We've been spending the last few weeks working through Romans 12 and 13. We started on the morning of our annual church meetings looking at what it means to be the body of Christ. We thought how we belong to God, and how we belong to each other, and how the hallmark of our life together is love - love for God, love for each other, love for the wider world, including those who persecute us. The material on Romans 12 was very specific to our particular church circumstances, but I offer these latest sermons on Romans 13 as more general teaching, looking at love in the wider world, and love in light of Christ's coming. As so often happens, the more you get into God's word, the more relevant it becomes to your present situation, and this has certainly been the case here.
In the West we haven't had to think too much about the limits of our submission to the authorities for a long, long time. We have generally admired the steadfastness of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, but never really stopped to think what we can learn from them. But with the sexual revolution becoming institutionalised by governments, we are going to have to respond clearly and quickly to the developing situation. As norms of behaviour are imposed which run contrary to gospel teaching, we need to know how to promote basic Christian holiness, and to teach the urgency of living in light of Christ's return. Yet at the same time we need to hold true to the essential command of Christ to love our neighbour as ourselves. How do we do this?
I am not sure I have the answer. But preparing the sermons certainly got me thinking...
6 days ago