“THE CHRISTIAN’S NEW CLOTHES” (Romans 13)
FBC Earlville 7-17–16 10:30 AM
Rev. J.B. Stopford, Pastor
INTRODUCTION Today’s Special “Positive Thinking” (just for fun!)
Here’s how to start each day with a positive outlook:
1. Open a new file on your computer.
2. Name it “Barack Obama.”
3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.
4. Click “Empty the Recycle Bin.”
5. Your PC will ask you: “Do you really want to get rid of ‘Barack Obama’?”
6. Firmly click “Yes”
There – Don’t you feel better now?
GOOD! Tomorrow we’ll do Hillary Clinton!
AND Tuesday we’ll do Donald Trump!
Illustration.: LBJ law of 1964 – churches are to have no political supporting or risk losing its tax-free status.
The key phrase in this passage is in v. 14 “clothe yourselves” = “with His presence.” It’s a contrast – either be satisfied with Christ as if in His presence, or be satisfied with the world (“flesh”): you can’t have both! PRAYER
1. Be subject to your government- even to that with which you might disagree! vs. 1-7
God has established the government! ALL governments exist by His permission & authority v. 1 Even Pharaoh’s (Gen. 39:4,23; 41:35 – Joseph blessed) Even Herod’s (Matt. 22:17ff) Nero’s? See 1 Pet. 2:11-17.
Terror to the wrong vs.3-5 – only those who drive at 80 in a 55 zone have to be looking in the rearview mirror all the time!
QUESTION: what about when the government itself is in violation of the Word of God? Acts 5:28ff “we ought to obey GOD rather than man”
Illustration.: I knew a gentleman who boasted that, although he lost his house to the county, he never did pay taxes. My question, despite his “principle” that we weren’t a Roman government: couldn’t God provide the taxes? Was God suddenly strapped because of this man’s “principle”? And was his “principle” in violation of these verses in Romans and the ones in 1 Peter?
Pay taxes – give what you owe! vs. 6-7
2. Have only one debt – LOVE! vs. 8-10
a. No debt but love, v. 8
Personal observation: my struggle – as I pray to be obedient to this verse, the Lord seems to open my eyes to more debts that I haven’t taken care of in years. Those debts can be more than just material, right? The debt to love!
b. See neighbors through eternal eyes, v. 9-10 – Paul here lists commands of human interaction
Illus.: what if I blared Christian music toward them? No, is that what I would want them to do to me? Do I see them as God sees them?!!!
3. Live in light of eternity vs. 11-14
a. Live in Christ’s presence in respect to TIME, v. 11 Eph. 5:16 (the days are evil); Col. 4:5 (live in view of the eternal impact upon those who don’t know Jesus – and upon those struggling in their walk with Jesus). Illustration.: The English preacher Spurgeon saw a billboard which read, “even Spurgeon smokes our cigars” – he immediately QUIT!
b. Live in Christ’s presence in respect to the BATTLE, v. 12 (see Eph. 6:10ff)
c. Live in Christ’s presence in respect to HOLINESS, vs. 13-14 (see Heb. 12:14)
Ps. 93:1 God Himself is “clothed with majesty”! The Christian having the privilege of being clothed with His presence means we regularly live in GOD’S majestic presence!
Illustration.: A closing thought: if you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Will there be evidence showing that you are “clothed with Jesus” – that you’ve been living with His presence?
CLOSE IN PRAYER