Summary: Loving others is so much under stood. The world walks over Christians, and we simply let them. Jesus didn’t, so neither should we. Note: This is a revised version of an earlier sermon aim at a larger congregation.
This sermon was delivered to Holy Trinity in Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 24th July 2016 (a Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).
Note: This is a revised version of an earlier sermon aim at a larger congregation.
“Please join me in my prayer.” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our strength, and our redeemer. Amen. (Ps. 19:14)
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet"; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, "Love your neighbour as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Romans. Verse 8 of Romans 13 reads, "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law". Have a guess what today's sermon is about, take one guess. That’s right it is about loving others; and there is so much we can say on the subject of love; and everyone here knows this subject well, so it is difficult to give you something new? So here is a wee anecdote to get us going.
We will start with a story from General Robert E. Lee whom after he retired became president of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia … and while he was president, a new student came past his office one day to ask for a copy of the school’s rules and regulations. Lee simply replied that the school had no such rules printed, but he said, “Our only rule is kindness”.
How great is that? Kindness is certainly something good to live by. If we all live a life of kindness to others what a different country this would be; and if all countries around the world would practice this kindness, what a wonderful world this would be!
This is typical of the rubbish the Jehovah Witness spout, yes this would be a different world …we all know that, but this would be impossible, because we have an adversary and he is making sure that we live in turmoil. That is his job, but … Jesus through the apostle Paul, shows us how to live in this world, with this adversary called Satan; as Jesus was the only man ever to conquer this world. How then does Jesus tell us to proceed, well verse 8 again reads, "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law"
The world is against us … yet Jesus is telling us to "love one another". I do not know about you, but the more I have tried to fulfil the law, the more I have failed … and to love one another, well as you know, that only lasts for a while; … we all know how easy it is to fall out with someone, … normally over something trivial.
Yet Luke 6:31 says “Do unto others as you would have them do to you”. Ok, we try, but the world twists this, and says, “Do it to others before they do it to you.” That’s the modern way … but it’s certainly not the way of Jesus.
Then we are told that all the laws of the Old Testament are summed up in verse 9, "‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law". So if you think about it, if Jesus is God, then Jesus is love, because God is love, and so Jesus as love fulfilled the law here on this earth as it was written … and … he wants us to do like wise. Quite simple really???
Verse 8 again, "Owe no one anything, except to love one another".
The one debt that we will never fully pay back is the debt of love to all mankind that Jesus made for us before we were born; the debt of salvation, and we will owe him this debt until the day we die. But to pay back this debt, we are required to love him in return, and keep his commandments. We are not however; … to keep his commandments in the chance that he may accept us … or maybe even love us in return; no, we are to keep his commandments because we love him, him who loved us first.