Summer Bible Study: Romans // Ch. 13

HEY! I’m so glad that you are back! I can’t wait to dig into scripture with you. If you have never joined us before, we are on chapter 13 of our Romans summer bible study. There are only a few more chapters left but it isn’t too late to hang out with us today! If you missed Romans 12, you can check it out here! This journey through Romans has grown me to love being in His Word. It’s such a comforting joy to relish in His truth. I pray that you & I would have a greater desire to study and truly live out what we learn from Him in His Word. Let’s jump right in!!

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Romans 13: 1-7

What is this passage saying?

Paul is instructing his readers to submit to authority. Although Paul seems to focus more on the government side of the authority, we can apply his words to any authority we may have in our lives. I remember when I was a teenager {Lord, help us all} and like any 14-year-old, I didn’t have much respect for my parents, much less any other higher-ups. Without getting into all of the stories of doorslamming, yelling, and eye-rolling… I did not have the attitude of submission. Most people don’t. And that’s exactly why God places that word, submission, all throughout scripture. In God’s eyes, when we submit to our parents, our boss, our teachers, or any other “authority figure” in our lives, we are really submitting to God. When government seems crooked, our boss is a jerk, or our teachers & parents are unfair, we are called to respond in a respectful and loving way.

How can I practically apply this truth in my life?

Let’s ask God for His perspective on this subject. As hard as it is, this glorifies God. There is no higher than God and we can rest in that fact. God Himself has appointed the rulers in this world for His reasons. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. {Isaiah 558-9} We can trust that God is the only One to judge and He is in control of all things and people, including authority.

Romans 13:8-10

What is this passage saying?

Paul goes on to speak about LOVE. At the end of verse 7, Paul tells us that if we owe someone something, we ought to pay them back no matter if it is taxes or honor. He then goes on to say something amazing. “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” We are called to love one another above all other things. Respect, submission, honor… all of those things stem from the love that we should have for one another.

How can I practically apply this truth in my life?

Before we can truly love anyone, we must know God. Did you know that?! Those aren’t just my words, either. God Himself speaks through John and tells us this in 1 John chapter 4:

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

Loving others is what God has called us to do. Period. How are you loving others? How are you loving your spouse, your children, your family, your friends, your coworkers, your actual neighbors, and even complete strangers?

Loving someone means putting their needs above your own.

Love is knowing God, experiencing His love, & sharing His love with others.

How are you loving?

Romans 13:11-14

What is this passage saying?

I picture Paul getting really excited while He is talking about love and how love is the fulfillment of all the commands from God. Then, He starts to quiet down and starts to talk s-l-o-w-l-y because He REALLY wants us to hear these next few lines. Picture a tall dude named Paul standing in front of you and a crowd of people. You know that His Words are actually God-breathed and then He says this…

“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

…and all is quiet before he screams…

WAKE UP!

Wake up. Friend, fellow sibling in the faith, we are almost out of time. This life we are living in simply a vapor. We are here today and gone tomorrow. Are we aimlessly going through life, like we are halfway sleeping? Eat. Sleep. Work. Play. Repeat. We do not have time for simply this! God put us on this earth and called us His own not so we could indulge in our desires, sinful & fleshly. No. He created us for ONE PURPOSE: to glorify Him. We already learned that by loving others, we can glorify Him. Another way? By putting aside, throwing off, the deeds of darkness (sinful things) and putting on the armor of LIGHT.

It’s time we stop flirting with sin. It’s time to destroy it. To shine His light ALL OVER this world & it’s darkness.

Paul lays it out for us pretty clear:

“Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh

This is radical, my friend. Because all of those fans of Jesus think it’s perfectly fine to be wallowing in their sexual immorality and jealousy and drunkenness and straight up sin. God has given you one purpose, and that purpose has nothing to do with your own self. It’s all about our lives and our will being handed over, being traded with God’s…. with love, selflessness, with joy unspeakable, hope, with JESUS.

How can I practically apply these truths to my life?

Spend time with God. Pray to Him, talk to Him, listen for Him. Sing to Him, cry out to Him, whisper to Him. Ask Him questions.

All of this is done in vain if we do not know Him. Loving others is impossible without knowing God’s love. The ability to put our sin to death is impossible without Jesus’ blood covering it.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” Those verses from James 4 changed my life forever. God spoke those words to me when I was a rebellious 18-year-old searching for purpose when my world was falling apart. He spoke truth, conviction, and hope into my soul that night. I haven’t been the same since. He can change you too. Be willing. And be ready to have your world turned upside down. When He speaks to the dead, life & beauty rises. He has a purpose for you. Glorify Him. He is worth it.

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One thought on “Summer Bible Study: Romans // Ch. 13

  1. Pingback: Wednesday’s Words {Intro to Me!} | Hot Tea And The Empty Seat

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