St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans Chapter 13




Beloved Heavenly Father,

You have written the Law of Your Son on our hearts so that we
might be guided by the Holy Spirit in every aspect of our lives’in our
relationships within the faith community and within the greater civil community
in which we live and work.  We understand that we have an obligation to pray
that our civil leaders will be guided by the justice of Your moral law and that
we must support those moral decisions of our civil leadership, but we also
understand that when the Church rules that civil authorities stand opposed to
justice and to Your higher Law that we must oppose injustice with dignity,
integrity, and firmness of character.   Send Your Holy Spirit to guide us in our
study of St. Paul’s teaching on obedience to the Law of justice and love. We
pray in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


+ + +

Jesus to Pilate:
“You would have no power over me at all if it had not been given you from

“By me monarchs
rule and princes decree what is right; by me rulers govern, so do nobles, the
lawful authorities.” 

“Listen then,
kings, and understand; rulers of remotest lands, take warning; hear this, you
who govern great populations, taking pride in your hosts of subject nations! For
sovereignty is given to you by the Lord and power by the Most High, who will
himself probe your acts and scrutinize your intentions.”
Wisdom 6:1-3

“The Lord Jesus
Christ himself…is said to be the clothing of the saints.”

Origen, On First

Please read Romans 13:1-7:
The Christian’s Duty Toward the Civil Authority

1 Everyone is
to obey the governing authorities, because there is no authority except from God
and so whatever authorities exist have been appointed by God. 
2 So anyone who disobeys an authority is rebelling
against God’s ordinance; and rebels must expect to receive the condemnation they
3 Magistrates bring fear
not to those who do good, but to those who do evil.  So if you want to live with
no fear of authority, live honestly and you will have its approval;
4 it is there to serve God for you and for your
good.  But if you do what is wrong, then you may well be afraid; because it is
not for nothing that the symbol of authority is the sword: it is there to serve
God, too, as his avenger, to bring retribution to wrongdoers. 
5 You must be obedient, therefore, not only
because of this retribution, but also for conscience’s sake.
6 And this is why you should pay taxes, too,
because the authorities are all serving God as his agents, even while they are
busily occupied with that particular task. 
7 Pay to each one what is due to each: taxes to
the one to whom tax is due, tolls (literal = tribute) to the one to whom tolls
are due, respect to the one to whom respect is due, honor to the one to whom
honor is due.”


In this section of his letter Paul addresses the Christian’s
duty to set a good example as a citizen.  It is interesting that he discusses
the Christian’s place in Roman society apart from any religious considerations
based on faith or on Christ and yet every Christian, Jewish and Gentile, would
have been familiar with God’s pronouncements concerning civil authorities.  In
the Old Testament Book of Proverbs Yahweh declared: “By me monarchs rule and
princes decree what is right; by me rulers govern, so do nobles, the lawful
].  This was true in ancient times just as it is true today.  In
conformity with Scripture the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches in CCC#
1918, “There is
no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been
instituted by God.”


Question: How does Paul identify civil authorities in

Answer: As God’s servants’literally as God’s deacons
and ministers [see Inter-linear text].

Question: How many times in this passage does Paul
identify the civil authorities as God’s servants?

Answer: Three times according to the literal
translation: Romans 13:4 (xs
2), and 13:6:

  • ” of God for a servant (deacon) he is to you for the
  • “he bears of God for a servant (deacon)
  • “servants (ministers) for of God they are”


Those civil authorities who hold the responsibility for
maintaining civil order and for providing just laws only serve according to
God’s pleasure.  Therefore, St. Paul maintains, it is our responsibility as
Christians to support and respect the civil authority and the laws enacted
through them.  St. Thomas Aquinas commenting on Romans 13:1
wrote: “…natural generation is not the only grounds for calling a person
‘father.’  There are all kinds of reasons why some should be given this title,
and each of these kinds of fatherhood deserves corresponding respect.  […].
Kings and princes are called fathers because they should look after the welfare
of their people. Them also we honor with our obedience.  And we do so not only
out of fear but out of love; not only for reasons of human convenience but
because our conscience tells us to act in this way.  The reason for this is
based on the fact, as the Apostle says in this passage, that all authority comes
from God; therefore, one must give every one what is his due.”
On the two commandments of love and the ten commandments of the Law, IV


The Catechism teaches that authority is exercised
legitimately only when it seeks the common good of society and when it employs
morally licit means of providing for that good.

Question: The Church teaches that “the common good” of
society is understood to be “the sum total of social conditions which allow
people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more
fully and more easily”
CCC# 1906.  What are the
three essential elements necessary to promote the common good of society?  See
CCC # 1907-09.


  1. Respect for the person
  2. The social well-being and development of the group itself
  3. The stability, peace, and security of the group


Question: Why are civil laws necessary? How does Paul
define failure to obey the civil laws of society?  See Romans

Answer: Civil laws are necessary to prevent chaos, to
protect, and to promote the good of the community as a whole.  One who rebels
against the laws of society rebels against God.  Civil laws are in place “to
serve God and you and for your good.”

Question: What just punishment do law breakers
deserve?  See Romans

Answer: Whatever punishment is justified under the
civil law’even the death penalty [“the symbol of authority is the
]. See CCC# 2265-67.


Question: What two reasons does Paul give for
obedience to the civil law?  See Romans

Answer: Fear of retribution from the state and for the
sake of Christian conscience.  Notice that the obligation is not simply from
fear of punishment.  The Christian has a responsibility to act reasonably as
befits a representative of the One True God.  Mere outward behavior and
conformity is insufficient and unworthy of the higher calling of the Christian.
In the context of their Christine faith the Christian “conscience” convicts the
Christian of the divine will of God which supports their civil example.


Question: What example does Paul give under civil law
which Christians are obliged to be obedient?

Answer: Paying taxes.

Question: Can you think of three examples in the
Gospel where Scripture supports obedience in paying taxes?


  1. Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to
    register for the census that would be used to number the population for taxation
    [Luke 2:1-5].
  2. Jesus paid the yearly tax levied for the upkeep of the
    Temple in Jerusalem [Matthew
  3. Jesus’ teaching to the Pharisees that one should “pay
    Caesar what belongs to Caesar’and God what belongs to God “
    ; also see Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26; 23:2]


Question: For what reason does Jesus tell His
disciples they should pay the required tax in Matthew

Answer: To be a good example of upright behavior and
not to contribute to the downfall of others.  Has it occurred to you that you
preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ through your Christian way of living?  St.
Francis of Assisi was fond of telling his brother’s “preach the Gospel always
and when absolutely necessary use words.”
These are words every Christian
should live by example.


We have been discussing laws that are imposed by the civil
authority that are not in opposition to God’s divine Law even when those
laws may be inconvenient or not completely just, however…

Question: Under what circumstances would civil law not
be binding upon the conscience or actions of Christians?  See CCC# 1902-03 and Matthew

Answer: When civil laws stand in direct opposition to
the Law of God such laws are no longer binding upon the Christian.  The
Christian then answers to the higher moral authority of God just as the civil
authority is answerable to God for laws which they impose upon society which are
in opposition to God’s divine Law.


In Jesus’ exchange with the Pharisees in Matthew
He asked them to show Him the coin with which one paid the Roman
tax.  In the use of the coinage of a country one acknowledges the sovereignty
and accepts the benefits of the government the money symbolizes.  The coin bore
the image of Caesar and Jesus told them to pay Caesar, the image on the coin,
what belonged to him’“pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar..”.  However,
Jesus continued the teaching when He said‘”and God what belongs to God.”

Question: Although the coin may belong to Caesar
because it bears his image, in whose image was Caesar made and to whom
does Caesar belong?  See Genesis 1:27
& 5:1.

Answer: According to Genesis 1:27
and 5:1
Caesar was created in the image of God and therefore Caesar belongs to and is
accountable to God. It is the duty of every citizen to pay to the government
what is accounted as due and to give that government allegiance and obedience so
long as this does not encroach upon what is owed to God as supreme sovereign.
However, one must not forget that God reigns as supreme sovereign over the
leaders of every nation.


Are Christians obliged to obey civil laws that are
contrary to the Law of God?

Those who are critical of Christian civil disobedience
exercised in opposition to abortion and other “right to life” movements use Romans 13:1-8
to condemn Christian activism, for example, demonstrations at abortion clinics.
Where should the Christian stand on such issues’are they to stand by silently as
the courts of the land have approved laws that are contrary to God’s Law and
therefore morally reprehensible, or are Christians to actively resist such


Please read Proverbs
; Wisdom 6:1-11;
and the Gospel of John 19:10-11.

Question: Ultimately, from whom do civil authorities
receive their authority?

Answer: From God

Question: To whom are unjust rulers and judges
answerable and how will they be judged?

Answer: They receive their positions of power because
God has allowed them to be placed in those positions of civil authority, and
they are answerable to Him.  He will judge them according to the just exercise
of the power He has given them.

Question: How do these passages impact upon the
Catholic civil representatives who deny responsibility to obey the teachings of
the Church in matters of civil law when those teachings conflict with the wishes
of the civil population he represents?   What about Catholics who vote for such
representatives?  See CCC#1868-69.

Answer: The Catechism teaches that we have a
responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them by
participating directly or by approving of them.  When a Christian votes
for a candidate who has announced that he or she supports a law that is contrary
to the teaching of the Church that Christian is cooperating in the action of
committing that sin and will be held accountable by God.


Paul wrote in Romans 1:18,
“The retribution of God from heaven is being revealed against the ungodliness
and injustice of human beings who in their injustice hold back the truth.”
Paul continues this passage with a list of sins and perversions that are
contrary to God’s law and ends in verse 31-32 with the warning, “They are
aware of God’s ordinance: that those who behave like this deserve to
die’yet they not only do it, but even applaud others who do the same.”
Paul might have added, not only do they applaud them but sometimes they even
vote them into public office!  Perhaps all civil authorities prior to running
for office should read the Wisdom chapter 6 passage to understand the peril they
face if they act without justice in exercising their duties to the community and
to the nation, and perhaps all voters would be well advised to read Romans
!  [Also see CCC# 1897-1903; 1913-23; 2238; 2273].


Some Biblical scholars suggest that Romans 13:1-7
was not part of Paul’s original letter but was added later by Church authorities
who wanted to promote Christian obedience to civil law.  However, there is an
historical connection to the time period in which Paul is writing which may
account for his concern that the Christian community of Rome obey the laws of
the Roman Empire.  In the late 50’s there was considerable unrest in the Roman
capital and indeed across the Empire, centered on the heavy taxes imposed by the
Roman Empire at home and in the 10 Roman provinces.  The unrest in Rome was such
a problem in 58AD that the Roman Emperor, Nero suggested to the Roman Senate
that while the regular established taxes should continue that all indirect taxes
should be abolished’a suggestion which the Senate rejected.  The Roman Senate
was, however, concerned enough about the civil unrest to legislate, at the
emperors insistence, reforms to curb tax abuses in the year 58AD.  “That same
year, repeated demands on the part of the people, who denounced the excessive
greed of the revenue collectors, made Nero doubt whether he should not order the
repeal of all indirect taxes, and so confer a most splendid boon on the human
race.  But this sudden impulse was checked by the senators… […]. Accordingly
the emperor issued an edict that the regulations about every branch of the
public revenue, which had hitherto been kept secret, should be published; that
claims which had been dropped should not be revived after a year; that the
praetor at Rome, the proprietor or proconsul in the provinces, should give
judicial precedence to all cases against the collectors; that the soldiers

should retain their immunities except when they traded for profit…[…].
However, the repeal of the two percent and two-and-a-half percent taxes remained
in force, as well as that of others bearing names invented by the collectors to
cover their illegal exactions.”
Tacitus, Annals 13


You will notice that in Romans 13:7
Paul specifically mentions the paying of taxes and tribute.  Writing in the
mid-winter early in the year 58AD Paul may have been concerned that if the
Christians joined in any demonstrations against the government over the issue of
excessive taxation that a sever response by the Roman authority against the
community could threaten its continued existence.  Then too, this part of Paul’s
letter may have been included to assure the leaders of the Roman faith community
that in his promised future visit Paul did not intend to cause discord by
inciting the community to disobedience against Roman rule.  The Roman
persecution of Christians had not yet begun but this Christian community, more
than any other Christian community, was profoundly aware of the importance of
operating within the bounds of Roman law and the necessity of recognizing
imperial authority.  It would be the question of unfair taxation that would
contribute to the Jewish Revolt against Rome 8 years later in 66AD and
ultimately to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70AD and the
literal end of the world for the Old Covenant people.


Please read Romans 13:8-14:
Christians as the Children of Light Living the Law of Love in the New

13 The only
thing you should owe to anyone is love for one another, for to love the other
person is to fulfill the law.
9 All
these: You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal,
You shall not covet, and all the other commandments that there are, are summed
up in this single phrase:  You must love your neighbor as yourself.
10 Love can cause no harm to your
neighbor, and so love is the fulfillment of the Law. 
11 Besides, you know the time has come; the moment
is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up, because by now our salvation is
nearer than when we first began to believe. 
12 The night is nearly over, daylight is one the
way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip
ourselves for the light. 
13 Let us
live decently, as in the light of day; with no orgies or drunkenness, no
promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. 
14 Let your armor be the Lord Jesus Christ, and
stop worrying about how your disordered natural inclinations may be


Again Paul returns to the subject of Christian love’it is the
core’the central requirement of Christian life and it is how Jesus commanded us
to behave towards one another: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Holiness is at the core life giving love flowing from the Trinity into the soul
of the believer’a holy love that is meant to flow outward from the soul of every
Christian to every person they meet so that the whole world will be transformed
by Christ’s life-giving love.  St. John wrote to the faithful of the Church in
1 John 4:7-8
“My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and
everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  Whoever fails to love does
not know God, because God is love.” 

Question: What advice does Paul offer on the subject
of debts owed?

Answer: He advises that we should not be in debt to
any man and that the only debt one should owe is a debt of love.  In Paul’s mind
to be in debt to someone makes you the “slave” of that other person to whom you
are indebted.


Question: In Romans 13:8
Paul says that to “love the other person is to fulfill the law.” And then
he will conclude this passage in 13:10 by
writing “Love can cause no harm to your neighbor, and so love is the
fulfillment of the Law.” 
What “law” is Paul referring to? Hint: see Leviticus
and Matthew

Answer:  Paul is referring to Jesus’ summation of the
entire Law of Moses when He said: “You must love the Lord your God with all
your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest
and the first commandment.  The second resembles it: You must love your neighbor
as yourself.  On these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets too”
].  Paul also expressed this summation of the Law in Galatians
: “After all, brothers, you were called to be free; do not use
your freedom as an opening for self-indulgence, but be servants to one another
in love, since the whole of the Law is summarized in the one commandment: You
must love your neighbor as yourself.”


Question: In the Galatians
passage and in Romans 13:8
Paul only refers to one commandment but in Matthew
Jesus summarizes the Law in two commandments.  Is there a

Answer: No.  In those passages Paul understands that
under the Law of the New Covenant one’s neighbor includes all members of the
human family and not just one’s ethnic kin group as under the Old Law of Moses
[see Leviticus
] because we have all become one human family in Christ, as Jesus
teaches in His discourse on the Last Judgment in Matthew
, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the
least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
  In Galatians
Paul affirms Jesus teaching on the brotherhood of Christ by saying,
“There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither slave nor freeman,
there can be neither male nor female’for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Therefore, in Romans 13:1
Paul only refers to one commandment since the second commandment of love of
neighbor includes the first from which it is empowered’which is love of God.


Question: Paul goes on to list 4 commandments that are
directly related to “love of neighbor” from the 10 Commandments [see Exodus
and Deuteronomy
].   What are they?


1.      You shall not commit

2.      You shall not kill

3.      You shall not steal

4.      You shall not covet

The number 4 in Scripture represents the earth and therefore
in quoting these 4 Paul is summarizing the total of the laws of conduct that
order our right relationship with our brothers and sisters in this life and he
makes this clear by quoting Jesus’ commandment to love that sum up all the other
commandments concerned with man’s relationship with man: “You must love your
neighbor as yourself.”


Question: How is “love the fulfillment of the Law”, as
Paul states in Romans

Answer: Through faith in the saving Gospel of Jesus
Christ, which is a gift of God’s grace, we are now enabled by the power of the
Holy Spirit through our baptism to live lives of self-sacrificial love’to love
as Christ loved us.  This love generated by the power of the Spirit enables us
to fulfill from our hearts the Law of Moses as promised by the 6th
century BC prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:31-33:
“Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall make a new Covenant
with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, but not like the covenant I
made with their ancestors the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of
Egypt, a covenant which they broke, even though I was their Master, Yahweh
declares. No, this is the covenant I shall make with the House of Israel when
those days have come, Yahweh declares.  Within them I shall plant my Law,
writing it on their hearts.
  Then I shall be their God and they will be my


Question: Paul identified love as one of the three
theological virtues and a gift of the Holy Spirit in his earlier letter to the
Church at Corinth [he is writing this letter to the Romans from Corinth in the
winter of 58AD].  How does Paul define genuine Christian love in 1
Corinthians 13:1-23
?  Please read that passage.


Returning to Romans
: 11 Besides, you
know the time has come; the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up,
because by now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe.
12 The night is nearly over, daylight
is one the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and
equip ourselves for the light.”

There is urgency in Paul’s writing in this passage!

Question: What does Paul mean when he says that we
should “stop sleeping and wake up” and “the time has come” and that “the moment
is here”?  How is it that “our salvation” is near?  See 1
Corinthians 3:10-15
; 2
Corinthians 6:1-2
; 1 Peter 2:24;
Corinthians 10:11.

Answer: St. Peter in his first great homily on
Pentecost Sunday identified this age of man as the Last Days or the Final
Age’the Messianic Era [Acts 2:17].  Paul
in 1
Corinthians 10:11
wrote that all the events recorded in the Old Testament
were written down for our benefit: “Now all these things happened to them by
way of example, and they were described in writing to be a lesson for us, to
whom it has fallen to live in the last days of the ages.” 
We are in the
interim period between the first Advent of Christ and His return’the Day of the
Lord’s Coming in Glory, also called by the prophets “the Day of Yahweh” [see Amos 5:18] and
prophesied by Jesus in Matthew
.  Paul calls this interim period between the first and second
Advent of Christ “the day of salvation” because it is the period of time allowed
for conversion and entrance into heaven.  Even though the duration of this
interim period is uncertain, in terms of the entire scope of human history it
must be viewed as a short period and we must all use this “time” that has been
given us and “the moment” of this period wisely because without warning the end
will come swiftly’either to each of us when our individual life’s journey ends
in physical death or with the awaited 2nd Advent and the return of
Christ the King.


12 The night is
nearly over, daylight is one the way; so let us throw off everything that
belongs to the darkness and equip ourselves for the light

Question: What do “night” & “darkness” and
“daylight” & “light” symbolize in this passage?  See Ephesians
; John
; 8:12-13.

Answer: Night and darkness represent the force Satan
exerts over man and the world while daylight and the light is the power of


The theme of light vs. darkness in the New Testament is most
often expressed 3 ways and “light” is both literal [Matthew 17:2]
and symbolic [Matthew

  1. Light as the sun: The sun is the light of the
    universe and lights man’s way as he goes about his life daily and yearly. In the
    same way what shows the way to God can be compared to the “light” that is the
    sun.  In the Old Testament the “light” that showed the way to God was the
    Covenant bond with the Patriarchs before Sinai and after Sinai the “light” was
    the Covenant expressed in the Law of Moses and in sacred Scripture’the Word,
    that lighted the way for man to find God [see Psalms
    ; Proverbs
    ; 6:23; Ecclesiastes
    ; Romans
    ].  But in the Age of the Messiah, that “light” which shows the way for
    man to find God is Jesus Christ [John 1:9; 8:12; 12:35; 1 John 2:8-11],
    the “light of the world”.


  1. Light as life: Life cannot exist without light and
    conversely the dark is symbolic of death.  In this imagery darkness represents
    all that is associated with death, suffering and enslavement while light
    symbolizes life, liberation and salvation’ especially the salvation and
    deliverance of the Messianic Age [see Job 30:26; Isaiah 4:22-23; 9:1; 45:7; Matthew 4:16;
    Luke 1:79].  In
    the Messianic Age this “light” of life is even available to the Gentile nations
    of the earth [
    ; Acts
    ] through Jesus Christ who is the true light of the world [John 1:9; Ephesians
    ]; and the Living Word of God [John 1:1-5]. 


  1. The contrast between good verses evil:  The battle is
    between Christ the good King and Satan and his forces of evil [Acts 26:18; 2
    Corinthians 6:14-15
    ; Colossians
    ; 1
    Peter 2:9
    .  Each man and woman has to choose which King or empire they chose
    to serve: the Kingdom of Christ or Satan’s kingdom of Darkness [1
    Thessalonians 5:4
    ff; 1 John 1:6-7; 2:9-10].
    Christians who serve Christ the King are “children of the light” while those who
    reject Christ and thereby chose Satan are “children of darkness” [John 12:36; Luke
    16:8; Ephesians 5:7-9; 1 Thessalonians 5:5].


In 2
Corinthians 4:4
St Paul writes of the light of the Gospel of the
glory of Christ.” 
It is Jesus who is the true “Light” for He is the one
emissary of God who is “Light”: God is light, and there is no
darkness in him at all”
[1 John 1:5] and in
the Gospel of Matthew 5:14
Jesus describes His disciples as the light of the world” because
His “light” shines in their lives’as St. Peter writes of Christians in 1 Peter 2:9
“But you are a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a people to be
a personal possession to sing the praises of God who called you out of the
darkness into his wonderful light.”
The coming of Christ is the
“wonderful light”‘He who is the “Light” of the world makes the distinction clear
between one person or another because His light shows the true nature of each
individual’there is no middle ground [John 3:19-21; 7:7; 9:39; 12:46; Ephesians
].  At the 2nd Advent the darkness will be overcome by the
light [John 1:5;
; 1 John
], “darkness” will disappear forever along with sin and death [Revelation
], and God will be the light of His servants: And night will be
abolished; they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will
be shining on them
. They will reign for ever and ever”


Romans 13:13:
13 Let us live decently, as in
the light of day; with no orgies or drunkenness, no promiscuity or
licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. 
14 Let your armor be the Lord Jesus Christ, and
stop worrying about how your disordered natural inclinations may be

How beautifully Paul urges the Christian to put off sin and
to put on Christ’wearing Him as our protection’clothed for battle against sin in
the armor of His grace.  Paul is calling every Christian to get ready for battle
and to bear arms in preparation for the reign of Christ, but the arms we are
called to bear are not burdensome because the arms we are called to bear are
those of the Light!  Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul’s Epistles: “Paul wants
everything the law forbids not to be desired, or if it is desired, to be
overcome.  […].  To put on Christ means to cut oneself off from every sin and
wickedness, so that at the wedding banquet one will not be found without a
new garment and be shamefully thrown out into the darkness

[Referencing Matthew


Question: How many sins does Paul list in Romans 13:13
and what is the significance of this number?

Answer: He lists 6 sins.  Both man and the beasts were
created on the 6th day. It was the 7th day and man entered
into “God’s rest”, thereby being separated from the animals.  It is sin that
identifies man with the beasts and separates him from God; therefore, 6 in
Scripture symbolizes man in rebellion against God.

Question: Can you think of some men in Scripture who
stood opposed to God who were identified by the number 6?  See 1 Samuel
; Daniel
; Revelation

Answer: Goliath was 6 cubits and a span tall;
Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar’s statue was 60 cubits high and 6 cubits wide;
and the number of the Beast from the sea is 666!


Paul admonishes Roman Christians to avoid sin just as he
wrote to the Christians of Ephesus in Ephesians
to turn away from sin and to persevere in holiness.  In that
letter he also used the same light and darkness imagery.  Please read that

Question: Why does Paul warn the Christians of Rome
and Ephesus and those of us reading his words in every century to be careful to
avoid falling into sin?  What danger do we face and why does he warn us in Ephesians
of the urgency to “make the best of the present time”?

Answer: We must be ready for Christ’s return by living
lives of holiness or, like the 5 foolish virgins of Jesus’ parable in Matthew
, we will not be ready for the “Return of the King” when Jesus
warned: “So stay awake, because you do not known either the day or the hour!”
And as St. Paul warns in 1
Thessalonians 4:15-17
: “We can tell you this from the Lord’s own
teaching, that we who are still alive for the Lord’s coming will not have any
advantage over those who have fallen asleep.  At the signal given by the voice
of the Archangel and with the trumpet of God, the Lord himself will come down
from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and only
after that shall we who remain alive be taken up in the clouds, together with
them, to meet the Lord in the air.  This is the way we shall be with the Lord
for ever.”

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