Sunday, September 27, 2009

law-abiding citizens

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.c Do not be conceited.

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
………………………………………………………. Romans 12: 9-21

As a Believer, I am free from the Law, but that is not the same as being given license to act however I please. In fact, we Believers SHOULD uphold the Law, and even go beyond that!  Our concern with “legalism” and “works-based salvation” often gives us an excuse to claim freedom from the Law in such a way that we are not properly convicted of our offensive, sinful behavior; not only that—we have missed the proper ‘spirit’ of the law entirely.  We do not uphold the law for the sake of the Law, but we are called to live lives that lift up the Name of Jesus to all we come in contact with; living in accordance with the law naturally follows from that.  As Romans says, we are to “live at peace with everyone.”  Where does that leave room for lawlessness and recklessness?  It leaves no such room, and should call us to be  vigilant and diligent in our pursuit of God’s truth, so that through his strength and through the discernment that comes from walking in the Spirit, we might be “a living sacrifice.” (Rom. 12: 1)

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