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Speaking the Language of Love - Arrival Series [7-12-20]

Updated: Aug 25, 2020

With the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent quarantine, tax day was pushed up to July. How appropriate that today's message is built around Romans 13:7-14, beginning with verse 7:

Pay to all what is owed them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

This was neither planned nor intentional. Pretty cool that it worked out this way, especially since we all love the IRS and paying our taxes. Amen?

Anyway, Paul takes up our duty to civil authority in Romans 13:7. What's interesting is that Paul takes up the cause of respecting governing authorities and paying taxes after taking a deep dive into love and renewal. Chapter 12 filled with charges to let love be genuine, love another, outdo one another in showing honor, be patient in tribulation, and so forth. He ends chapter 12 with, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with


So what should we say? Should we say that Paul's high-minded chapter 12 on love and its expressions and requirements end at the last verse and a new direction picks up with chapter 13? In other words, is chapter 13 a detour from chapter 12 and the theme of love? Or is what Paul says about submission to civil authorities another expression of love?

Consider what Paul establishes in chapter 12. Through the saving work that Christ did for us on the cross, God is now doing a great work in us. God saves us and He saves us for a purpose. The present work God is doing in us is based on the past work God did for us in the cross. And both past and present works are preparing us for heaven. Does that makes sense?

In the grand sweep of things, it's easy to say that Romans 1-11 tells the love of God for us through the work of Christ. After that, Romans 12-16 defines and describes how that love is lived out as we love others. It can best be summed up by 1 John 4:11 {A principle of understanding the Bible is that the Bible interprets itself}: