Romans 13:8-14 “Wake-up Time!”


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Everyone has a particular way that they like to fall asleep.  Whether it’s pulling all the blankets over your head, reading a good book, or falling asleep in your chair watching TV, each one of us goes through the various motions of turning our brains off as we drift off to dreamland.  But how do you know when you are asleep? Realistically, though, we aren’t aware of our unconsciousness until you wake up.

This is the essence of what Paul has been and currently is saying in his letter to the Romans.  Being “conformed to the pattern of this world” is much like being asleep. It looks “normal” and feels “normal” to the point that we may not even be aware of it.  Paul’s words here are like an alarm clock, jarring us awake to the realities of what a life surrendered to Christ looks like. Christ’s resurrection brought about the “morning” of new life and this is no time to sleep in!

Questions to take home:

  1. Paul writes, “Owe nothing to anyone…” at the beginning of this section.  This one verse has carried with it multiple interpretations from everyday finances to forgiveness.  What are some ways that you would interpret Romans 13:8?
  2. Read 1 John 4:7-12.  Love is a word that, in our cultural context, has been infused with many meanings.  How does the Scriptural definition of love (“Agape” Love), as it is shown in Jesus, impact the way you read and apply this Romans passage?
  3. The imagery of darkness (night) and light (day) is not unique to Romans.  Read Isaiah 9:2, John 1:4-5, John 8:12 and 1 John 1:5-7. What does it mean to walk in the light, as in the daytime?  How are you doing that well? Where is the Spirit convicting you here?