Romans 13 — Submission to Authority, Fulfilling the Law Through Love
Romans 14 — Do Not Pass Judgment or Cause Another to Stumble
Thoughts about serving others
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One Reply to “Sep 16 — Romans 13-14”
Paul quickly covers submission to governing authorities and moves onto a more significant topic: Love one another. “Do you want to be free from fear from the one in authority? Then do what is right” (Romans 13:3)…”Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes…” (13:7)–enough said! The only debt we should have is “the continuing debt to love one another” (13:8); “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (13:10).
I really like the discussion about accepting one another, being aware of those around us who are either new to the faith (weak), those who choose to eat a certain thing or abstain from something as their means of being faithful. We should
– “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters” (14:1).
– “For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone” (14:7).
– “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another” (14:13).
It is so important to have this perspective in our walk as Christians, as couples, as parents. If we treat each other with this great mutual respect, we honor Christ. When we do that which honors Christ, we will indeed receive approval of others, but their approval is not the goal, rather it’s a positive collateral benefit. It’s not bad to be approved of by our brothers and sisters, but Paul reminds us this is not the main thing.
Here’s a thought: when a Christian brother or sister says something that offends me, keep in mind that they are a child of God, speaking what they know is true based on their experience and understanding. In other words, they mean well, even if their words are misspoken. It is my responsibility to love them anyway, to keep an eternal perspective and respond with love, not unkindness. Likewise, if I say something that offends someone, I hope to find this same response. In both cases there may be need for correction, but if that is based on love, we both grow in our faith and knowledge of Christ. “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (14:19). Our church, our community, our country would be a much better place if we could learn these lessons. Lord help me to be a peacemaker, one who holds high the value of mutual edification. Amen!