Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Love The Light, Hate the Night (Romans 13)

Key Ideas:
Paul has spent the first 11 chapters of Romans laying out His understanding of the Gospel and the nature of God's salvation. Beginning in chapter 12, he begins to discuss the implications of salvation. In chapter 13, he is giving very simple and practical instructions for life to those who have accepted God's salvation.

Verses 8-14 cover two related issues. The first is "How do we treat our neighbors?" The second is "How do we live among our neighbors?" Our relationship with our neighbors is to be characterized by love because that is what Moses taught in the law, and it is what Christ commanded. Our behavior in front of our neighbors is to be characterized by light, not be darkness (1 John is full of this kind of language). Living in the light is most easily simplified by suggesting that those deeds which we do in private, but not public are most likely the actions of darkness.

Discussion Guide:

What is the best hiding place you ever used when playing "hide and seek"?

When have you had a secret you kept from others? Have you ever been hurt by the secrets of others?

Read Romans 13:8-14.

What do you think it means to "love your neighbor"? Are we required to love everyone around us?

Read verse 9. How are each of these commandments based upon love? How does a lack of love lead to other kinds of sins?

Why do you think Paul talks about evil deeds as being darkness and good deeds as being light?

*Rule of Thumb for life: If you are trying to hide the thing you are doing, then perhaps you shouldn't be doing it!*

What do you think it means to "clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ?" (vs.14) If Jesus had a sports team, what would their jersey look like?

What kind of lifestyle would cause people to immediately identify you as a follower of Jesus? What needs to change in your life so this will be true of you?

How will you demonstrate love to those around you this week?

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