Summary: What does the Bible say about debt? The Bible says you should never carry any more debt than you can successfully pay for. We live in such a materialistic culture it causes people to borrow money they can’t repay.
I’ll invite you to open your Bibles with me to Romans 13:8. I am preaching through the book of Romans, verse after verse after verse. As I’ve said before, because I preach through the Bible verse after verse, we are forced to confront passages of scripture and principles we might otherwise miss.
A lady told me recently she liked my preaching, but she said seriously, “It’s too bad that your wife has been married before.” I said, “What?” She said, “Well, your wife has been married before.” I said, “Well, that’s news to me. I didn’t know she had been married before. I said, “What are you talking about?” She said, “I heard you say one time from the pulpit that the person in the church you have more trouble with is your wife’s first husband.” I said, “That’s me.” I am my wife’s first husband. Sometimes I’m not too clear in the way I communicate myself.
I’m glad the Bible is always clear. You never mistake understanding it. The problem we have with the Bible sometimes is obeying it, but it’s so clear, it’s hard to miss the meaning of it. I want us to begin reading in chapter 13:8. Today we’re going to talk about pay your debts and pay the debt of love that you owe.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt of love to one another. For he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law. The commandments say: Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet, and whatever other commandment there may be, they’re all summed up in this one rule, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.
Now, this morning I want to talk to you about three areas of debt you need to pay. One of them we’re going to hit quickly, because we studied it last week. We’ll talk about the other two.
I. YOUR PUBLIC DEBT (6-7): PAY YOUR TAXES!
First of all, consider your public debt. The scripture says pay your taxes. We’re to submit to the government; good Christians pay their taxes. You don’t evade your taxes. In fact, verses 6 and 7 tell us why. “For the authorities are God’s servants.” In other words, we’re to pay our taxes. Now, sometimes when people get all upset about something, they say, “Well don’t make a federal case out of it.” If you don’t pay your taxes, they’re going to make a federal case out of it. It is a federal case and a spiritual case. The Bible instructs us to pay our taxes, which is like paying our public debt.
II. YOUR PRIVATE DEBT (8a): PAY YOUR BILLS!
You’re also to pay your private debt. Consider your private debt; to do that, you pay your bills. Look at Romans 13:8. The first half deals with our personal financial debts. Look at it again. “Let no debt remain outstanding.” The King James Version says, “Owe no man anything.”