In Romans 1-8 Paul explained the glory of the gospel and the greatness of God — how no one can be saved by keeping the law; we can only be saved by trusting that God, because of the blood of Jesus Christ, will forgive us and solve the problem of sin in our lives.

Then in Romans 9-11, he examines how God treated Israel.  He argues that God neither failed nor rejected Israel and He will be faithful to Gentile believers as well.

Finally in Romans 12 he turns to believers and says, “It is only reasonable that we worship this God with our bodies.” The rest of the book then talks about our practical response to the greatness of the gospel: How should it make our lives different?

Chapter 12:3 has implications for everything that comes after it:

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

One practical result of growing faith is that we learn to see ourselves more accurately.  We stop thinking of ourselves too seriously, stop believing we’re more important than others and stop demanding that all our rights and needs be met.  In Romans 12, Paul told us to be sober about ourselves, to be accurate and realistic and not take ourselves too seriously.

Then in our dealings with others to be passionate in our relationships, to care deeply and to be committed to them; and to be generous — to give ourselves away, to try to do more than our share and looks for ways to outdo each other in service.

In Romans 13:1-7, we looked at how that should affect our attitude toward government and those in authority over us.

In Romans 13:8-14, Paul explains what it means to be able to live as people who are free to love one another and free of self-recrimination, guilt, uncertainty, or doubt. The passage speaks of freedom from debt and freedom from darkness.


13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.  9For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.  11Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.  12The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.  13Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.  14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. – Romans 13:8-14 ESV

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