Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 13 part 2

Hello Neighbors!

While it was strange to be at home in bed, I was comforted knowing that you all were out loving your neighbors and loving each other.

If you wondered where we might find ourselves this morning? You probably guessed it, we’re in Romans, amen?

My big idea today is that is the foundation of our Faith is love: God’s love in creation, Christ’s love that he died for us, and the love of Christ shared through us to others. My prayer today is that by hearing this message, together, we would find great new ways to demonstrate the love of Jesus throughout our days. If you have your Bibles today you can join me as we turn to, you guessed it Romans Chapter 13 starting at verse 8.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13:8-10

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections or points. Let’s take a look at my first point. As a disciple of Christ…

Loving Our Neighbor Is A Debt We Owe.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8

Paul uses the concept of a debt from verse 7, but then uses it to bring us back to love. Yes, it’s true that believers should not be in debt to anyone, because…Love is the debt. And Christ is our debtor.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 

Matthew 6:24

If we are beholden to another debtor, we are limited in our ability to follow Christ. If we have obligated ourselves to another master, then Christ is not our master.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

1 Timothy 6:10

Having money is not the issue. Recognizing that money keeps food on the table is not the issue. God uses monetary resources to bless and further all kinds of ministry. But when we love money, we begin to edge Christ of His throne in our lives. Work and the other avenues in which we get paid become the master. They occupy our attention and our focus in life and divert us from the narrow path. And we move into apostasy. So, as Christ is removed as our master/debtor, the debt we owe is no longer love but a bill that enslaves us. But if we live in humility/within our means and Christ is our master, our debt is not a bill but, rather our debt is love. Love that is always being replenished by God.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

Through our faith, God deposits love in our account daily. So that we always have enough to share.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Jesus talked about money more than any other human issue because He understood that it was a natural trap that all of humanity would face. Paul used this connection between financial debt and spiritual indebtedness to loving our neighbors, because this is an everyday example that would reveal a person’s true master. Then we would be forced to examine our hearts and determine a corrective action.

We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:19

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

 Loving Our Neighbor Is A Debt We Owe.

I’ll move on to my last point.

Love Fulfills The Law.

The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13:9-10

At this point in history, Paul and the entire God-fearing world was trying to figure out how to answer one question. This is the meaning of life question. How do I get right with God/ fulfill the Law of God? Do you remember the Shema?

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Let’s compare O.T and N.T and then Moses and Jesus.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:36-40

Did you catch that? They are in perfect alignment!

The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13:9-10

Let’s take a moment and look at the commandments.

Exodus 20—The 10 Commandments

  1. No other gods
  2. No images/idols
  3. Don’t misuse God’s name
  4. Remember the Sabbath
  5. Honor your father and mother
  6. Don’t commit murder
  7. Don’t commit adultery
  8. Don’t steal
  9. Don’t lie
  10. Don’t covet

The first four deal with our relationship to God. If God is our master, then we will seek to serve Him and His love through us will fulfill the Law. If we are walking in the fulfillment of the Law will we need to focus on the remaining Commandments? Not really, because if we love God and He is our master than well will already be in accordance with him in our love for others. Which is really what the remaining 6 commandments are about anyway. The first 4—loving God. The remaining 6—loving people

The answer to that all-important question (meaning of life) is found in the Shema. It’s found in the words of Jesus in Matt.22—Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Love is the debt we owe. Love fulfills the Law

This isn’t just God’s way of forcing you to do something, this is about a reciprocal love that is eternally precious and personal between you and your creator. Think about the relationship dynamic in your most significant relationship. Likes, dislikes, needs, needs met, extra blessings, and special surprises just because you love them. And God’s love through our born again/transformed life is the fulfillment of the Law. We don’t do it our-selves or through our own will, but positioning our hearts in such a way that we allow God to continue His work through us, He does it, God does it all. And he sent His son Jesus who is fully and equally God to die for our sins so that we be right with God; here for the asking.

Would you open our hearts to Jesus today in such a way that you become open to His voice leading you and guiding you through the choices of life. About this lime I like to remind you of this…

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today?  God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life?  He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today

You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today.  There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me?  Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here.

Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26