Romans 13:8-14

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Text: Romans 13:8-14

Aim: to learn what the relationship of dedicated believers should be to each other.

THE SURRENDERED LIFE

INTRODUCTION:

Romans 12:1-2 calls upon believers to surrender their lives completely to the Lord.

In Romans 13:1-7 Paul deals with the relationship of dedicated believers to governmental authorities. The believer is to be submissive to governmental authority because he recognizes that God has placed this governmental authority in power. Believers should do nothing wrong which would bring governmental action against them, and they should also seek to maintain a good conscience by obedience to their governments.

In Romans 13:8-14 Paul moves away from the relationship of dedicated believers to governmental authorities to their relationships with others in general. They are to pay their obligations, especially their obligation to love each other, while maintaining a good testimony before all. Believers must become Christlike and allow no opportunity for the old sin nature to defeat them any more.

In Romans 13:8-14 we see the relationship of dedicated believers toward others in general.

I. BELIEVERS ARE TO OWE NO MAN ANYTHING EXCEPT LOVE - 13:8A

Romans 13:8 a - Owe no man any thing, but to love one another.

In verse 8 Paul moves away from the believer and his responsibility to the government and deals with the believer and his responsibilities toward others in general.

Owe no man anything is a commandment.

Owe means be indebted to, and no man is simply no one or nobody.

Believers are not to be indebted to anyone. Thus, they are to render to all their dues, whether tribute, custom, fear, honor or anything else.

But to love one another indicates an exception.

But is except.

To love one another indicates an indebtedness believers have to others. They must love them as God loved the world and gave His Son.

In dealing with this passage some make an effort to urge people to avoid financial indebtedness. Yet, in the normal course of business one obligates himself for certain things. However, it is a generally accepted practice that one who pays his bills in 30 days is not indebted for them. Furthermore, if one has satisfied the agreements of purchase, he has not indebted himself to it. He is not obligated.

In this context, however, the meaning seems to be something more along the line of favors or things which have strings attached to them rather than just to be limited to a financial context, although it would certainly include financial matters.

II. HE THAT LOVETH ANOTHER HATH FULFILLED THE LAW - 13:8B-10

Romans 13:8 b-10 - (8b) . . . For he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (9) For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (10) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Romans 13:8 b - . . . For he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

For he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law provides the reason that believers should love each other.

Hath fulfilled means has made full, has filled, or has filled full.

It is reminiscent of the episode recorded in the Gospels where a scribe came to Jesus and asked Him which is the first commandment of all. Jesus' answer to him recorded in Mark 12:29-31 was,

(29) . . . The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

(30) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

(31) And the second is like, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no greater commandment than these.

If the believer loves another, he has done what the Law has required of him. He has thereby fulfilled the Law because there is no higher commandment than these two commandments, whether this is a love for God or for another person.

Romans 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

In verse 9 Paul explains in what way a believer who loves another has fulfilled the Law. For this refers to the commandments which follow. It is used to specify that these are specific commandments quoted as part of the Old Testament Law.

The five commands specified are Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet.

Thou shalt not commit adultery is a commandment which indicates that a married person should not have a sexual relationship with someone other than his or her spouse.

If you really love your spouse, you won't want to commit adultery against him or her. If you really love the other person who is not your spouse, you won't want to commit adultery with him or her.

The commandment thou shalt not kill means thou shalt not commit murder.

If you really love the other person, you won't want to murder him.

Thou shalt not steal means that one should not take things which are not his.

If you really love the other person, you will not want to steal what belongs to him.

Thou shalt not bear false witness is thou shalt not give false testimony.

You won't lie about someone you really love.

Thou shalt not covet is thou shalt not desire, long for, or lust. You will not lust after someone or something which belongs to someone else.

The commandments thus mentioned are the commandments relating to the interrelationships between individuals.

And if there be any other commandment is a simple condition which is assumed to be true. There are other commandments. It is briefly comprehended in the saying is the conclusion. Briefly comprehended is summed up or recapitulated. In the saying is by this saying; and the saying referred to is, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself which Jesus stated in Mark 12:31 . Thus, to love another fulfills these commandments found in the Law.

Romans 13:10 Love worketh (i.e. does, accomplishes, or carries out) no ill (i.e. evil) to his neighbour (i.e. one's fellow man): therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour is a summation of Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, and thou shalt not covet. Love would not do anything which would cause wrong or harm to one's neighbor.

Love does not carry out evil to one's neighbor.

The last half of verse 10 draws an inference as is indicated by therefore which is the term used in the sense of consequently, accordingly, so, or then.

Love is the fulfilling of the law is the inference drawn, and fulfilling is fulfillment.

Love is the fulfilling of the law because love would never do anything to another that would cause any problem, and one of the main points of law is how a man should deal with others.

III. WE SHOULD BE BUSY LIVING FOR THE LORD NOW BECAUSE THE COMPLETION OF OUR SALVATION IS NEAR - 13:11-14

Romans 13:11-14 - (11) And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (13) Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (14) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

In verses 11-14 we see that it is time to begin living for the Lord.

And that is to be referred back to verse 8 where we were told to owe no man anything, but to love one another. And that is literally and this, and that too, or and let us do this and introduces another reason why we should live in love toward others. It is because the time is growing short.

Knowing is in the sense of because you know or since you know.

What you know is the time which is made more specific by that now (i.e. already) it is high time to awake out of sleep: for (i.e. because) now (i.e. at the present time) is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

That we should awake out of sleep = that we should arise up out of sleep

It suggests that believers have been sleeping and it is time to wake up and begin doing the thing we ought to be doing which is loving one another.

Our salvation refers not to the act of faith where we placed our trust in Christ as Savior, but to the consummation of our salvation at the time when our salvation is completed at the rapture with the redemption of the body and the removal of the old sin nature. It refers to our glorification.

I John 3:1-3 - (1) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Romans 8:28-30 - (28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Thus, Our salvation is nearer than when we believed refers to our completed salvation.

When we believed refers to that point in time in which we placed our trust in Christ as our Savior. This was the beginning of the salvation process as far as we were concerned, although not as far as God was concerned.

That salvation will be brought to completion in the future. It is closer now than it used to be.

Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

In verse 12 Paul indicates that the day is near. The night is almost over, and it is time to put off the things which are characteristic of the night and to get ready for the day.

The night is far spent and the day is at hand is used in a way which shows that it is time we were no longer living in conjunction with spiritual darkness. We have been saved for a while now; it is time we lived like it. The night is almost over, and it is time to put off the things which are characteristic of the night and to get ready for the day.

The day is at hand suggests the time that follows the rapture. It means that the day is near, has approached, or has come near. We need to be ready. The Lord is coming back. Maybe today!

Therefore = consequently, accordingly, so, or then

Let us . . . cast off the works of darkness is an inference based upon the fact that the night is far spent and that the day is at hand which means let us put off, let us lay aside, or let us lay rid ourselves of.

What we are to lay aside are the works of darkness as if they were night clothes which would be inappropriate for the day. These are the works characterized by spiritual darkness, and this phrase refers to the sins we committed prior to the time of our salvation.

As one dresses in the morning in the garments that are intended for the daytime, we are exhorted and let us put on the armour of light.

Put on = clothe ourselves in or wear

The armour of light = the weapons of light or the tools of light. These are weapons or tools characterized by the light. In other words, we ought to be living for the Lord in the time before He returns as is indicated by verse 13 rather than in a manner characterized by our lives before we were saved.

Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

Verse 13 describes what our Christian lives should be like and what they should not be like.

Let us walk = let us go around, let us conduct ourselves, or let us live

Honestly = decently or becomingly

As in the day suggests the time when one can be seen by others. People often cover their sins by darkness. Inasmuch as we are spiritual beings who have been saved, we ought to live the way we should at all times, whether we can be seen by others or not.

By contrast the unsaved are characterized by rioting and drunkenness, chambering and wantonness, strife and envying.

Not in rioting = not in excessive feasting, revelry, carousing.

Not in drunkenness goes right along with excessive feasting.

Not in chambering = literally in beds and is a euphemistic way of saying not in sexual excesses.

Not in wantonness = not in licentiousness, debauchery, or sensuality and is used especially of sexual excesses.

Not in strife = not in discord or contention

Not in envying = not in jealousy

Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Verse 14 is a statement in strong contrast to the last half of verse 13 as is indicated by but which is used in the sense of rather

Put ye on was translated let us put on in verse 12. Here it is a command and means clothe yourselves in, put on, or wear

What we are to put on is the Lord Jesus Christ which means that we are to put on the qualities that are characteristic of Him, such as godliness, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, temperance, etc. In other words believers should be Christlike in their lives.

And make not is a negative prohibition. An action is already going on and needs to be stopped. These believers were making provision for the flesh. They were to discontinue this. Make not provision for the flesh = stop making provision for the flesh, the old sin nature.

To fulfil the lusts thereof = literally for lusts, i.e. for longings, for desires, for cravings.

Thus, believers are to feed their new natures while starving their old ones.

Does this not remind you of some Bible verses?

Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Psalms 1:1-3 -1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

James 1:22 - But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Ephesians 5:18-21 - 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Colossians 3:16-17 - 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

II Timothy 3:15-17 - 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

II Peter 1:19-21 - 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

CONCLUSION:

Thus, we see that the believers are to be living for the Lord while awaiting His return.