The Law of Love

Romans:The Glory of the Gospel Part 33

The Law of Love – Romans13:8-14

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – June 24th, 2018

 

Intro:

  • Your faith and theology are evidenced by your life and your actions. Every person has theological beliefs and every person lives from these beliefs. What you believe matters . . . that is why in all the books of the Bible there is theology which is then coupled with illustration and application.
  • Every New Testament epistle (these are books other than the gospels, acts and revelation) starts with theology and then moves to application. It is of utmost importance that you understand and then you apply the truth of the word of God.
  • This morning we are continuing in our focus on how to apply what we have been taught in the first 11 chapters of Romans. Chapter 12 starts the section that focuses on application. Paul starts with giving ourselves as a living sacrifice, then goes on to expressing our faith and giftedness for the glory of God and then to building up the church for the sake of the world. He tells us how we are to live with one another, the world and our enemies. He instructs us how we are to properly relate to the authorities in the nations that we live, paying to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. In all these things we are to follow and obey the law of love. This is His next point in Romans chapter 13 starting with verse 8.

 

Obey the law of love

 

Rom 13:8-10 ESV

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another 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 any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

 

  • “Owe no one anything” – this means that we are to pay our taxes, pay our bills, give respect to those who we are to respect, and honor those who deserve our honor. The only outstanding dept or obligation we are to keep is to love each other – this is an ongoing, continual responsibility.
  • “the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” If you desire to live within the good and beneficial boundaries in which God has set for us then choose to obey the law of love. This is the one commandment that Jesus gave to us.

 

John 13:34-35 ESV

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

  • This is His one command, that we love one another just as He has loved us. (This is the highest standard when we think about how He has loved us – he gave his life for us, he was always good to people, he told people the truth, he had compassion, he forgave, he had mercy, he prayed etc.) If we love like this, the world will know that we are a disciple of Christ (a follower not a fan) – we are called to bedisciples and to make
  • If you live by the golden rule (love your neighbor as yourself), you will fulfil the laws of God. (you will not commit adultery, you will not murder, you will not steal, you will not covet). Love will keep us from sin.
  • Now that you know what to do, it is time for you to wake up.

 

Wake up

 

Rom 13:11-12a ESV

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand.

 

  • Now is the time for us to wake up from sleep. This is not the time for us to rest with our eyes shut, oblivious to the world. Now is the time for action! Now is the time to get involved! Don’t wait for a better time or a different opportunity to live “full on” for Christ or to give yourself fully to the work of God. Wake up now and don’t wait!  You live in the era in which the light of Christ is shining, and time is the one thing that you will not get back. You are closer now to the end of your life and salvation than you were yesterday. Now is the time to work, then (in heaven) you will rest. You are to work as long as it is called day, you are to make the most of every opportunity. So, wake up and get to work! This is not the time for rest, shutting your eyes to what is happening in our day or taking a pass on the moment.

 

1 Thess 5:5-6 ESV

For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober

 

  • Do what honorable and right. Keep awake and alert! After you wake up, it is time to clean up!

 

Clean up

 

Rom 13:12b-13 ESV

So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

 

  • “Cast off the works of darkness” – the things that are done that we keep hidden; the things that we don’t want very many (or any) people to know about. Don’t “put them on” but “cast them off” and choose to not participate (sexual sin, intoxicating substances, quarreling with one another, and being jealous).
  • Act the way that your faith calls for you to act. Put on the “armor of light.” You don’t put on armor when you are going to sleep. You put on armor when it is time for battle, when you know you are going to be facing things that want to do you harm and when you need to protect and defend yourself.

 

Eph 6:10-13 ESV

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

 

  • You are told to be strong in the strength of Jesus and His might (ask Him for His strength). You are to stand (hold your ground) against the schemes of the devil (he does plot and is crafty – he works in disguise and darkness). In reality, you are not fighting against other people, but you are in battle against supernatural powers – your armor is truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the word of God. Live in these things and you will be able to stand your ground and set captives free!

 

Suit up

 

Rom 13:14 ESV

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

 

  • We are to “suit up” – like being prepared to play football, like being ready for battle (like Iron man). You are to put on the armor of light and also “put on” the Lord Jesus Christ – that is, you are to be “in Him.”  You are to stand firm within your faith in Jesus Christ. In Him, you are the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). In Him, you have redemption through his blood. In Him, you have the forgiveness of your sins, according to the riches of his grace (Eph 1:7). In Him, you have an inheritance. In Him, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, (Eph 1:11-14).  Always keep your faith in Christ and your focus on Christ. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . . so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb 12:2-3).
  • “Make no provision for your flesh” – that is, don’t make it possible for the desires of your flesh to be gratified. Don’t keep a pile of magazines around, or some hidden stash of money, food, substances, multiple identities, or avenues of private interaction. If you say, “I hate it when I sin” and then make plans so you can sin, then you really don’t hate sin or hate it enough. You don’t love yourself or others enough to get completely free from it. (ill. of people in true repentance and in the Northwestern revival) these things that you think have “life for you” are really death to you. Live completely in the light –– as is you have nothing to hide at any time . . . this is where you will have true freedom, perfect forgiveness and deep fellowship and connection with others.

 

1 John 1:7 ESV

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin

 

Conclusion

  • Make it your aim every moment of every day to obey the law of love!
  • Wake up, clean up, suit up – be watchful and alert, active and involved, standing your ground and living in Christ.
  • Prayer people and pray
  • Remind them of the VBS training that happens right after service.