Summary: As we are spiritually transformed by God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1-2) we will show the evidence. Romans 13:4-14 shows that we will imitate Christ in our Community.
IMITATE CHRIST IN YOUR COMMUNITY
I. A Universal Proclamation (vs. 8-10) – LOVE
A. An Ongoing Debt
1. Allow no ongoing, outstanding debts except love
2. If you have ever had a personal debt you know the first thing that enters your mind when you see that person is that you “owe” them.
3. Everyone we meet – we owe them love.
B. Christ’s Command
1. “He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (HCSB)
2. Who is my neighbor?
a. Greek literally says “others of a different kind”
b. Love for our neighbors is an obvious measure of where we stand with God. Our heart is close to His when we love what He loves – people.
3. It is a universal proclamation – Demonstrate love (agapao) to everyone!
II. An Urgent Declaration (vs. 11-12a)
A. Live with Understanding
1. ‘Knowing’ (understanding) the time (kairos) – meaning quality or kind of time
2. These are the ‘last days’ that culminate in ‘the day’ of Christ’s return at any moment.
3. “Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour.” 1 John 2:18 (HCSB)
B. Live with Expectation
1. “Awake out of sleep” – get busy loving people!
2. Where do you want Jesus to find you?
THAT LEADS TO
III. A Unique Instruction (vs. 12b-14)
A. Put OFF – “works of darkness”
1. “Revelry & drunkenness” – pursuit of pleasure over righteousness
2. “Lewdness & lust” – feeling no shame; prompting lust
a. apparel – modesty
b. Lust for things – unashamedly accumulating worldly goods
3. “Strife & envy”
a. Many believers act as if it is their holy duty to put others in their place.
b. Such behavior can never exist in a heart that truly loves a neighbor.
B. Put ON – “Lord Jesus Christ”
1. We put on clothes intending them to be a part of us all day; going where we go and doing what we do. They make us presentable to others. That is the purpose of clothes.
2. Put on Jesus when you get up in the morning. Intend that He go with you everywhere you go and act through you in everything you do.
3. He is Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.
*Cultivate a Sense of Debt – We owe everyone our love
*Enlarge our Definition of Neighbor – “Others of a different kind” – ALL PEOPLE
*Understand the Urgency of the Time – It’s later than its ever been!
*Put on Jesus Every Day!