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.”
This love is not human love. It is not based on feelings (emotions) and experiences. This love comes from God for God is love. And so it prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, godly, morally pure, upright, honest, and faithful. Thus those who are exercising this love are preferring to live through Christ and to obey his choices through his power.
So, if we are loving others with this love we are not going to deliberately and habitually sin against them. We are not going to willfully and deliberately do what we know is going to harm them, i.e. that which is going to cause them to be hurt in some way. So, we will not lie to, cheat on, commit adultery against, slander, gossip about, betray, trick, trap, lead into sin, and otherwise do them harm willfully knowing that we are hurting them.
Now, this does not mean that we compromise morals, truth, and righteousness in order to not offend people or in order to not upset them. If we are teaching the truth of the gospel, some people are going to be offended by what we are teaching. They won’t like the message. But we don’t change the message just so that people won’t get upset with us or just so they don’t accuse us of being unloving and judgmental.
In fact, sharing with them the truth of the gospel, in love, is one of the highest forms of expressing love for others that there is. And that is because when we share the truth of the gospel we put our lives on the line in order to tell people the truth that will set them free if they believe it and if they apply what Jesus did for them on that cross to their daily lives.
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.”
Jesus Christ came into the world so that he could be our sacrificial Lamb to take away the sins of the world. He came into the world so that he might die on a cross for our sins so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. Even though he was sinless, he took our sins upon himself so that we might be crucified with him in death to sin so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness.
For, when we come into this world, we are born in the image of Adam with sin natures. We are separate from God and we cannot in our own flesh be acceptable to God. So Jesus took our sins upon himself and he put them to death with him so that we would be crucified with him in death to sin and be raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 3:23; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
Three days after Jesus had died on that cross for our sins, God resurrected him from the dead and he appeared to many people for about 40 days before he ascended back to heaven to be with God the Father. And then he sent his Holy Spirit to indwell his followers, and one day soon he is going to return for us, his bride, and he is going to take us to be with him forever, but he will also return as judge to judge the people of the world.
But before he returns, as I believe the Scriptures teach, there will be a time of tribulation on this earth where we will come under severe persecution for our walks of faith in Jesus Christ and when many people will be put to death for their walks of faith and for their testimonies for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and much of that has been happening ever since Jesus ascended back to heaven. And this is also a time of judgment.
And God will judge his adulterous church in order to purify her and to make her ready for the wedding feast and for the consummation of the marriage between Jesus and his church (his bride). And he will use the enemies of God to do this work of cleansing of his adulterous bride. And I believe we are already seeing these judgments taking place in our nations and in our world today, with more to come (Rev 2-3; Rev 13; Rev 18, etc.).
For, our salvation is not yet complete, and it won’t be complete until our Lord returns and he takes us to be with him for eternity, and provided that we do wake up from our slumber, and that we do cast off the works of darkness and that we put on the armor of light, and provided that we continue in Christ and in his word, steadfast in faith in walks of obedience to our Lord and in surrender to his will for our lives.
And that is what this warning is all about. For, the Scriptures teach that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness and that we must walk in obedience to his commands or we don’t have eternal life with God. For if sin is what we practice and righteousness is not what we practice, and if we walk in disobedience and not in obedience, then we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we profess with our lips.
So, we are not saved and then we live however we want and one day when we die or when Jesus returns we get to go to heaven. Heaven is not guaranteed us on past belief or on professions of faith in Jesus only. We must walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit and we must walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, and Jesus must be Lord and Master of our lives or we don’t have eternal life with him.
We are all going to be judged by God according to what we do, according to our deeds. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. If we make sin our practice, and if we do not obey our Lord, we will not inherit eternal life. And this is why we have these instructions about the necessity of putting off sexual immorality and sensuality, etc.
And we have to put on the Lord Jesus by following him wherever he leads us, and by obeying his commands, and by making him Lord (Master) of our lives, and by daily dying with him to sin and living to him and to his righteousness so that we make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires. For, again, if we walk in sin, we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we profess with our lips. So, honor him today as Lord.
[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; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]
Angels We Have Heard on High
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echo back their joyous strains
Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
Say what may the tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing,
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
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