Summary: Message 42 in our exposition of Romans. This message explores Paul's command to love.

Chico Alliance Church

Pastor David Welch

“A Debt of Love”

Romans 13:8-10


Paul began this section of applications with an appeal to the marvelous mercy shown by God both to individuals and groups of people.

As a response to such mercy, Paul calls us to renew our thinking which is the basis for transformed living.

This whole section focuses on various aspects of life where we need to renew our thinking.

Regarding our dedication to God

? Think rightly about the mercy and majesty of God and respond by living a life fully dedicated to his service

By such a sacrifice we fully demonstrate the value, the satisfaction and the depth of God’s will and ways.

This is a well reasoned response of worship to such a majestic and merciful God.

? In light of his mercy we are to refuse conformity with this world’s ways of doing things and live transformed lives on the basis of renewed Biblical thinking.

Regarding our place in the body of Christ (3-10)

? We are not to think more highly or lowly about ourselves than we ought to think.

? God enables each one differently to function within His body.

? There is one body with many members who have differing functions all inseparably connected and responsible to one head Christ.

? With proper thinking we are to properly use our God-given gifts on behalf of the body energized and directed by the Holy Spirit.

? We are to show genuine love without hypocrisy.

It is a love that abhors evil and clings to good.

It is a love that continually accepts each other as devoted members of the family.

It is a love that seeks to outdo one another in showing honor and value.

Regarding our purpose in life 12:11

? We are to be diligent not lazy

? We are to boil over by the energy of the Holy Spirit

? We are to become slaves to God’s agenda

Regarding difficult times (12:12)

? Maintain an eternal focus and hope

? Never give up under tribulation

? Persist in prayer

Regarding saints in need (12:13)

? Share resources to meet needs

? Show hospitality to express acceptance

Regarding difficult people 14-21

? Speak well, not ill 12:14

? Identify with their circumstances

? Apply the same standard you use for yourself

? Don’t think yourself better but be willing to work with others.

? Don’t be a know it all.

? Never pay back evil for evil to anyone ever!

? Give thought to what is good for others.

? Live in peace by all means possible if at all possible.

? Never avenge yourself

o 1 - Let God do His thing to them.

o 2 - Let us do good things for them.

? Don’t be conquered by the evil but conquer the evil by doing the good

Regarding government (13:1-7)

? Remember that God establishes all governments

? Government serves God’s purposes

o Reinforce and reward the good work by praise

o Restrain the evil work by punishment

? We must submit to God’s authorities

o Pay

o Obey

o Pray

The next section (8-10) of Paul’s letter addresses proper thinking regarding our neighbor.

Each of the three verses contains the word neighbor. How are we to think and act properly concerning our neighbor? Dictionary defines a neighbor as one living or located near another. As in many issues, the Bible and Jesus elevate the concept of neighbor to loftier levels.

Luke ten recounts an encounter between Jesus and a slick lawyer.

One day a lawyer asked Jesus a most serious question.

Jesus responded with an equally thought provoking question back to the lawyer.

The lawyer answered well and Jesus urged Him to follow his own insight.

The lawyer then asked another question hoping to avoid the implications of his own answer.

Jesus responded with a well known story providing keen insight into God’s idea of a true neighbor.

Today I want to consider the conversation between Jesus and the lawyer.

Then I want to consider our current passage from Romans.

Finally I want to close by considering the story of the Good Samaritan and draw out four specific characteristics of a true neighbor.

First, the encounter.

Our current passage in Romans addresses this same question.

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10

Literally this passage says, “stop continually owing anything to anyone except to love.

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