Summary: The return of Christ Jesus is nearer today that yesterday and we must live at peace loving God and our neighbor.
Romans 13: 8 – 14
Intro: In Bill Cosby’s book, "Time Flies" Cosby says that something happens to you when you turn 50 years old. When his father turned 50, Cosby says that for the first time he remembers noticing his father’s "love handles," those rolls of fat which develop around your waist sometime during middle age. Cosby attributes them to the force of gravity. He can remember seeing those "love handles" on his father, & promising himself that he would never develop such "love handles." However, in 1987 when Bill Cosby turned 50, suddenly his dad’s "love handles" transferred over to him, & became "hate handles" instead of "love handles."
I I’ve noticed other things happen to us as we age: teenagers become loud and obnoxious, the TV is hard to hear, people mumble a lot, you develop a magic button in your bottom that puts you to sleep the minute you sit in a chair for 5 minutes and you learn how to use the snooze button on your alarm clock.
A A Christian comedian, Mark Lowry jokingly suggests that people who have a hard time getting out of bed should name their bed, “The Word.” That way when someone calls and you are still in bed, you can say: “I can’t talk right now, I’m in the Word.”
B. VS. 11 – “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”
C We urgently need moral reflection at every level of church and society, on the meaning of the word “LOVE” and its application.
II There are 3 words in GK that express LOVE: agape, eros and philia. Each refers to a different type of love. That’s a sermon for another day.
A In English, we overuse the word LOVE. We love our spouse, love our church, or love chocolate cake. Mostly, we use the word to refer to emotion.
B In this text, Paul defines love as attitude, behavior, and the norm by which the Xian community takes account of its life.
C Paul speaks of behavior rather than feelings. Love as a change or transformation of the heart.
III Christians are not called to be subtle and secret about loving.
A For Paul and us, love should include the love of God and the love of neighbor. Our neighbor will know that we love them by the way we treat them.
B. Paul urges the church at Rome and us to start living in love immediately, now, today, in the present moment and every moment.
C Has an individual ever loaned you money? Every time you see that individual, you think to yourself, “I owe that person money.” These verses are telling us when and how to love.
Concl: When we interact with others we ought to think to ourselves: “you know, I owe that person something. I owe that person love, acceptance, compassion, peace, and love. The call to live in love, with our actions revealing that love, remains as urgent as ever because we anticipate the return of Christ and because we live in a world so full of darkness and brokenness. As we live in love we will also live at peace with others and our world.