Tag: salvation is nearer
Scripture reading for November 23rd: Romans 12-16
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8) Now the Bible doesn’t promote being in debt by owing money to other people. In fact, the borrower is slave to the lender and God’s people should not be in slavery. But there is a debt that we must continually be making payments on. This is the debt of love we owe to our fellowman because of Christ’s love lavished on us.
Paul goes on to describe this love in terms keeping the ten commandments. When we commit adultery, it is a lack of love for our friends and neighbors. Murder is certainly a lack of love, as is stealing from a neighbor. Coveting is selfish and not loving. These commandments are all summed up in one rule: “”Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:9b-10)
Paul encouraged the Romans to live a life of real love for each other because of the coming of Jesus Christ! “And do this, understand the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now that when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11-13) The Romans were involved in some deeds of darkness that lacked the love of God. They needed to put off drunkenness and sexual immorality as well as dissension and jealousy. The night was a time of evil and debauchery, but the day was coming!
God’s people must be clothed with light! “Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” This is a word for the day we live in. Many are sleeping and involved in the deeds of darkness. They seem to disbelieve that Jesus could arrive at any time and only those who are watching and ready will go to be with Him. Many are going to be caught asleep and unprepared! It is easy to forget the debt that we owe to others to love them by living a sold out Christian life! “So then, each of us will give an account to God.” (Romans 14:12)