Romans 13:8-10 ESV
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 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.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.’”
I know that I talk about this much, but the English word “love” can mean so many different things, so it is important that we understand that this is agape love. This love comes from God, and thus it is a pure love, a love based in moral preference which prefers (chooses) what God chooses, which is that which is holy, just, righteous, morally pure, honest, and faithful.
God’s love is perfect, ours is not, because we are not perfect, for we live in flesh bodies. But for those of us who have trusted Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, God abides in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, God’s love abides in us, and we can exercise that love in his power and strength if we are willing and obedient.
So, if we love one another with this God-like love, we are not going to willfully do what is harmful to others. We will not plot evil against them, nor will we commit evil against them, especially not habitually and premeditatedly. Therefore, we will not steal from, commit adultery against, murder (hate), slander, lie to or about, or otherwise do evil to others.
Instead, we will forgive those who have done evil against us. We will not wish to do them harm, but we will do them good. We will do for them and to them what is for their benefit, in the eyes of God. Therefore, we will also not coddle them in their sins or help facilitate them in their sins. But we will help others to know how to walk in freedom from their sins.
Romans 13:11-14 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. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us 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, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
Belief in Jesus Christ is not a one-time event which takes place in our lives, and then we live our lives, and then one day when we die we go to heaven. The Scriptures teach that we are saved (past), we are being saved (present), and that we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns.
[Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5]
Our salvation from sin and our eternal life with God are not guaranteed us based upon a one-time decision to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. We have to continue in Christ, and in his word, and in his kindness – in his grace which instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for his return (Tit 2:11-14).
We must hold firmly to the gospel of our salvation as Jesus and as his New Testament apostles taught it (the whole counsel of God). We must continue in our faith which dies with Christ to sin and lives to Christ and to his righteousness. We must not swerve from this narrow road leading to heaven. For, if we disown him by our lifestyles, he will also disown us.
[Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6, 14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 1 Jn 2:24-25]
So, this is a strong encouragement to those who have become dull of hearing, and who have wandered off from their pure devotion to Christ, and who have gotten caught up with the world again. The exhortation is that you must wake up from your spiritual slumber because the time is getting nearer to when our salvation will be complete, when Jesus returns.
But this is not a mere suggestion or recommendation. This is not optional. For, if we have a true biblical understanding of salvation we will realize that our eternal life with God is not promised to us based on a one-time profession of faith in him, but that we must continue walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh if we want eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]
If we died with him to sin, we will also live with him, but if we disown him by our lifestyles, he will also disown us (2 Tim 2:10-13; Lu 9:26; Rev 21:5-8).
Therefore, the encouragement here is to cast off (put away, throw off) all the works of darkness (all sinful practices) and to put on our spiritual armor so that we can live in victory over darkness and in the light of Christ’s love, mercy, and grace (Eph 6:10-20; Heb 12:1-17; Matt 5:27-30; Eph 4:17-32).
All throughout the New Testament we, the church, are being instructed, warned, exhorted, and urged to put sin out of our lives and to walk in holiness and purity of devotion to Christ. For, even though we died with Christ to sin, and we were reborn of the Spirit of God, by faith in Jesus, we still live in flesh bodies, so we must daily die to sin and live for our Lord.
Therefore, we are to no longer walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh. We must no longer live like we did before we believed in Jesus. We must no longer engage in sinful practices such as sexual immorality, sensuality, orgies, drunkenness, fighting, and the like, for if these are what we practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God.
But if we walk according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, and if we walk in the light as God is in the light, and if sin is not what we practice, and if we continue (persevere) in Christ and in his word, in walking in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), then we have eternal life with God. And the blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 6:7-8]
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!