February 10, 2019

ROMANS 13 -14     


Focus Verses For Today Are: Romans 13:1-5


Take a moment to pray for understanding of the journey we are about to undertake through Romans 13-14.  Now read Romans chapters 13 and 14.  It time to start our Journey. 


Romans chapter 13 is about authority. It is about respecting authority.  It is about respecting the authority our governments have over our daily lives. It is about God - the ultimate Authority. Today’s focus verse:


13Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. (Romans 13:1-5, NIV) 


After reading the focus verses for today, ask yourself this question: How many governing authorities, presidents, prime ministers, dictators, etc., believe they were appointed by God to their positions of authority? It is probably not wise to venture a guess. It is wise, to keep in mind that the Bible says that all governing authorities are established by God. All of them. It also means that all governing authorities are pursuing God’s will, knowingly or unknowingly. God directs Christians to submit to the governing authorities, provided they are not directed to violate God’s law. God is the ultimate authority over every Christians life. We will return to our focus verse later. 


Chapter 13 versus 8-10, can be summed up in this powerful phrase, “ …, Love your neighbor as yourself.”   (Romans 13:9(b))  The phrase is simple and accurate, “Love fulfills the law.”


Chapter 13 concludes by warning the reader that whatever is done by the cover of darkness is seen by the Lord. It warns the reader to forsake carousing and drunkenness, sexual immorality and debauchery, forsaking dissension and jealousy. The reader is to avoid thinking of the gratification of the desires of the flesh, and clothe himself or herself with the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Chapter 14 concerns believers taking care of each other.  Once a person becomes a Christian, it is natural to seek a deeper understanding of their new-found faith. This can lead to conflict over what a new Christian, and an established Christian, view as proper conduct for a Christian. The examples given in chapter 14, include what a believer may eat and what day a believer considers more sacred than another. Paul’s advice is simply that the more established believer relents from whatever conduct offends the new (weaker) believer because that is acting in love for the new (weaker) believer.  This advice confirms Romans 13:8-10, which directs us to love our neighbors as ourselves. 


Let’s return to our focus verses for today: Romans 13:1-5. Take a few moments to reflect on those verses again, asking the Lord, once again, to help you understand these passages more fully.  If you are contemplating it is time to contemplate. If you are journaling it is time to journal. Looking at what appears to be a chaotic world today respond to this question. How does the state of our world today fit into God’s master plan? Take a few minutes to reflect on this before you answer. Keep in mind that God established all the governing authorities. Godspeace!


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