading my open letter to Rome, part: [[]
Obey the rulers who have authority over you. God is the giver of authority, and he puts these rulers in their places of power to maintain order. People who oppose authorities are often opposing what God has done, and they will be punished. Right rulers are a threat to evil people, not to good people. There is no need to be afraid of such authority. Just do right, and they will praise you for it. After all, they are God's servants, and it is their duty to help you.
Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you'll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you're breaking the rules right and left, watch out. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That's why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it's the right way to live.
That's also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.
The Law = Love
Instead of running up debts, keep only the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the Law has been after all along. The Law—you know, those commands telling us not to sleep with another person's spouse, or take someone's life, or take what isn't yours, or be wanting what you don't have, or any other "don't" you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can't go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the Law, the sum total is love.
Shed those old vices and sinful habits
My friends, you should already know this: the time and the hour has come for you to wake up from your sleep. Salvation is closer to us now than when we first believed! The night is almost gone; the day is close at hand. With that in mind, let's walk honestly in His light, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, nor in quarreling and jealousy. It's time to break your old flesh-pleasing vices. Shed off those old ways of the night, and put on new clothes: the armor of light, our Master, Jesus the Messiah!