Thursday, 16 November 2017

Romans 13:8-14 Faith, Hope & Love, but the Greatest of these is Love by Dr Thomas Chung dated 12.11.2017

The Apostle Paul introduces the theme of love by expounding the essence of Christian love in Romans 12:9-10

Love expresses itself in three ways
(William Barclay’s translation puts it in this way)
   (i) “your love must be completely sincere “(the purity of Christian love) (Romans 12:9)
  (ii) “Hate that which is evil, cling to (or love) that which is good “ (12:9) 
                Christian love is a love/hate relationship (i.e. a paradox)
             i.e. the two must go together representing the two sides of the same coin   -
 (iii) “Be affectionate to one another in brotherly love” (12:10)
                  Notes: “affectionate” – Greek “philos – storge”
               Philos – means affection or love between friends – a term of endearment
                              “Abraham was called the friend (philos) of God” (James 2:23)
                 Storge – love between members of the same family i.e. parents for children
                               and vice versa
              Storge is used here because as Christians we are members of the same    
              family- the family of God, i.e. my brothers and sisters in Christ
(iv) “Give to each other priority in honour” (12:10)
              (i.e. the kind of respect that causes us to value one another)

1. Agape-the highest form of love (vs 8-10)
Agape only finds its full meaning in the person and death of Jesus.
      The Apostle Paul now uses this word as the highest form of love – i.e. God’s love
       for us and vice versa. (this is at the core, in the heart of Christianity – our
       relationship with God in Christ)
       “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son…” (John 3:16)
(a) The “debt” of Love (vs 8 – 10)
          (i) every Christian is forever in debt
        (ii) it is a debt that we continue to repay throughout our lives
         “Owe no one anything except to love one another: for he who loves his neighbour has   
           fulfilled the law” (vs8)   
           i.e. we cannot love enough
(b) The “fulfilment” of the law (vs 8 ,10)
             “He who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law” (vs 8)
             “Love does no wrong to his neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilling of 
                the law” (vs10)
(i) when we love we will do what is right
(ii) Obedience to God signifies that we love God and our fellow men
(iii) vs9 says Love God with your everything, love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27)
(iv) Jesus said: If you love me keep my commandment” ( John 14:15)
(v) “Fulfilled” – Greek – plȇrȏma means fullness – i.e. Love fills up everything in life and 
                                gives pleasure to God.
                                Loving in full will cause us to be the most fulfilled person in life.

2. Constant reminder (Vs 11-13)
We are in the “last days”, even “last hour”
(a) The early church lived in the hope and belief that Jesus will return in their life   
(i) “the night is far gone, the day is at hand” (vs12)
(ii) “The end of all things is at hand” (1 Peter 4:7)
(iii) The Book of Revelation ends with “Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come,Lord  
           Jesus” (Rev 22:20)
(b) In view of this Paul sums it up.
          Obey the law, live clean lives, stop quarreling, get rid of jealousy (vs13)

3. Final remedy
(a) “Put Off”, before we can “put on” we have to “put off”, or put
          away, means to give up
         (i) “Put away strange Gods” (Gen 35:2)
         (ii) “Put away sin” (Job 22:23)
         (iii) “Put away childish thing” (1 Cor 13:11)
         (iv) “Put away everything that will grieve the Holy spirit” (Eph 4:30)
(b) “Put on”
         (i) “The armour of light” (vs12),  Eph 6:11
         (ii) “Put on the New Man ”- (the new nature) created after the likeness of
                    God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:24), Col 3:10
         (iii) “Put on love” (Col 3:14)
         (iv) “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (vs14)
                     (also do not feed our evil desires) (vs14)
                  “Stop turning to the dark side”
Repentance,  forgiveness & reconciliation
will enable us to put right
what is wrong
and keep us on the right side
of our relationship
one another.

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