SGA Romans Lesson 36

Lesson 36
Romans 13:8-14

(Vs. 8) "Owe no man anything." This verse has been used to discourage buying on credit or borrowing money, but this is not the application at all. Most people could never own a home, car, or continue in business if borrowing money was forbidden in Scripture. The verse left in the context continues the instructions to make good on all obligations, whether of a civil or natural duty. Obedience, respect, honor, and service are debts which are to be paid. Parents are due respect and obedience. Husbands and fathers are due submission. Leaders are due honor and support. These duties are to be fulfilled.

"Love one another." This is the answer to all of the above. He who truly loves God and others will fulfill what God requires of him (Matt. 22:35-40; Gal. 5:13-14).

(Vs. 9) The first table of the Law has respect to God. The second table, which is listed here, has to do with our neighbors. Our love for God will certainly lead us to worship Him, have no idols, nor take His name in vain; and if we love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we will put forth every effort to treat him as we would be treated. We certainly WILL NOT steal from him, covet his wife or property, lie on him, nor take his life.

(Vs. 10) The man who truly loves his neighbor will not willingly harm him, rather he will do all within his power to promote his neighbor's happiness. Therefore, the whole Law is comprehended or fulfilled in the word LOVE!

(Vs. 11) "Knowing the time." This is a special time; it is a critical hour. This is the day of salvation. This is the day of grace and mercy in Christ (II Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:12-14). While the gospel is preached, while we have our faculties, it is time to seek the Lord (Isa. 55:6; Prov. 1:24-28). The primary reference in this verse, though, is to believers who may have grown careless or indifferent in their responsibilities and their relationship to Christ and the church. It is time to awake out of indifference, carelessness, or divided attention and be about the Master's business! Final deliverance and our eternal rest is much nearer than when we first believed. Some of us will be called away from this earth in a very little while. Our relationship with Christ should be OUR MAIN CONCERN!

(Vs. 12) The present time of life is far spent for most of us (Psalm 90:12). It is called "the night" because this life on earth, at best, is filled with the works of darkness. Error, hate, sin, disease and death, war and poverty are the lot of those who walk this valley of death and darkness. Our glorious day of deliverance is near, and we need to give diligence to make our calling and election sure. Let us spend less time on the things of flesh and more time seeking the kingdom of God. Fling off those things that do not contribute to your spiritual well-being (Eph. 6:11-13).

(Vs. 13) Let us live, walk, talk, and conduct ourselves in an honorable and godly manner as being exposed to all men in broad daylight–not in carousing and drunkenness, not in immorality, not in quarreling and jealousy. These things are forbidden and are unbecoming to any believer, but especially to the believer who is on the threshold of glory. Our pleasure and delight ought to be the fellowship of the gospel, and our companions those who are redeemed by Christ.

(Vs. 14) "Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ." This is not only to be clothed in His spotless, imputed righteousness by faith and to make a strong, public confession in Him, but it is to IMITATE HIM in the exercise of grace–to walk as He walked, to love as He loved, to forgive as He forgave, to submit to the Father's will as He submitted.

"Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." That is, give less thought and attention to this body of flesh. As we think of the flesh, as we dwell on the passions and lusts of this body, we somehow arrange for those desires to be met (Phil. 4:8).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.