Romans Chapter 13 Continued
Romans 13:8 “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”
In our society today, the number one cause of divorce is debt. Easy credit has caused our young people to over-spend, and then they start blaming each other when they cannot meet their obligations. If we would all practice not owing anyone anything, it would take many of the day to day pressures off, and we could live more peaceful lives. It takes a little longer, but if we save to get something we really want, we will appreciate it more when we do get it.
This scripture is not a prohibition against borrowing money, but Paul is telling us that we need to pay the obligations when they become due.
We are commanded over and over to love each other by God throughout the Scriptures. God set the example of love when He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for us. God’s type of love we can only hope to have. Agape love asks nothing in return. It is the perfect love.
The love that we show is usually conditional. We usually love because of what someone has done for us, not in spite of what they have done to us. When Jesus was asked, what was the most important commandment that God had given us; He replied:
Mark 12:30-31 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.” “And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
Romans 13:9 “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
All of the above mentioned sins are against our fellow man. If we love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we will not commit these sins.
To demonstrate that love fulfills the law, Paul cites four of the 10 commandments that deal with human relations and ties them in with an overarching Old Testament command.
If we truly love our neighbors, we will only do what is in his best interest.
Romans 13:10 “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.”
Love and charity are really the same thing in 1 Corinthians. Let us look at a Scripture that perfectly describes love. As you read it think love in your mind every time you see charity.
1 Corinthians 13:1-4 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” “And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” “And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” “Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,”
1 Corinthians 13:8 “Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.”
I believe we should repeat again “love is the fulfilling of the law”.
Simply put, if we treat others with the same care that we have for ourselves, we will not violate any of God’s laws regarding interpersonal relationships.
Romans 13:11 “And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
This isn’t speaking of a chronological time, but time as in a period or era. Each day we live, our salvation comes nearer. The sleep spoken of here is one of spiritual apathy or indifference or unresponsiveness to the things of God. Therefore, the salvation here is not speaking of our salvation, but our glorification at the time of our death.
When Jesus returns, we will be glorified and that time draws nearer with each passing day. The bible frequently uses the return of Jesus to motivate believers to holy living.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
We see from (verses 10 and 11), that in these two Scriptures, that whatever we plan to do for God we better get after it. Salvation is for today, because we are not assured of tomorrow. We are warned in Matthew.
Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 “But this I say, brethren, the time [is] short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;” “And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;” “And they that use this world, as not abusing [it]: for the fashion of this world passeth away.”
We must awake, because the coming of the Lord is near, and then the judgment.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”
1 Thessalonians 5:5-8″ Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” “Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober.” “For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.” “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.”
We can easily see that we must not put off salvation, it might be too late.
Romans 13:12 “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
To put on the armor of light means the protection that practical righteousness provides. Paul exhorts believers to repent of and forsake their sins.
In this Scripture and the one above in Thessalonians, we see that Christians are not in darkness, we are children of the Light.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
Jesus is the Light and if we are full of Him, then we are full of light, as well.
Romans 13:13 “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”
Walk honestly by living a life pleasing to God, manifesting in our outward behavior, the inner reality of a redeemed life. The carousing refers to wild parties, sexual orgies, brawls, riots, etc.
Wantonness has to do with all sorts of sins of the body. We can see in these Scriptures that, these sins that are going on are the same sins that brought destruction to the earth in Noah’s time and also in Lot’s time.
Luke 17:27-28 “They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.” “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;”
Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].”
Here with this verse we see what summarizes sanctification, the continuing spiritual process in which those who have been saved by faith are transformed into His image and likeness.
The image given here by Paul to us describes the process which is like taking off and putting on clothes which is symbolic of thoughts and behavior.
The phrase “not provision” has the basic meaning of planning ahead or forethought. Most sinful behavior results from wrong ideas and lustful desire we allow to linger in our minds.
Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would”.
In all these lessons, I have explained that we are a spirit that dwells in a body of flesh. The soul of man is either controlled by the desires of the flesh [which is sin], or we are controlled by the spirit which desires to do God’s will.
Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
We cannot overcome the flesh ourselves, but the Spirit of Christ within us can overcome the flesh. You see, we have no power of our own. It is the power of Christ that overcomes.
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Romans Chapter 13 Continued Questions
1. Owe no man__________.
2. Who has fulfilled the law in verse 8?
3. What is the number 1 cause of divorce in America today?
4. When did God set the example for love?
5. When they asked Jesus which were the most important commandments what did He answer?
6. Name the thou shalt nots in verse 9.
7. How are we to love our neighbor?
8. In verse 10, what is the fulfilling of the law?
9. What 2 words are the same thing in 1 Corinthians?
10. What chapter of Corinthians is the love chapter?
11. Why is it time for us to wake out of sleep?
12. In Ecclesiastes 9:10 it says what is not in the grave?
13. In Matthew 24:42, we are told to watch, why?
14. In 1 Thessalonians 5:1, what 2 things do we have no need to know?
15. The day of the Lord comes as a ________ in the _______.
16. When they shall say peace and safety; then comes sudden ___________.
17. Put on the breastplate of what?
18. In Romans 13:12 we are told to put on the armor of _______.
19. Christians are not of darkness, but _______.
20. What does chambering mean?
21. What is wantonness?
22. What was going on just before the flood in Noah’s time?
23. What was going on in Lot’s day?
24. What are we told to do in Romans 13:14?
25. If we live after the flesh, how will we die?
26. Our soul is either controlled by the _______ or the _______.