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Romans 13

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Obey and Share Love

Good morning, I hope you have enjoyed your week my friends.
We enjoyed and had a great Christmas dinner and I appreciate all that came out and enjoyed the meal.
It was a great time to be together as a church family, we had great food and fellowship, it was a special time.
Today we have the joy of baptising a new sister in Christ, I am very blessed to be a part of this, remembering when she was born and rejoicing in her new birth. Amen
Now, don’t forget to come to our Christmas eve service Saturday at 5pm. And we will be back here for Sunday morning worship at 10am Christmas morning.
This morning we come back to the Book of Romans and with it we will examine chapter 13.
When you look at that chapter there are two overarching themes in the text, it is obedience to those in authority and love is at the heart of the other
It is important to recognize that God has set this world and all in it. He has established every place and kingdom. He has raised each Kingdom up at certain times for His glory, for His purposes and at times some have fell as well.
In Paul’s day, Rome was in power, God has established, even allowed Daniel to prophesy that in the OT.
And with Rome being the occupying land, people had the duty to obey those in power over them. And honestly that didn’t set well for many, they didn’t like many things about Rome.
But what they needed to remember was this, God was in control.
So lets start with that thought as we open up the text my friends.
1. Submit to Authority....
So lets restate the obvious, as a child of God it is important to remember that God has established every kingdom and power. He has done this, I believe to accomplish His purposes in this world.
And if God has established these, then we should obey them, and I will place a caveat here, as long as it does not violate His word.
For instance: In the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar built a golden idol and called for everyone to bow down and worship. Those three Hebrew children, would not do so. Why? The commandments of God forbid that…
Could they be obedient in other areas, most certainly.
So there is the caveat, things similar to that....
So lets open our text today. Romans 13:1-4
Romans 13:1–4 ESV
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
So what is Paul saying here...
First, Paul says that Authority exists by God power and will.
So Paul tells us that every person should be subject to governing authorities. As such, Christians are like everyone else, and we should submit to governing authorities.
Now someone might ask why? Paul makes it clear that there is no authority except what God has appointed. Case in point......
Do you remember as Jesus stood before Pilate, Pilate told Jesus he had the power to set Him free or crucify Him, Yet Listen to Jesus response to him in the Gospel of John chapter 19, verse 11....
John 19:11 ESV
11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
Again, God alone is the source of all authority and He has appointed others to maintain the public good and direct the state of affairs. As such Paul says....
B. Disobedience Brings Judgment… Go back to verses 2-3..
Romans 13:2–3 ESV
2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
So if you resist, you are resisting God… God has ordained every person and every power. And Paul says if you resist those in power you could bring judgment upon yourself.
The Apostle Paul admonishes believers to do what is right, in doing so you receive the approval of the one in authority. Only those who do what is wrong should live in fear.
Paul emphasizes this in verse 4, Do what is right, for he is the one who carries out blessings and cursings, rewards and punishments…
Let me take you to the Old Testament, the children of Israel were in captivity in Babylon. They were disobedient, they broke the law of God, and God had them carried away into captivity. God raised up Babylon.
When it came time for the Babylon kingdom to end, God raised up Cryus, the Persian emperor and Darius the Medes Kingdom emperor, these two were co regents and God used them to carry out his will and and the proper time they released Israel and they were allowed to return to their homeland.
Listen to Isa 44:28 for context here.... Isa 44:28
Isaiah 44:28 ESV
28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose’; saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’ ”
So in all these examples we know that God has placed people and Kingdoms in power to accomplish His will, as such we should submit to them.
In doing all of this, we honor God...
Are you obedient to God and those he has placed into power? we must be as a good witness as long as it does not violate our Christian conscience.
Secondly today....
2. Love One Another...
This has been a constant theme in many of the issues Paul has taught the church over.... We should love one another.
This is still a portion of the greatest commandment. Lets look at verses 8 to 10
Romans 13:8–10 ESV
8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For 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: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
As we open this section, Paul tells the believers in Rome to only have one debt in life, a debt that can never be paid off, the debt “...to love one another...”
This act is an obligation that we are to extend to one another, and in doing so we obey the fulfill the entirety of the law.
So look at what he says.... Paul begins by reminding them of some of the commandments… Do not commit adultery, do not commit murder, do not steal and certainly do not covet.... see these and any other commandment are summed up in this phrase s“… You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Paul is reminding them of the greatest commandment… You remember the Ten Commandments… The first 4, These deal with our relationship before God.
1. You shall have no other gods before me, 2. do not make for yourself any idols, 3. Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,
4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy..
And the last 6, They deal with our relationship before mankind.
5. Honor your father and mother,
6. Do not commit Murder… 7. Do not commit adultery
8. Do not steal 9. Do not bear false witness 10. Do not covet..
So here Paul takes several of the last six and says if you love those around you, if you want to be able to treat your brothers and sisters the best, then you must love them.
And if you love them, if you truly love them you will do your best for them.
So.. our faith and practice is in truth the greatest commandment..
“....Love the Lord your God with all your mind, your heart, your soul and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.”
You want to be good, genuine, loving and caring friends, parents, co-workers.. then love them.
That is the one thing we are to practice and make our self indebted to others..
Man, if we could truly love one another and lay all the trash aside. ( The trash is racism, gossip, hatred, jealously and so forth…) if we could put all that aside and want the best in love for all those around us.
Friends, God would be glorified.
Do you love your neighbor enough to pray for them, to share with them, to go and tell them… so much comes by love.
Paul reminds us to love one another..
Now there is just one last thought, are you ready?
Paul reminds the believers there in Rome to Awake from their sleep.
3. Awake From Your Sleep....
Someone once said, the world lives a though human history were destined to continue for ever. But that is not the case, we know that God is control of history and we live currently in a “count down clock” if you will, time is moving toward its end.
We know this because God ‘s kingdom is moving closer and closer to its complete fulfillment.
We know that God brought about the creation of this world (Gen 1:1), and the Scriptures declare that in the fulness of time Christ came into the world,( Gal 4:4), and so with each passing day, God’s kingdom draws near.
What does that tell us, time is running out!
Lets look at Romans 13:11-14
Romans 13:11–14 ESV
11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Just as time is running out, Paul says the time has come for us, the church to awaken from their slumber.
So why is Paul calling them to act now?
A. First he says the time has come.... Salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed… My friends the Kingdom of God has drawn close to us. Jesus came into the world, became flesh, made like us in every way, was tempted, and did not sin that he might become the perfect sacrifice for sin, to redeem humanity from sin and death.
He died, was buried and rose again… with that salvation has come to all, and it is possible for all to be saved, the kingdom of God is at work drawing more and more every day.
And beside all this, with each day His return is closer than it was yesterday.
So wake up and act now....
B. Secondly, Since the night is nearly over and the day is about to down, referring again to the second coming of Christ. We must cast off the works of darkness.
It is critical that believers rid themselves of completely of darkness. Paul told the church at Ephesus 5:11 Eph 5:11
Ephesians 5:11 ESV
11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
So we must ask our self and ask God’s Holy Spirit to search us and reveal to us, is there any darkness in us? You’ve heard me say, what do we entertain in our lives, what do we give our approval to? Even an attitude of well its not bothering me, so I’m ok is darkenss
We must get the junk out of our lives…
Why? It will inhibit your spiritual growth and walk. Listen, will an infection keep you from healing? Certainly it will, so likewise darkness, dead things in you will keep you from growing in Christ.
Rome was famous for its sensuality, there were parties and orgies, Temples that made male and female prostitutes… So Paul is reminding those believers to make no provision for the flesh, do not gratify its desires.
Friends the same is true for us, We have to return to doing our best to live pure lives in front of a Holy God.
And once you rid your spiritual home of darkness, put on the armor of light Paul says..
C. Put on Armor of Light.... There must be a decisive action on our part. So Paul says in verse 14, put in the Lord Jesus.
What is Paul saying there, well with this phrase and put on the armor of light in verse 12 we can see when ending these lingering relationships with sin, we are called to live like Christ.
And the only way to do that is to put on the full armor of God. What is that? Eph 6:13-18, well let me share it with you, but we will look at the armor in more detail at a later date.
Ephesians 6:13–18 ESV
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
You need every piece of this in order to find victory, that you can stand in these evil days… Let me share verse 12 from Eph 6:12
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
We need the armor of light because this battle truly isn’t me and you against this group or that, the true enemy is the devil and his spiritual forces of evil that is warring in those heavenly places.
But it begins with salvation, getting rid of the old garments of sin and putting on His new garment of salvation.
And as you walk, we must do our best to be Christ like, act Christ like, love Christ like and walk Christ like and talk Christ like...
This is our action of obedience and love...
We do all this because the Lord is returning, time is running out and we must be ready and faithful when that comes to be.
Let me ask you this..
Are you ready for His return?
Are you living your best?
Are you sharing your best
Are you making the most of the new life he gave you, as Jesus came and then died for our sins/.
Pray
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