April 07 2021
Today, Wednesday April 7
Romans 13:8-10 – Paying the Debt of Love
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
After Paul told his Roman readers to pay their taxes and keep all their bills and debts paid up, he instructs them to pay the debt that they owe to everyone and that is the debt of love. It is a debt that we can never end paying. We will owe this debt till our dying day.
Remember Paul has been talking about our relationship and responsibilities with God, with other members in the Body of Christ, with our enemies and finally with the state. Next Paul enlarged the circle of responsibility by including other people besides government officials.
"Love one another" is the basic principle of the Christian life. It is the "new commandment" that Christ gave to us (John 13:34). When we practice love, there is no need for any other laws, because love covers it all! If we love others, we will not sin against them. This explained why the Ten Commandments were not referred to often in the New Testament. In fact, the Sabbath commandment is not quoted at all in any of the epistles. As believers, we do not live under the Law; we live under grace. Our motive for obeying God and helping others is the love of Christ in our hearts.
Paul now centers on the very heart of the problem—the human heart. Because the heart of man is sinful, God established government. But laws cannot change the heart; man's heart is still selfish and can be changed only by the grace of God.
After we personally experience the love, grace and mercy of God through the cross of Jesus Christ ourselves we become a debtor to the love of God. And the only way we can continually pay this debt is to reach into God’s limitless, endless reservoir of God’s love and give His love to everyone around us.
When we love others the way God loves us, we prove that we have experienced the reality of the love of God in Christ Jesus ourselves. And then, despite how we are being treated or persecuted, God’s love will flow into us and through us. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)