Love in the light
Scripture: Romans 13:8–13:14
Romans: The Gospel for God’s glory
Love in the light
Love others as you live in the light of Christ’s return
1) Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law, 13:8.
Why does Paul say that love is a debt we always owe? Does saying that love is a debt make it sound like a mere duty? What has Paul said about the nature of love in 12:9, 10 and 15? So does our debt-obligation to love include loving from the heart?
2) For 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”, 13:9.
How does this verse explain how the one who loves has fulfilled the law (v.9)? How does “you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself” sum up the commandments? Some say, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” means that in order to love others, you need to love yourself first (i.e., this is a command to love yourself). Do you agree it means this? Why or why not?
3) Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law, 13:10.
State this principle in positive terms. Why is it helpful that Paul states it in the negative?
4) Besides 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, 13:11.
What “time” is Paul talking about? What does Paul’s word picture mean literally?
5) The 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, 13:12.
Again, interpret Paul’s word picture. What does he mean? (Compare 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8).
6) Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy, 13:13.
In what ways do you think these sins are a problem among Christians? Is sexual immorality worse than quarreling? Why or why not?
7) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires, 13:14.
What does Paul mean by saying we must put on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to not gratify the desires of our flesh? What are ways we make provision for our fleshly desires?