“Owe no one anything except to love each other for the one who loves another has fulfilled the Law…
Besides this you know the time; that the hour has come to wake from sleep—for salvation is nearer to use now that when we first believed…Let us walk properly as in the daytime…
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Excerpts from Rom 13:8-14)
What I see in Romans 13 is Paul clarifying and explaining what godly conduct looks like. It would do well for me to catalog these and put effort into remembering AND doing them.
Salvation through faith in the Grace of God vs. faith in works: I think I understand intellectually the difference but there are times where I am confused functionally.
Earlier in the Letter to the Romans Paul is thorough in explaining that salvation does not come by works, either by the Law or by any effort of Man. Then here in chapter 13 Paul talks about doing stuff; stuff that should be done by those calling in faith upon Christ Jesus.
I think this is the Human Responsibility side of the principle describing God’s Sovereignty vs. Human Responsibility: I learn responsibly and then I am responsible to do.
What is easier to do: Learning or Doing? Answer: “Doing” for the most part. But what am I required to do? Both, of course, except I think this: If I have not learned why to do something then do I trust in my works to please God or have I “renewed my mind to prove what the Will of God is?” How much do I do that I do in the Name but not really knowing what the Will of God is? Probably tons.
I think Discipleship can be considered as Biblical Self-maintenance at times. If I read Paul a lot I can see a lot of instructions in these Categories: “Get your head on straight”, “Get your act together”, or “Come on: Let’s get serious here.” There is a lot to take from Romans 13 to tell the man in the mirror first and foremost. My tendency is to want to tell someone else how to respond (lord it over them or “do as I say, not as I do).
My goal is to press into Christ in such a way so I can say “Follow me as I follow Christ” knowing that adamantly, passionately, and fiercely pressing into Christ Jesus with my warts and all may be the only thing I can offer someone to follow.
Lord God, thank you for helping my continual learning of this principle. I fail a lot—that is the lot of a Disciple I think so that I can learn about Grace. Pushing forward, even if just a half a step, is still pushing forward. Help me to increase in being fierce in pursuing You. AMEN.