Sunday, November 28, 2010
Romans Chapter 13
- Submit to governing authorities. Who are these? Presidents, senators, congress, parliament, even dictators.... for this authority comes from God. They have been placed there by God.
- Now some of these authority figures we may questions why in the world God would put them there... but they are there nonetheless...
- Now... is there a time when we should disobey these authorities? God is still in charge. Governments should not force you to disobey God. (Daniel 3) God's laws override man's laws. And if you are obedient to God, He will bless you. And if it comes down to a life or death situation, I think I'd rather lose my life than die knowing I turned my back on the only one who can save me...
- So if you rebel against the authorities in place, then we are rebelling against God Himself.
- You don't fear the cops unless you're doing something wrong. So in order to not fear the authorities... you need to live in such a way that they have no reason to be angry with you.
- Without rules and regulations, people would live however they chose and in the end, chaos would reign. So God has made authority positions. These people are God's servants whether they know it or not.
- footnote- “Willingly or unwittingly, people in authority are God's servants. They are allowed their positions in order to do good. When authorities are unjust, however, upright people are afraid. When authorities are just, people who are doing right have nothing to fear. This provides our principal motivation to pray for our leaders. Praying f or those in authority over us will also mean that we will watch them closely. If we pray diligently for our leaders, we will be functioning as God's sentinels.”
- Submit to authority over you to avoid punishment and also to keep a clear conscience before God.
- Who are the authorities over you?
- How do you honor them?
- Have you ever caught yourself complaining about your boss? Or trying to brainstorm about how you would change things if you were in charge? (If you can't honor the authority in place over you, God's not going to raise you any higher. Be faithful in the small things first before you expect bigger responsibilities...)
- Matthew 28:18-20
- I Corinthians 4:3-5
- I Timothy 2:1-6
- I Peter 2:13-25, 3:1-7, 5:1-6
-Pay taxes. Government employees need paid too... This is still a type of authority over you. Still needs to be honored. (Be a good citizen...)
- Matthew 22:15-22, 17:24-27
- Owe nothing to anyone. Repay your debts. Keep a good reputation in this way.
- The only thing we should owe is love to one another.
- footnote- “Why is love for others called an obligation? We are permanently in debt to Christ for the lavish love he has poured out on us. The only way we can even begin to repay this debt is by fulfilling our obligation to love others in turn. Because Christ's love will always be infinitely greater than ours, we will always have the obligation to love our neighbors.”
- The commandments- the 10, (aside from the first few which pertain to loving God and serving God with all your heart, soul, and mind...) All these 10 can be summed up in one commandment. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others. Now the 10 if you look at them, most of them involve actions against another person. Stealing, adultery, murder, false testimony against a neighbor, coveting, honoring your parents... all involve someone outside yourself.
-footnote- “Christians must obey the law of love, which supersedes both religious and civil laws. How easy it is to excuse our indifference to others merely because we have no legal obligation to help them and even to justify harming them if our actions are technically legal. But Jesus does not leave loopholes in the laws of love. Whenever love demands it, we are to go beyond human legal requirements and imitate the God of love.”
- What is Love? What does it mean to love another?
- How should this love be expressed?
- Exodus 20:1-17
- James 2:8-13
- I Corinthians 13
- Matthew 5:43-48, 22:36-40
- Luke 6:27-36
- John 13:34-35, 15:9-17, 3:16-17
- I Peter 4:7-11
- I John 4:7-21
- Philippians 2:1-11
- Hebrews 13:1-6
- James 2:5-13
- Time is running out! It's time to be urgent! It's time to go do something! Time to reach out!
- footnote- “The “night” refers to the present evil time. The “day” refers to the time of Christ's return. Some people are surprised that Paul lists fighting and jealousy with te gross and obvious sins of drunkenness and immorality. Like Jesus in his sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7), Paul considers attitudes as important as actions. Just as hatred leads to murder, so jealousy leads to strife and lust to adultery. When Christ returns, He wants to find His people clean on the inside as well as on the outside.”
- So don't live a double life. God sees what you do in secret. He knows even your most secret thought. It's not enough to clean up the outside... you must also clean up the inside. (or rather... let God clean up the inside...)
- vs. 14 ends with “and don't let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” Guard your thoughts. Don't let your mind run away.
- Avoid situations that would lead to sin. Don't put yourself, either mentally, or physically in a place where you know you're in danger of falling.
- Galatians 5:16-26, 6:1-10
- I John 3:11-24
- Ephesians 4:20-32, 5:1-20
- Colossians 3:1-17
- Matthew 15:16-20, 12:31-37
- Revelation 2:18-29