v13 Obey all people who have authority in this world. Obey them, because that will make the *Lord happy. Obey the king, who rules everyone. v14 Also obey those officers of the government that the king has chosen to rule you. They *punish people who do wrong things. And they say good words about people who do right things. v15 God wants you to do what is right. Then you will stop silly people, who do not know anything, from saying bad things about you. v16 You are people who are free. But do not think, because of that, that you have the chance to do bad things. Do not think that God will excuse you for bad things. Instead, do those things that God’s servants should do. v17 Always do what is right and proper to all people. Love all those people who are like brothers and sisters to you. They are like your brothers and sisters because, like you, they believe Christ. Always remember how great and powerful God is. Always remember to obey the king.
v18 You servants must obey your masters. You must always remember that they are important. You must obey not only masters who are good and kind. You must obey also masters who are cruel and not fair. v19 Sometimes a person may have trouble and pain when he has done nothing wrong. But if that person really wants to obey God, he should continue to be patient and brave. That is a good thing and it will make God happy. v20 If you do something wrong, then people ought to *punish you. They might hit you. And you might be patient when they hit you. But that is no reason why anyone should say good things about you. But you may have trouble and pain because you have done good things. If you are patient during that trouble, then God will be happy about you. v21 God has chosen that you should be patient like this. Christ had trouble and pain on your behalf. And he is the person that you should copy. So you should do the same kind of things as Christ did. v22 The Bible says this:
‘He never did anything that was wrong.
He never said anything that was not true.’
v23 People said bad things about Christ, but he did not say bad things back to them. People did bad things to him and they caused him trouble and pain. But he never said that he would do bad things to them. Instead, Christ continued to believe that God would help him. God always decides only what is right and fair. v24 Christ himself took away all the wrong things that we have done. He took them in his own body to the cross. He did this so that we should not continue to do wrong things. So we can be like people who are dead to wrong things. We are dead to them because those things do not rule us any more. Instead, now we can do the right things that God wants us to do. People hurt Christ’s body, but, because of that, you have become well. v25 Before, you were like sheep that were going the wrong way. But now you have returned to Christ, your *Shepherd, who keeps all of you safe.