Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 13:13, 14
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 13:13
v13: Paul tells believers in Rome to live as if Jesus had already returned. He says “Let us walk properly (beautifully, gracefully) as in the day…” (literal). He directs their attention forward in time to that “day” when Jesus returns to earth and we begin to live in resurrected bodies (Ro 8:15-23; 1Co 13:9-12; 1Jn 3:1-3). We will finally be living in that condition for which God has destined us. We will be “conformed to His image” (Ro 8:29; 1Jn 3:2) meaning our physical bodies will be resurrected as His was, and we will become as morally pure and loving as He is. So Paul’s instruction to them is that they should attempt to live here and now by the same standards that will guide them there and then. The principle is quite simple. We need only ask, would I do this if Jesus were here? Or, will I be doing things like this in the age to come?

Monday: Romans 13:13
v13 (continued): Though he doesn’t tell us how he knows what sinful behaviors were taking place in the Roman church, the long list at the end of this letter of his friends who lived there (Ro 16:1-10) shows us how easily such information could have been passed on to him. When he described the “deeds of darkness” that they needed to “lay aside”, he used such vivid terms that it seems obvious that there must have been a specific problem that he was trying to correct. Taken together, these six words picture a common human problem. The first word he uses (komos) refers to what often happens after people get drunk. It was used for drinking parties that went until late at night and tended to end up with people having sex (Gal 5:21; 1Pe 4:3).

Tuesday: Romans 13:13
v13 (continued): The next word (methuo) means to become drunk, intoxicated (Mt 24:49; Ac 2:15; 1Co 5:11; 11:21; Gal 5:21; 1Th 5:7). The next word (koite) literally means a place where people lie down, in other words a bed, and the way he’s using it here means to have sex with someone other than your spouse. The next word (aselgeia) refers to wild, shameless, indecent conduct (2Co 12:21; Gal 5:19; Eph 4:19). Peter uses this word to describe the behaviors of those living just before the flood in Noah’s time and of those in Sodom and Gomorrah (2Pe 2:2, 7). Later he uses the term again saying the false teachers of his day were leading people into this type of sin (2Pe 2:18-20).

Wednesday: Romans 13:13, 14
v13 (continued): Paul finishes this list with two words which express the broken relationships which so often emerge where this kind of behavior occurs. He identifies angry quarreling (eris) (Ro 1:29; 1Co 1:11, 3:3; 2Co 12:20; Gal 5:20) and the jealousy (zelos) that seeps into hearts and can breed hatred toward certain individuals (Ac 5:17; 13:45; 1Co 3:3; 2Co 12:20, Gal 5:20; Jas 3:14). v14: Then without scolding or threatening Paul tells whoever is involved with this type of behavior how to get out. He gives them two clear commands: He says, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” and “do not make plans to fulfill the lusts of the flesh”.

Thursday: Romans 13:14
v14 (continued): The first command essentially tells them to remember what it means to be “in Christ” and to believe again that God has placed you there. When a person is born-again they are actually spiritually joined to Christ, in fact, in God’s eyes we have been placed within Him; He covers and surrounds us and it is because of this union with Him that we are freely given forgiveness for our sins and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit who enables us to put to death the deeds of the flesh (Ro 8:13). So the first step for these Romans Christians was to go back to this reality and by faith to put on again all it meant to be joined to Christ.

Friday: Romans 13:14
v14 (continued): In Galatians 3:27 Paul says, “For as many as were baptized into Christ, you put on Christ” (literal). He pictures believers clothed with, immersed into, Christ to such an extent that Christ becomes our new identity. Human distinctions such as religious background, social status and even gender are replaced by the far more important and lasting identification of our spiritual union with Him. What matters to God is that we belong to His Son. Who He is and what He has done defines us, not who we are or what we have done. In Ephesians 4:23, 24 Paul tells believers “to be renewed in the spirit of your mind and to put on the new man which according to God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” He also goes on to speak there of “laying aside” ungodly behaviors (Eph 4:25-31). His instruction in Colossians follow this same pattern. He says all true believers have “put off the old man with his practices” and have “put on the new which is continually being renewed until it becomes just like the One who is creating it (Col 3:9, 10).

Saturday: Romans 13:14
v14 (continued): The fact that he commands us to do these things shows that we have a part to play in God’s transformation process. We are told to exercise our will in “putting on” and “putting off”, but our success in doing so is only made possible because of what Christ has done. It’s His death that continually brings us forgiveness and His resurrection that continually brings us the indwelling Holy Spirit, we exercise our will by believing afresh but He supplied the needed forgiveness and power. Remembering this truth and laying hold of it by faith is therefore the first step for those who wish to stop practicing “deeds of darkness”. v14 (continued): Paul’s second command is “do not make plans to fulfill the lusts of the flesh”. There will always be temptations that arrive unexpectedly requiring us to redirect our thoughts. This struggle is the experience of all believers living in the world. But the most serious sorts of sin usually require careful planning. It often takes communication, scheduling, purchases and even deception to fulfill the lusts of our flesh, in other words, it requires forethought. So, not only are we not innocent victims in those situations, but if the truth were told, we willingly participated in planning to sin. Paul exposes this uncomfortable truth and reminds us that one essential step in gaining victory over such sin is to refuse to make the necessary arrangements.

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