Summary: The Christian should always feel “Indebted To Love.” But why? Why should we always feel indebted to love? Let’s consider a couple things this morning. Why We Owe The Debt How We Pay The Debt
Indebted To Love
INTRO: Read Text
The very first phrase of our passage today is some pretty good advise, but really how many of us have done the opposite? “Let no debt remain outstanding.” I would venture to say that most of the people we have here today have some sort of financial debt. I’m pretty sure that there are several who have no financial debt, but if I were a betting man, I would bet that over 75 percent of us have financial debt.
Even if you don’t have financial debt did you know that you are lumped into the debt statistics when comes to the average debt in each American household? While lumping all debt in America with all household whether a household has debt or not, the average household credit card debt is $7,281.00.
I checked out the debt statistics this week and this is what I came up with.
ILLUS: American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics: 2014, by Tim Chen
Based on an analysis of Federal Reserve statistics and other government data, the average household owes $7,281 on their cards; looking only at indebted households, the average outstanding balance rises to $15,608.
In considering the debt that most people have in this country, credit cards, mortgages, and student loans here is a break down.
Current as of December 2014
U.S. household consumer debt profile:
• Average credit card debt: $15,608
• Average mortgage debt: $154,847
• Average student loan debt: $32,397
In total, American consumers owe:
• $11.71 trillion in debt
◦ An increase of 3.8% from last year
• $881.8 billion in credit card debt
• $8.13 trillion in mortgages
• $1,126.0 billion in student loans
◦ An increase of 9.6% from last year
Yet our Bible passage this morning says “Let no debt remain outstanding.” We don’t always listen to what the Word of God tells us do we?
Personally I would love to be out of debt, but I’m not. I would venture to say that that there isn’t anyone who really wants to be in debt, but we are. The good news about all of this is that God willing everyone one us can overcome our financial debt. Today our Scripture tells us about a debt, the continuing debt of love and that is the only debt that Paul says is to remain outstanding.
As we look at our text today we have to back up just a bit to the previous text. Paul has just told us that we are to pay what we owe. If we owe taxes pay taxes, if revenue then revenue, if respect then respect, if honor then honor.
He has told the Christians at Rome to not only pay what you owe to your fellow Christians (chapter 12), but to non-Christians as well. And as we come to the text today he proceeds to discuss our duty to our fellow man and he says but there is one debt that you can never pay and that is to love one another.
While Christians do owe financially for our houses, cars, possibly credit cards, student loan, or maybe hospital bills and so on, those are debts we can pay, the debt we can never pay is the continuing debt to love one another.
The Christian should always feel “Indebted To Love.” But why? Why should we always feel indebted to love? Let’s consider a couple things this morning.
Why We Owe The Debt
How We Pay The Debt
1. Why We Owe The Debt
Verse 8 says, Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
One thing we have to consider is to remember who Paul is talking to here. He is talking to many Jewish Christians and these Christian were slow to give up the Law. In Acts 21:20 and following we see that many of the Jews came to belief in Jesus Christ, but it continues and says that they are zealous for the Law. And as the passages continues Paul goes on the show these Jewish Christians that he himself is living in obedience to the Law so they will not harm him.
But Paul is telling the Christian at Rome to love one another and this is the fulfillment of the Law. And in hearing that it would give the Jewish Christians some comfort in knowing that keeping the command to love one another fulfills the Law.
And right after he brings up the Law, he also brings up the gospel,
The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Rom. 13:9