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LIVING SOBERLY


Romans 13:1-14

Friday, 18 August 2023



You know the times ⌞in which we are living⌟. It’s time for you to wake up. Our salvation is nearer now than when we first became believers. -Romans 13:11[GW]


After Paul sets out the doctrine of the Christian faith from chapter 1-11 in Romans, he goes on to exhorting the believers how to practically live it out. It’s not just enough to know our doctrines, but how we live according to God’s Word shows the non-believer that Christian life is workable. Our approach towards God’s Word and our associations with others, in the backdrop of the systems and traditions of men, have a great impact in our lives and that of others.


In our reading Paul deals with a few areas, the believer’s life and influence needs to have impact:


· Respect for Authority (Vs.1-7)


Paul encourages believers to obey the government and keep the rules set by them as rulers are in their respective places with God’s knowledge. We are not to rebel against authority except when it is in direct disobedience to God. A Christian citizen is not to default in paying his taxes. If one does wrong, he is deserving punishment. Paul says, Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” (V.5). Respect for authority is what Paul is trying to teach. A dutiful citizen is a model in his community.


· Relation with the Neighbour (Vs.8-10)


The believer’s relationship to his nieghbour is to be based on love-“Love does no harm to a neighbor.” (V.10). Jesus Himself commanded: Love your neighbor as yourself!- which Paul reminds us of. The wrong you wouldn’t do to yourself, you mustn’t do to others. When we model kindness, compassion, respect and right living before our neighbours, we prove ourselves a practicing Christian.


· Restrain on the self


The imminence of the Lord’s return is for every believer in every age—because no one knows the day! It helps us to be alert in the conduct of our lives and keep alive the hope we have. But the world we live in has a way to drag us into its allurements. Self-control is one fruit of the Spirit we all require on a daily basis as the corrupt nature of the flesh fights against us. 1 Peter 2: 11: “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.” We are called to live in the light and discard the deeds of darkness.


Paul’s remedy for right living is “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ!” (V.14). To put on something, we have to put away something else. That’s what Paul wrote about in Colossians 3:5-14. Our new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Col.3:10) needs to exhibit qualities like—compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, forgiveness, etc. Love for the Lord and one another binds all these qualities in perfect unity.


Romans 12: 2 [NLT] remind us: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” When we yield thus to Him and His Word, our respect for authority, relations with others and the restrain on ourselves will be visible in the way we conduct ourselves.


Prayer: LORD God, transform me inwardly that I may experience Your love and know what is good and pleasing to You and conduct my life according to Your way. Amen.


Listen: 'This my desire'

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