Summary: This is the 23rd sermon in the series "The Cure". There are practical things that we must do in order to live like Jesus Christ.
Series: The Cure [#23]
WALKING IN A NEW LIFE
Today is a day of celebration. Anytime we get to have a baptism, it is a great day. Sometimes, we need to be reminded about what baptism symbolizes. As I put the person’s head in the water, it symbolizes that the old them is being buried and when I pull them out of the water, it symbolizes that they have been resurrected by Jesus into a new life. The last part of baptism sometimes gets forgotten. As the person walks out of the water, it symbolizes that they are going to walk in a new life. This morning I want us to look at the practical, everyday things we must do in order to walk like a child of God.
Romans 13:1 (NIV)
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
You walk like Jesus by…
1. Following the laws of the land.
This Scripture is plain, Christians need to follow the laws where they live.
There is at least 3 truths found here concerning following the laws of the land:
Submit to those in governing authority.
We are to not only show respect; but put ourselves under the submission of the government. You may not like the President; but you are still supposed to submit to his authority. How many of you know someone that is in authority over you; but is corrupt? Does that mean you don’t submit?
Now there are times when the government is doing the opposite of God’s Word and you have to choose which one you will follow. Although you are to submit to the governing authorities; if you have to choose whether you follow Jesus Christ or those authorities- Always choose Jesus.
Romans 13:2-5 (NIV)
“Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.”
Understand that there are consequences for breaking the law.
There is a penalty for breaking the law. You can ask God for forgiveness and He will forgive you; but you will still face the consequences. Now, this goes back to what I said earlier, there are times that you must choose to follow Christ instead of the government; but you will still face the consequences.
Romans 13:6-8 (NIV)
“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”
Pay your taxes.
This is pretty simple- Pay what you owe.
Romans 13:8-10 (NIV)
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 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." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
You walk like Jesus by…
2. Loving others like you love yourself.
Now this is easy to say; but what does it really mean?
You love others by…
Money has destroyed more friendships than any other thing. If you owe someone money, pay them.
You love others by…
Building them up.
When you encourage others and do right by them, they are built up. All of these commandments listed here can be followed by loving others as you love yourself.
Romans 13:11-14 (NIV)
“And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”