Romans 13:8-14

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I’m going to invite you to Romans. Chapter 13 is where we’re going to be together today. Romans chapter 13 and verse eight. Sorry if that sounded like a slight. If you have something on the bulletin that’s important, I I’ve had a busy week as a pastor. I survived this week. It’s been one of those weeks. I did not get to look at the bulletin today, but Romans chapter 13, verse eight is where we’re at. And today, this is this is an important concept, especially I just told you my week. This is an important passage because when when everything else feels like it’s just a lot to handle this. This kind of passage is one of those passages you come to that remind us of what God has called us to, to, to a people, not to make life complicated, but to simplify what God’s pursuit is for us. And I want you to know I gave a title to today’s message, but there’s all sorts of titles we could have given to today. A great strategy for a Broken world is what I called it. But really, this this is the kind of life that God has called you to. This is the kind of life, if you live it as a believer, there’s no regrets. This should be the natural outworking of your relationship with God. If if you know Jesus and your life doesn’t look like or is not moving towards what’s described in Romans 13, it’s a good place to stop and re-evaluate where your relationship is with the Lord, because this should be a natural outflow of what Christ is doing in you as it’s being worked through you.

And so. Romans Chapter 12 to Chapter 13 and really to the end of the book of Romans is the practical application to relationship with Christ. Remember, we as we’ve broken down the book of Romans, if you want to think through it in terms of chapters, the first eight chapters deal with how to have a relationship with Jesus, what Jesus has really done for you. It’s not about what you do, but what He’s done. And now your position in him. It culminates in Romans chapter eight by describing that position that you have in Jesus. So first eight chapters deal with that chapter nine, 1011. Really answer the question What’s God doing with Israel? He’s moved into the New Testament. It seems like he’s working now predominantly with Gentiles. Did God just leave Israel in the dust? Nine, ten, 11, deal with God working through both Jew and Gentile, what God’s big picture is. And then chapter 12 to Chapter 16 moves on to our relationship with the world. Like, what does it now look like in light of our relationship with God? How that should impact our lives? And so these those remaining chapters of the practical outworking of what you believe, because what you believe should determine how you live God, God cares about how you live your life.

Your orthodoxy beliefs should impact your orthopraxy you’re living if if the way you’re living your life doesn’t model Jesus, you need to question what’s happening in your relationship with God. That’s impacted how you’re relating to people in this world. It starts with your relationship vertically. It leads to your relationships horizontally. And so Romans 13 is talking about that kind of life being lived out in this world. Now, last week, if you missed it, I’m sorry you missed a whole conversation on government. But but this week now we’re going to deal with the rest of us, the rest of those relationships and what they can look like in in life. And when you get to Romans 13, verse eight, there is one debt God wants you to keep. And I know that’s not a real popular thing. Show up to church. We want to give you a debt, but I’m going to teach you in a minute why this debt is important and how it impacts our life for the glory of God. So Romans 13, verse eight, Paul starts off this way. He says, Sorry, click get my clicker working, maybe. Verse eight. There we are. Oh, no one. Anything except to love each other. Now, I will tell you, I’ve watched people take this passage of Scripture and fixate on the first four words and then forget what the rest is talking about.

And in fact, I have watched people extrapolate this theological diatribe of explanation of people on why all debt is bad, right? It says, Oh, no one anything. And this is not just talking in terms of financial debt, but I’ve seen people take this verse and then talk about all debt in this world is bad. And I want you to know not all debt in this world is bad. There is some debt that becomes necessary and some debt that’s an investment like for for example, and I’m going to go on this for just a few minutes and we’re going to get back to the main point. But but for example, it’s difficult to start a business without accruing some sort of debt, but there’s there’s a return on investment if the business makes sense. You you pay some gather some debt on the front end in order in order for it to be lucrative on the back end. The ways that our society works, some debt can become an investment. So there’s wisdom in how you take on debt, right? You buy a house today, no one typically has five $600,000 sitting around. Right? So so there’s there’s a type of investment you might make towards a home that, you know, as you might take on that debt today, that down the road it’s going to accrue. And hopefully anyway the the investment that you make in that home and what it means for you.

So not all debt is bad debt, but what it’s saying here is it’s specifically as it relates to debt and we’ll get broader. Is that as it relates to the life of a Christian, you want to pay your debt on time. You don’t want to take an unnecessary amount of debt where you know there’s no hope of repaying. You don’t want to take an exorbitant amount of of interest. Right. But the the life of of a of a believer is not a life necessarily of of poverty. It’s not a life of extravagance. It’s a life of modesty. Because what we understand in Jesus is that truly no Christian or no one really owns anything that all good things in this world belong to God, that the things that we have are really given to us as as stewards, that we’re accountable to everything that we have in this world as as we use it, whether it’s for God’s glory or not, God holds us accountable. And so what you do with the things you have not just in the financial world, but everything time, gift, talents, resources, God has gifted you those things for his glory to the benefit of others. And so the way that you treat that matters. And so contentment in life is what God calls us to as we understand the things that He has given me, gives me a position to leverage for his glory to to the benefit of others.

And we certainly don’t want to be a slave to anything in this world. And that’s the bigger picture that Paul is painting here, not just about financial stewardship, but rather your entire life, because God, God has freed you from something in order to free you for something. Sometimes we get that right. That first part right as Christians, right? We we get the story of the gospel that that apart from Christ, I have no salvation. It’s not based on what I do. It’s based on what he’s done. But Jesus has come to this world. He has pursued me with his life. And in doing that, he has given me freedom. And it’s not freedom to do whatever I want. It’s not free to to finally walk in relationship with him, which I didn’t have before, apart from Jesus coming to rescue me, I had no hope of salvation. But because Jesus has done that and I’ve embraced that by faith, I now have the privilege of living for His glory and have a new calling in life, a new position, a new identity, a new hope, new meaning. And so now I can live that freedom in Jesus of which I didn’t have. It’s not just free from something, but it’s free for something. And this is what the Apostle Paul is saying, is that God wants you to let go of every encumbrance of your life and He wants just this one debt for you.

And what is that debt? The first blink in your notes is this is that it’s a debt to love of. It’s a debt to love. He says, except to love each other. This this idea of love is a reminder, really, of the model that Christ set for us. His his care for a world that rejected him. That while we were yet enemies, while we were sinners alienated from God. Choosing a path of destruction which is contrary to his kingdom. God didn’t stop loving us and now being followers of the Lord. This is the kind of life that we’re called to model, to to say to you and I, look, if your relationship with Jesus. Is not impacting your relationship with others, where your love towards others and compassion and grace and patience is not growing. Then you should question your relationship with Jesus. Not in the sense that do you have a relationship with Jesus, but maybe more in the sense of where? Where is that relationship gone awry in the sense that it hasn’t started to impact your other relationships? So this is how the journey of Romans 12 starts. If you remember in the beginning, Paul says, I beg you brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your life as a living sacrifice. And why does he ask us to do that? It’s because of everything Jesus has done for you. And when your life has been filled with that kind of love that you experienced in Christ, and now that new identity and position, not because of you, but because of his grace, the outworking in your life should be one of grace and love and forgiveness in return.

And so when Paul is talking about except to love one another, this kind of debt that he’s asking us to have, this this word love is is an agape love. And so I know some of you are familiar with this, this idea of agape. There’s a few different words for love in the New Testament. There’s the Eros love that, the love, the intimate love of, say, a husband and wife. There’s a filial love, a brotherly love. Then there’s the agape love. And in terms of an agape love, I just went through several commentaries as they described this type of love. And and I want you to hear the kind of reflection they had towards just this section of Romans 13 eight. They said it like this I got by. Love is deep, unselfish, superhuman care one person has for another. It’s like it’s unlike any other love because it does doesn’t just love the lovable, but one’s enemies as well. This, this other worldly love, another commentary said is not earned by someone but is completely undeserved. This love manifests itself in sacrificial giving. One even gave the the John 316 as that model of sacrificial giving for God so loved the world that He gave his only son his only begotten son.

So this this idea of of complete surrender, of who you are to the benefit of someone else, the laying down of your life, the the sacrifice of your position for for another that’s that’s what it’s describing in this type of agape love. It’s stronger. Another commentary said than a love of emotion. It is a love of driven by the will. And it goes on to use this example that it’s important to think about it as a love of the will rather than just an emotion. Because because God commands this kind of love. And if it’s just simply an emotional love, it’s not one that can always be commanded because you don’t always feel it, but because God calls you to this, this is a decision of the will that regardless of the circumstance, you know who God has called you to be. So you make this decision to be this kind of person in this world because of the love that you have received in Christ. If it was an emotional love, you couldn’t be held accountable to that necessarily. But in being a command, it’s telling us it’s a decision that you make to choose to be this type of person regardless of what other people do or don’t do. And it’s exactly the kind of love that Jesus showed towards us. Some said that this type of love can only be displayed by the life of the believer.

Because it’s in the life of the believer that the believer learns that the purpose of life is not found within you, but outside of you. And therefore in pursuing a greater a greater path in life than just yourself, you’re able to lay your life down for the benefit of another because God has placed on you a higher calling. If you don’t look beyond yourself, then you see the whole point of your self is just found within you. And that kind of path leads to selfishness and in selfishness you can never live an agape love because the motive always becomes about you. But in Christ. It’s the absolute surrender of who you are to something greater. Because of what you found in the Lord. Now. Now, here’s the concern when it comes to the idea of debt. Oh, nothing. Anyone except to love each other. Right? God, God’s one calling on your life is to take a love debt. And with any kind of debt, there’s always a concern on the back end. Am I going to have enough? Right. Is there going to be enough there? I remember the first time I bought a house, you know, not used to that. You have a job and as a younger person, you get to use your your money on a lot more things. It’s whatever you want, Right? But now all of a sudden, you have this debt and there’s this this weight that comes with the debt and the concern on the debt.

You just think as you sign your name to a dotted line. But what happens one day if, you know, all of a sudden the money dries up, all of a sudden you lose your job. All of a sudden all these things you start playing in your mind of what is the possibilities of there’s just not enough resource to pay this debt. And what about in terms of love? I think the reason God calls us to this debt in Scripture towards one another is because he knows the resource for which we will receive will never run dry. The reason you can love this way. It’s because the source from which you draw the love will never end towards you. As you give it out. Your cup will always be filled by the grace and love of Christ. So. So as you return love, it’s important to remember that you’re also receiving this love. God’s grace is new for you every morning. Has forgiveness never ending. And it’s constantly filling you up and reminding you of who you are in Christ and what you have because of Christ. And no matter what this world says or doesn’t say, what you have in Jesus lasts forever. And so that love poured into your life gives you the resource that you need. What just happened to pay debt? There you go.

Apparently we need to really focus on this thought that that debt, that debt is is unending. That’s funny. I won’t tell you who’s embarrassed in the back right now. But. But there there is this this this debt in our life that we have the privilege of continuing to pour out and never be concerned with it running dry when your life is connected to Christ. That Jesus will fill your cup over and over. And if you trust in who he is. And your life is rooted in that identity, then what you have in Christ to give to this world you’ll always be able to deliver. And in this debt that God has called you to in him. And then he goes on then. For the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The one who loves another has fulfilled the law. And and what he’s doing in the this next part of this verse, he’s really giving you a place to measure success, everything to your life. What would my life look like if it were a if it’s going to be a successful life? Right. What would it be for me at the end of my days to look back and say my life has been a success? And what he’s really measuring for us is, is that term if you if you went to the Old Testament and you asked an Old Testament person, how do you measure success? It probably wouldn’t go long before they said, well, my steps of success are seen in how I live out the law, right? They would they would look to the law of the Old Testament and think, as long as I follow this law, then I’m going to be successful in what God describes to me in this world.

Right. Or prescribes for me in this world. I need to live all these commandments and and concern for those commandments. They wrote commandments on top of the commandments. They they had 633 commandments in the Old Testament. And they were so worried about breaking those commandments. They actually wrote commandments before you could get to those commandments out of concern that they might break those commandments. So they were fixated on not breaking commandments in front of these commandments so they would never have to worry about breaking God’s commandments. Now, in terms of laws, I think if someone gave me laws to live, I could be pretty good at some of them. Not not 633 of them. That would be insane. And then when you throw more on top of that, it just becomes an impossibility. But what you find in the old covenant is that was exactly God’s point. It wasn’t to show you how to live law in order to receive salvation. It was showing you how much you needed salvation because it was an impossibility to live. Now, in terms of the New Covenant or the New Testament, what I say is a as a follower of Christ today is that my success is not measured by fulfilling old covenant law.

I don’t live old covenant law. But rather God calls me to live one law. And that law is the law of Christ. Jesus talked about it in mark chapter 12, verse 30 and 31, To love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love others. The outworking of my love for the Lord is seen in how I treat others. Because if I love what God loves, what God loves His people, because God gave his life for them. And if I want to truly demonstrate my love for Jesus, it’s really seen in how I care and love on others because God made people in his image and God gave his life for us that we could find freedom in him. Jesus put a significant amount of value on you, and the way I treat you is important. It’s sacred, and it determines really whether I’m honoring God or not. It’s a mode of expressing worship. And so in terms of this, what God is describing for us is a means of measuring success by the the way in which I live my life. But when you think about that in terms of how our country might promote success. Old covenant. They might talk about law. In our world today, they might talk about you measures your success by by how much you earn or the the position you receive or how how smart you might be or how good looking you are.

But that’s not how God measures success. You’re not going to get to the end of your life and God’s not going to look at your bank account and have a beauty contest, at least outwardly. Well, God is interested in is your heart. If you want to measure success the way that God measures success, it’s the condition of your heart before the Lord. Have you given it over to him? Have you found salvation in him? Do you know him as Savior and as Lord? Is your life turned over to him? And if you say that it is, does it model and reflect Christ in this world? It goes on from this passage and Paul really starts to help us think through what that should look like. Let me say this before I turn to this next verse. What God is saying for you is, look, you may live your life and you may not be the richest person. You may not be the best looking person. You may not be the smartest person. But in God’s eyes, you can completely live a successful life. So So it says to you, it doesn’t matter if if you’re a teacher, it doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay at home mom. It doesn’t matter what you are, but where you are.

God wants you to thrive in that position where he is called you. He wants you to live that successful life. And and the way he’s describing it for us is understanding God wants you to take on this debt. And as he fills you in relationship with him, you can allow that relationship to to produce a blessing in the lives of others. And you flourish in your walk with God because of the way you move in Jesus. And so he goes on and says this. He goes verse nine, elaborating on the idea of verse eight further, he says, For 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. Sometimes people make the mistake of of Christianity. I think equating it with just like any other religion in this world. It’s about some people will look at it like this. Christianity is about telling you not to do bad things. You look at a verse like verse nine. It tells you, right? Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. So Christianity is about if you want to live a successful Christian life, it’s about avoiding bad things. Or some people will say, Well, it’s not so much about avoiding bad things. It’s about really doing good things. Because if you’re not killing, you’re doing good things, right? And and I want you to know that’s that’s what religion teaches, teaches you that is not Christianity.

I think the results of a Christian life is that our lives are fruitful. Which means it looks good, right? It certainly lives a good life. But the point of Christianity is not about not doing or doing. The point of Christianity is all about relationship, which is exactly what Paul says here. He sums it up in the end. He’s saying, Look, here’s these commandments, but you want to know what drives these commandments, the motivation of these commandments. It’s not about what you’re not doing. It’s not even about what you’re doing. It’s about love. It’s about your walk with the Lord and how that walk with the Lord is lived out. God, the word love is all a relational term and loving God. And then and then through that, you’ve got to get that order right. You can’t just start with loving people, but you’ve got to understand why it’s essential in your walk with God in order to love people. And that only is discovered and knowing your true identity in the Lord. But but what He’s saying to us is successful. Life in Christ is not about what you’re doing or not doing. But it’s about where you are positionally in Jesus and how it’s lived out in this world. It’s all about relationship. And when that relationship is healthy and right, then it’s lived in a healthy way and the world is blessed through it.

And so when we talk in terms of a great strategy for a broken world, yes, it’s beautiful in terms of a of no regrets in this life, it’s perfect because your relationship with God is understood and you can then live it out. And so he says this. Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. And so let me just be clear. When I talk about in terms of love. I’m. We talk about love. I’m not just saying fluffy love. Let’s all just gather hands and sing Kumbaya and just love for the sake of love. We’re not talking about love in and of itself as if it’s the ending, but we’re specifically meaning a love that only Christ gives. This This love has a person that’s driving it. And His name is Jesus. And what he’s done for for you and for me. And so understanding the this kind of love is, is not just this arbitrary idea or concept that we’re promoting, but it’s demonstrated in the life of Jesus is specifically made known through Christ. And it’s that particular calling in him that we are pointing people to. This is this is not just a a love that has no attachment, but rather it’s a godly love with an identity in everything that Christ is. And therefore understanding our identity in light of it that this kind of love is a serious commitment.

And in order to live that kind of commitment, an unconditional sacrificial love, you need to have a rooted confidence in your identity in Christ. In fact, one of the one of the beautiful passages on love is in first Corinthians 13, goes on to describe all the wonderful things that love is, and it’s usually read at weddings. But but the last thing that it says about this love. Love never fails. It? Never. Fails. When it speaks to the true love that Christ has towards you. But also it raises the bar on on how far our love should go in Jesus. It never fails. You know, studies have been done on on churches, in communities, on how churches make a difference within a community and and how they make lasting impact in the community they they they’re a part of. And what’s been interesting is in those studies, they’ve noted that it’s it’s churches where committed people and committed leadership have been have stayed in place for more than a decade that you can measure the ripple effect that a church has on a community by the consistency of the people involved and the leadership that that are consistent within it. And so when you think in terms of the idea of living a life of love and making your life matter, this is not just a one off. Let’s just give it a shot.

If it doesn’t work, I quit. This is an understanding of the consistency of a love and the way that it just makes an impact on a society that no matter what the society does, the church is going to remain the same. It’s going to continue to move forward and it’s going to continue to do what God calls it to do. And over time, it makes the heart sensitive to what the church is about. And we say this as our community. We want to do such a good job at loving the people around us that if ABC did not exist anymore, we would want our community to ache over the lack of our presence. Not that we want anyone to really, truly ache, but. But the point is when when we go missing, there’s a void there. Because when this church moves, the love of Jesus is made known. That is our aim. We’re not always perfect. But it’s all right. Because this kind of love never, never fails. So. So in that then God wants us to take two steps. He wants us to take two steps in this world. And verse 11 and two. First part of verse 12, he describes it for us. And it’s this. And I’ll give you the next blink in your notes. It’s Wake up. Wake up. He says this, besides this and this is not you. You’re already awake. All right. But other churches that aren’t aware of the brokenness of the world around them 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. The night is far gone. The day is at hand. So he’s calling the church to wake up in this passage. And what he’s saying to us is, look, the community that God has created to carry out his mission in this world is plan A, and there is no plan B, And so where God has placed you and the reason God has placed you there is so sacred and important in the calling that God has put on your life, that you don’t need to sit on your hands and look for someone else to do it. That’s why God has you, where He has you. That as His grace works in your life, it would work through your life to bless others. And there is no plan B, It’s you. That’s who God wants to work through you. And the beauty. The beauty of that moment is, is as you serve others, you get to learn in walking with Jesus through that as much about your relationship with him as you get to share with other people. And sometimes more so. But God is calling us in this passage to wake up, and He uses this idea that, you know, the time. And what he’s saying is as Americans, we look at the word time and we oftentimes just stress out by that word.

We think by a clock, we have a schedule. You’ve got to write things down. You’ve got to be there. There’s an appointment. We can’t be late. Where are they going to think of us? We lay and we’re always in a hurry to do something. But when he talks about talks about time in this passage, he’s not talking about the paying attention necessarily to the clock, but rather he’s using this word kairos, which is the duration of life. He’s saying sometimes it specifically means the duration of your life as you consider the duration of your your life. But but in terms of this passage, I think he’s what he’s actually referring to is the duration of the life of the church where God has called us in this world, meaning we are in this position between Jesus’s first coming and his second Coming. And our calling in that time is to make an impact. And so when you look at the duration of maybe your own life, you could ask the question, God, how can I make an impact that matters in this world? How can I really take a swing with this hammer to to make a difference? As people, we tend to overestimate what you can do in a day or a week, and we underestimate what you can do in three, four, five years.

But as you consider the the duration of your life, how can you be rooted and let let the the impact that God has called you to in this world to to make a difference by being the consistent love never fails to the people around you for the sake of Christ, regardless of what they do or don’t do. It’s not about manipulating people to to get them to embrace what you want them to embrace. It’s about representing Jesus wherever you go, regardless of the people around you. We certainly want people to be encouraged in the Lord, but they’re not always going to listen to what you have to say. And so sometimes you just you have to honor God and that’s just it. And that’s good enough. But the way that you do that. Is love. And waking up reminds us just how important it is. Consider the condition of our society. I don’t have to tell you. Things are not as good today, Right? You know that. In fact, I would say for us as a church, it opens doors of opportunity because there’s a world out there looking at things and starting to realize we going crazy. We need a we need a foundation to this. And where can I find a foundation? And you have it. You have it. I would even say for our church over the years that we’ve existed, we’ve grown more in the last six months than any other period in our church’s history.

Why? I think it’s because people are looking for answers. The path of just pursuing what you want because it makes you happy. And looking deeper within you, people know that there is something broken there. And we have it. And understanding that God has put you in a place to do something about it matters. So He says to us not only wake up, but then he goes on second half of verse 12 and he says, So then let us cast off the works of darkness. And put on the armor of light. Second point of your notes is this is get dressed, wake up and get dressed. That’s what he’s saying here. Cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly. As in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness and in sexual immorality and sensuality. Not in quarreling and jealousy, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Look at that. He’s getting dressed again. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires. What are you putting on? And really, he’s talking about the focus of your life here. What are you what are you waking up for? But you wake up and you put on this perspective. You want to see the world as Christ sees the world. So there’s certain things we don’t want to give any credence to get out of your pajamas.

He’s saying there’s certain there’s certain things that when you go out in this world that when you represent Jesus, you want to represent Jesus well, no matter where you go. And so he’s telling us that there’s this battle taking place in our lives that that really, for the life of the believer, we constantly walk in. There’s the temptation of the flesh. And it’s not a decision. You decide, I’m going to live for Jesus today and that’s it. But this is a decision you need to make every morning. What is your life going to be defined about? What are you going to make your life be about? What are people going to say about you at the end? What are they going to know that you were putting as number one priority over everything in this world? You constantly take off? What will set you apart from from Christ and you put on what will set you apart for Christ. And you walk. And the newness of. That life. Now. Sometimes when I think in terms of waking up, getting dressed or putting on I got to tell you, there’s a part of me with Christians, not you guys. I’m obviously going to be talking about different group of Christians that that makes me a little bit nervous. Because when I go to a believer and I’m like, Hey, you need to wake up, man. Like, look what look what God’s called you to do in this world and look where God has you and look at the difference you can make and, and look, because of what Jesus is doing in you, that love that will never go away.

And this is how you can live it and and just let your life be saturated in Christ so that as he fills you up, it can flow out of you. They walk with Jesus, right? When you wake that Christian up, some Christians define that. The way that you wake up is you wake up and you look around and you realize things aren’t the way you want. And so your gift to the world is just complain. And and I just want to be like, in that moment, why did I wake them up? Right? Like, we don’t need complainers. We need problem solvers, right? We people can see that there’s problems around you. We don’t need people to always be complaining about I mean, it’s fine to identify what the problem is, but when they wake up, here’s the way they do it. They wake up and they talk about politics. They talk about the good old days and they blame the next generation. Right? This generation. Oh. Oh. In the 80s, it was so much better. Right? Which I love the 80s. But but, you know, that’s usually how they talk about it. And then whatever political statement they want to make in that moment.

And that’s their answer. But can I can I tell you that there’s not a verse in the Bible that says that that’s the answer. The answer. As Jesus. Perhaps if you have a problem with this generation and again, I may not be talking to you, but. Perhaps it’s because the last generation didn’t do their job. I happen to think this generation is just fine and the Lord has given them certain gifts that they can use for His glory if they’re given to the Lord and other parts of the generation. There’s certainly some brokenness. But when we see that kind of brokenness, what is your response? To run from and blame. To cast stones and be just like them. Or to help undergird their life with a truth that matters. A truth that shapes them. A truth that truly makes a difference beyond this world and into eternity. In essence, hoodie is disciple. What’s poured out of you. Is it Jesus? If it’s not the Lord. The question is, is Christ being really poured into you? And if he is. Wake up. Wake up and prepare your life. Put on Christ. I love this. I mean that. A reminder to us again of what are what are you doing with your life? It’s not about being good or avoiding bad. It’s about a relationship with Jesus. Put on Christ. Walk with him. In terms of these these negative words that were used in verse 12 and.

And the same thing in verse nine, where he told us all the things that don’t do, don’t, don’t murder, don’t covet, don’t steal. Right. And this passage let’s not properly as in the daytime. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy, You know, people living that kind of lifestyle. You know what they’re screaming to you that the only place they found in life to find value is within themselves. And so the pursuit of their life is self made pleasure. But the result of that, you might find temporary pleasure. But the ultimate result of that. Is a void. It’s a brokenness. Not only are you not satisfied, but you’ve used other people like tools. You’ve taken the image of God that God has placed in them, and you’ve used them like tools for your own personal pleasure. And it’s not only destructive to the person’s soul that lives this out, it’s destructive to everyone else as a part of it. I think in our society today, like that fits everywhere. And the point of it all is that they have no ultimate foundation in God completely abandoned it. And the only way to find a solution really is revival. It’s surrendering of your heart to to Christ and the people that have that answer. Is you and me. Wake up. Wake up. So let me close with this.

In the fourth and fifth century, there was a church leader by the name of Augustine, and he had one of those moments where he woke up. And I think I’ve told you as a church, there’s probably no book in all of the Bible that has made more of a difference in church history than the Book of Romans. It brought about the Reformation and it brought about really an encouragement to believers when Rome fell. During the life of Augustine, Rome fell. Christians were devastated. They literally thought God was going to set up his kingdom through Rome. And they were devastated. And a lot of them fled. As Rome was falling, they fled to Alexandria, Egypt, which was really becoming a capital for Christianity. And one of the leaders there at the time was a man by the name of Augustine. And Augustine wrote a book called The City of God, which encouraged Christians to stop looking to political kingdoms of this world for for answers. But look to God’s kingdom. That’s where your hope ultimately is as an encouragement to the Christians. But but even Augustine’s own life. Augustine didn’t come to know the Lord till till, I think, in his later in life. And and he was a part of a religion called Manichaeism and pursued a lot of self pleasure in this world. Everything that we just described in the past verses that was, that was his life. And he and he got to a point where he just felt devastated by it, broken over it.

And he wrote a book called Confessions. And in Chapter 12 of Confessions, he starts to describe the moment where the light came on and he understood what he needed. And and in his book, he describes it this way. He says, I was weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart when I heard the voice of either a boy or a girl. I don’t know which, coming from a neighboring house, chanting and repeating, Take up and read, take up and read. Immediately my countenance was changed and I began to consider whether it was unusual for a child in any kind of game to sing such words. And I can never remember a time when I heard a child say such things. So restraining the torrent of my tears, I rose up interpreting it no other way than the command to me from heaven to open the book and to read the first chapter I came upon. So I guess I’m saying I heard this kid saying this and he really took it as a message from the Lord. And so he picked up the Bible and turned it to a random chapter. And in that chapter, he found Romans 13. And the verses that he read was verse 13 and 14. Wake up. And put this on and put on Christ. And in so doing, the Lord used that to spur Augustine’s heart, to turn his life over to the Lord.

And through that, God used him to make a difference in this world. As people were always one decision away. From living a life of selfish destruction. Are living a life of absolute blessing. And it’s all about what you surrender to. What’s your life about? Yeah. The world will offer you a million different paths to follow. Maybe more. But in Christianity, it’s really just one. It’s one. It’s a relationship with Jesus. And in that relationship with Jesus, all other relationships can be blessed. So when the world feels crazy, life seems stressful. What he’s saying in this passage is there’s really there’s one way to live. And it’s a life with no regret. And it can make a difference in the brokenness around you. And it’s seen in how you love. Because of the way that you’ve been loved by Christ. And in discovering that love in Jesus, you then can share how it transforms your life for his glory in this world. And it makes a difference. So the question for you. Has your life been committed to? Christ? Have you asked Jesus to rescue you and redeem you to save your soul? And in so doing, have you committed your life to live for his glory in this world? To not only experience his love, but to but to let the love of Christ be made known and to share the goodness of who He is in this world.

Romans 13:1-7

Romans 14:1-12