Faithlife Sermons

A Debt of Love

Acts & the Pauline Epistles   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

For years our nation has been divided between political parties. Today, we are more divided than ever.
There were those who loved former President Obama, there were those how hated him.
There are those who love President Trump, and there are those who hate him.
Left or right, we are divided. In Paul’s day the authority over the known world was ruthless. There were many who, like today, questioned whether or not they had to obey the government of their day.
Perhaps that’s why Paul wrote the following.
Romans 13:1-
Romans 13:1–2 NIV84
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. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

Submit to Authorities

So Paul writes that we must submit to the governing authorities because they are established by God.
In fact, Paul goes farther by saying, “he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.”

Do Right No Fear

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right. . .”

Do Wrong Be Afraid

“but for those who do wrong.”

Want to be Free From Fear

“Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.”

The Government is God’s Servant

Living In Debt

Romans 13:8-
Romans 13:8 NIV84
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
In our world today debt, for most people is considered “normal.” The problem with “debt” is that it causes us to become a slave (of sorts) to the lender.
In our world today debt, for most people is considered “normal.” The problem with “debt” is that it causes us to become a slave (of sorts) to the lender.
Paul wrote that the only debt we need to keep is the debt of love. The word used here for “love” is “agapao”.
Loving people fulfills the law.
Romans 13:9–10 NIV84
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.
Romans 13:9-10
Let me ask you a question. How do you measure up to these two verses? It seems to me that many of us often harm our neighbors---sometimes we don’t mean to, but without love we end up doing harm.
So how do we love people?
Romans 13:11–14 NIV84
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.

Understand the present time

Understanding the present time, means that we need to understand that Jesus is coming soon. We believe in the imminent return of Jesus! That means Jesus could return at any moment!

Wake UP!

Too many of us are slumbering. We get comfortable and we just ride along life, and we begin to think that it lasts forever.
Paul tells us WAKE UP. Life is short. Not only is our time in this world short, but Jesus is coming back soon, so very soon!
If you’re like me you have heard this for years! But the truth is we are closer today to the return of Jesus than we were yesterday!

Put Aside the Deeds of Darkness

The deeds of darkness are “orgies”—partying too much, “drunkenness,” “sexual immorality”—promiscuity, “debauchery”—the absence of moral restraint, “dissension”—the love of strife, “jealousy.”

Put On the Armor of Light

Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. And stop trying to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Conclusion

The big problem for most of us is that we hold on to this life too much. We often think that this life is all there is. I know we think about heaven. I know we believe in heaven, but we live this life strongly attached to it.
We are here to point people to salvation! Because we point people to Jesus!
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