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.”
If we love God, and if we love other humans with this kind of love, we will not deliberately nor habitually sin against them, especially knowing that what we are doing is bringing harm to them. We will not lie to them or about them. We will not cheat them or steal from them. And we will not commit sexual immorality and adultery against them, but as God defines adultery, which includes lusting after others in our minds and in our hearts.
For this kind of love being spoken of here is all about preferring what God prefers, choosing his choices, and obeying them in his power. So, if we are loving others with this kind of love, our lives will be committed to our Lord, to moral purity, to righteousness, to holiness, to honesty, to faithfulness, and to turning away from our sin, and to following our Lord in obedience, and to submitting ourselves to his Lordship over our lives.
But the vast majority of today’s church in America, at least the institutional church, has this all backwards. Their idea of love is that of consoling people in their sin and of giving them carte blanche to continue in their sinful practices in doing willful harm to others. For they don’t want to offend them or to make them feel judged or uncomfortable. For they want them to continue to come to their “church” gatherings and to feel at home there.
They are more concerned with offending the sinner than they are with offending God and his righteousness. They are more concerned about making sure that the sinner doesn’t feel judged for his sin than they are about those who are being harmed by their sin. And they are more concerned about the comfort of the sinner than they care about what their sin is doing to those whom they are sinning against.
It is all being twisted today to appease and to gratify the sinful cravings of the flesh, while God’s righteous requirements for salvation and for eternal life with God are being largely ignored and/or fought against and attacked. While purportedly trying to avoid “works-based salvation,” they have turned the message of the gospel into a license for immorality, to no works required, and to lawlessness, believing they do not have to obey God at all.
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.”
Now, when this says that our salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed, it is letting us know that our salvation is in process, and it will not be completed until Jesus returns to take his bride to be with him for eternity, but provided that the believer continues in his belief steadfast and immovable to the very end, in faithfulness and in obedience to his Lord. For, if we do not continue in such faith, we will not inherit eternal life with God.
[Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; 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; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 1 Jn 2:24-25]
So, this is why the urgent call to wake up from sleep, but not physical sleep, but spiritual slumber (laziness, apathy, lukewarmness). It is because our Lord’s return is nearer, and when he returns, he will take with him those who have remained faithful, who have been walking in obedience to his commands, and who have been putting sin to death daily, by the Spirit. And for some, this may be at the last minute, but not for all.
And that is why we have these instructions here to the church to cast off the works of darkness, for evidently some of them either never left their sinful lifestyles, or else they returned to some of them, and so they are being strongly urged here of the importance of casting those sinful practices out of their lives for good. Why? Because we are still in the process of being saved, and if we keep on sinning and if we do not repent, it will end in death for us.
So, we are being instructed here to walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, and not in sexual immorality and sensuality, and not in quarreling and jealously. But we are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and his righteousness and holiness by walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, and by saying “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and by living self-controlled, upright, and godly lives.
And we are to make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. So this goes to those passages of Scripture that teach us to throw off all that hinders and to cut off whatever is leading us into sin. Many people continue on a sinful course, first of all because they want to, and secondly because they make provision for the flesh by leaving doors wide open for them to continue in their sin and by not closing any doors that lead them to sin.
So, what’s the bottom line here? It all goes back to the gospel. Faith in Jesus leads to us dying with Christ to sin and living to God and to his righteousness, or it isn’t genuine faith. For if we continue walking in sin, according to our flesh, and not according to the Spirit, in disobedience to our Lord, we will not inherit eternal life with God. Many will hear Jesus say one day, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity. I never knew you.”
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.