Romans 13, Render To All Their Due

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Jerry Simmons shared this Verse By Verse Bible study from Romans on Sunday, April 23, 2023 using the New King James Version (NKJV).

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Well, as we look at Romans chapter 13 tonight, I've titled the Message Render to all their due. Comes out of verse 7 where Paul says render therefore to all their due and it really kind of ties together the different subjects that Paul is addressing here in Romans Chapter 13 there is an obligation that we have in response to the Lord and what he has done for us there is an. There is something that is due. To various groups, people, organizations in our lives, and there is a responsibility that we have to give them their due to render to all the do what it is that they are owed. Now here as we work our way through the Book of Romans, we've been reading through the the chapters and really digging deep into all the doctrinal detail. Deals of the Gospel and Paul Hayes through great detail in these chapters explain to us why we need the gospel, why the gospel works, how to receive the gospel, all of the different aspects of justification and sanctification and glorification. He he's been working his way through all of these details in Romans chapters. One through 11. But then in Chapter 12, he shifts gears and so now it's not doctrine any longer in that same sense it's not. Let's investigate and discover all of the details of the doctrine of the salvation of God now it. Now it is what is the impact that this doctrine has upon the life of one who? Has received it. And so Romans 12 through 16, really focus on the application, the impact of the gospel. What does it mean? For us, what does it? Look like in our lives when we believe the truth about God and the truth about salvation. When we grasp hold of and are born again and receive the grace, the forgiveness, the promises. When we believe God at his word, what does it look like? And how should we live? Since we have believed this gospel message and this chapter here in Chapter 13 is one of those examples of how. Well, for those who believe in Jesus, those who receive the gospel, it will certainly radically change your life. If you receive the gospel and then. The your life just continues on like nothing ever happened. Then you you kind of need to go back and reexamine some things the the gospel will radically change your life, the impact of the gospel will well, it will impact every aspect of every part of every moment. Of every day. Every conversation, it will well, you can read there in chapter 12. Some of the things we'll look at Chapter 13 today. We'll continue on in Chapter 14 and 15 and 16 and and Paul will go on to explain all of these different impacts. These these points where the Lord transforms us and changes us and instructs us, but. Not just telling us what to do, but with the promise that he is enabling us. To fulfill the commands that he has set before us and so render to all their due. It's easy, perhaps, to talk about, but it's more difficult many times to do what it is that the Lord. Is requiring here. But the Lord is requiring it, and so let's consider what the Lord has for us here in Chapter 13. Three points to consider as we look at rendering to all their due. The first point is going to be found in verses. One through 7 willingly supports your authorities. Willingly support your authorities. Check out verse one. It says let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God. And the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Here, Paul instructs the church there at Rome to be subject and and that there's not an exception, you know, within the church. Not most souls should be subject, but let every soul be subject. This is instruction to every believer that we are to be subject to the governing authorities. That word subject it is comes kind of from a military type of concept. It is to. Arrange yourself in rinks to arrange yourself under the authority. The direction the instruction of another to put yourself in subjection is what Paul is saying here. Another way to say it is to submit yourself or to submit your control. I like the. Way that Pastor Thomas Constable talks about this word. He says that. To be subject or submission, it involves an attitude of compliance. That's not necessarily present in obedience. Submission, he says, is essentially support. And I think this is a challenging one for us to consider because sometimes we can be obedient, but obviously we're not happy about it and we want to make sure that they know that we're not happy about it, right, that that submission sometimes happens because we have to. But but what Paul is telling us here to be subject to the governing authorities, he's not talking about it like that. He's not saying be subject. And obedience, and do what you're told with a bad attitude and a sour face. This the idea here is willingly subject yourself. To those authorities that are in place over you, and so as Thomas Constable puts it, submission is essentially support. Yes, I support you in that decision. I support you in that law. I support you in what it is that the the instruction that is being given. And and this instruction from the Lord here can apply to authority in of course a variety of realms. He's specifically focused on governmental authority or the the government of the nation. But of course. We can look at authority in the workplace authority in the Home authority, in the church, there is a need for us to. Those authorities that God has placed in our lives now, of course, that can be really challenging for us because. Maybe authority in the home, you know, that's that's a struggle. But maybe we can kind of. Take that one and you know on faith and OK. That kind of makes sense. I know it's a battle sometimes. And those challenges with that, but OK, you know that's that's we can we can live with that one authority. In the church. Yeah, you know, I've heard of some bad situations. I've experienced some bad situations. And so yeah, sometimes I kind of wrestle with that one, but. Overall, it makes sense, right that. Christ is the head of the church. He sets up leaders within the church. I get it. But but outside of the church, in the workplace, could that. Really be instruction. Of the Lord to be. Be willingly submitted to and in support of authorities over you in the workplace who may not have any relationship with God at all. May not care about the things of God or desire, the work of God, or want the plan of God. Me maybe opposed to God can can that really be something that God would desire, that we would willingly? Workplace authorities or state level. Political authorities or national level authorities? Could that really be the case? And and that it is, that is what Paul is saying here. Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. Now, if this was the only passage that dealt with this kind of subject, then we might be able to kind of maybe explain it away, come up with a situation where it's like, ohh yeah, you know, This is why we don't really have to pay much attention to this, but. This is actually a pretty common subject in the scriptures. Later on, Paul is going to write to Titus and. Titus, chapter 3. As he instructs him how to instruct the church. He tells Titus Titus. Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities to obey, to be ready for every good work to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. So there we see the same idea reiterated. There is the instruction to the church church we are to be subject to rulers and authorities. We're we're to obey and and we're to be ready for every good work. There's that willingness there. There's that, that readiness there, that we're we're willing and we're ready to be obedient. He says to speak evil of no one. That one can be a challenge sometimes, especially when those authorities are not our favorite people in this life, right? But to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable and gentle, to be humble, it is the instruction for us. As members of the body of Christ as recipients of the gospel message, God says OK, good, you've received the good news. You've believed in Jesus. You're justified. You're in the process of being sanctified. You have a a great work of God that's happening in your life. Now here's what I want you to do. Be subject. Be submitted to willfully, joyfully support those authorities that I've placed. In your life. Peter tells us in first Peter Chapter 2, verse 13. Therefore, submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake. Whether to the king as supreme or to governors as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers. And for the praise. Of those who do good, he goes on to say for this is the will of God. Here is the will of God. Sometimes you wonder what is the will of God for my life. Well, here is 1 aspect of the will of God for every one of our lives, submit yourself to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake. For the Lord's sake is a. Key part there, right? Like as as a. Testament to the Lord, I'm doing this. For the Lord. I don't like it. I don't agree with it, you know? But but for the Lord's sake, I'm going to be willingly, joyfully in support. Of those authorities in my life. We could walk through similar examples in the workplace. First Peter Chapter 2. Verse 18 Paul says servants. Be submissive to your masters. And Titus Chapter 2 again, instruction to the church through Titus exhort bond servants to be obedient to their own masters. Ephesians chapter five. We see the instruction about authority within the home. For husband and wife, for children, we see in Chapter 6. Bond servants and masters, and the instruction there. There is all of this instruction about authority in our lives. And God wants us to know his will in response to the gospel is that we are to be subject. To those governing authorities. Now Paul goes on to tell us why in verse one. For there is no authority except from God. This is. A good reason to listen to what Paul is saying here because we need to understand it's hard for us to understand in many cases. That authorities exist because God has established them. And you can. Think about that in a idea of the offices and roles, right that God established the order within the home and God established the order within the church, and he's the one who defined those roles and made and created those opportunities. For someone to be in authority in that realm and and even in the society type of context that government is God's idea, has he established the Nation of Israel? There was authorities that were put in place over the nation that that was part of God's design. And so we can understand there is no authority except from God with that mindset. We can also understand. That what God is saying here is that even the people who fill those roles. Well, God has allowed those people to fill that role of authority. And so to understand. The authorities that exist are appointed by God. God established the role. And for his own purposes, for whatever reason, we don't always know the reasons. But he has allowed certain people placed certain people into those roles, and you can see that very clearly in the Old Testament through the prophet Jeremiah and Ezekiel, as God clearly declares his servant Nebuchadnezzar his. Servant Cyrus, the the King of Babylon and then the King of Persia. And how God is set them and placed them in that place. He's using them to. Accomplish his purposes. Jesus standing before Pontius Pilate. Told him you would have no authority unless God gave you that authority, and so the offices of authority exist because God created them and the people in those offices are there. Because God appointed them. And so. Verse two therefore. Whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. It's God's appointed God established it. God created it. He put the people there and so to disregard, to fight against, to resist, is to resist against God. Now of course there is the big exception to this. If the authorities try to supersede God's authority in our life, well then we listen to God. Rather than man. But except for that, the instruction here, the understanding is God placed those people there. He gave the offices of authority in the different areas of society that we have around us. We have authorities in our lives. God has put people in those offices of authority. And we are to be willfully supporting those authorities. And we need to understand, when I resist those authorities, I'm resisting the ordinance of God. I'm resisting God's work in my life. He explains verse 3 rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority and then do what is good and you'll have praise. He's God's minister to you for good, he says. In verse 4. Why did God appoint? This person in authority. And maybe from our perspective, like that person's a wicked person and they should never have that authority. But why did God appoint? God says, hey, I've put him there for you, for good. How is that gonna happen? How can a wicked authority authority that has no care in the world about, you know what God is, or who God is, or what he wants to do? How can that kind of person in? Authority be for our good. Well, you go back to Romans chapter 8. We know all things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to. This purpose we. Don't have to understand it. We don't have to understand how it's going to be for good, but. But we do have to be obedient to the Lord, who has placed people in authority in our lives. And he says, to resist that authority is to resist me. You you're to change your demeanor, you're to change your perspective and willfully support submit to. Those authorities that God has established there. Listening to Pastor Chuck talk about this. He encouraged the church so next time that Highway Patrol officer pulls you over. You ought to thank him. Thank him for protecting you. And you don't have enough sense to drive home safely. Thank you, officer. You're God's minister for my good. I don't like it. I was not paying attention. I wasn't being careful. I was disregarding the authority that was there on that sign that I flew by. But thank you for being administered. To me, for good, because you're appointed by God for this role, verse 5, therefore, you must be subject not only because of wrath, but also for conscience sake. For because of this, you pay taxes for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. So be subject, God says. Not just cause you'll get punished if you don't. The state might punish you, or God will punish you. But but for conscience sake. So so that you can have a clean conscience that that. You are doing what is. Right in being subject and being submissive. To those authorities that God has placed there. God says This is why also, there's the whole idea of taxes. Now here's another sore subject for us, right? If we can get past the being subject to the idea of paying taxes, maybe he kind of throws us back into a fit, but. They're God's ministers. Attending continually to the ministry, the authority that God has given to them, and so. Were to willingly support. Those authorities that God has established there, well, he kinds his kind of sums it all up in verse 7 render. Therefore to all their due taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs fear to whom fear and honor to whom honor. We are too. What is due? Specifically here to the authorities and so taxes. The idea here of taxes is a tax on that's based upon the people, and then there's taxes or customs which are taxes on the goods. So you can think about like income tax and then you? Can think about sales tax. Right. It's kind of like that thing like. Pay your taxes, the. The taxes that you have for living. That you pave. As you breathe, you know the governments air and you drink the governments water and you drive the governments roads and and so there's taxes to pay for that. And then you know, and the things that you purchase the the goods that are that are bought and sold, there's appropriate taxes or customs on that as well. But but it's not just about finances. Give fear to those that are due fear. And so when you stand before a judge. You're instructed, your honor. You know that's how you're to address them. Like, that's appropriate. Honor to whom? Honor is due fear. To whom fear is due that that's appropriate to fear and to honor those who have been appointed by the Lord in. Those places of authority. And so willingly support your authorities. Lots of different things we could wrestle. With about that. This is what the Lord instructs us to do. There's some challenging situations. There's some, of course, you know, challenging ideas. I think if you are challenged by it, I would encourage you to go back through the Book of Daniel and see a good example of that. You know, Daniel carefully navigating, disobeying the authority when the authority tried to supersede the role of. God in Daniel's life. Also, complying with the authority in many occasions and working with the authorities and being willingly submitted to the authorities that were placed in his life to further the work of God and experience the things that God wanted to do in his life and so willingly support your authorities, is one of the ways that we respond. To the gospel. It's one of the ways that we render to all their due. Moving on to point #2, looking at verses 8 through 10. Fulfill your debt of love toward people. Fulfill your debt of love. Toward people comes from verse 8. Oh no one anything except to love one another. For he, who loves another, has fulfilled the law. Fulfill your debt of love toward people now. This verse is interesting. It kind of hit me a little bit differently this time around than I think it's. Hit me in the past I I think usually I kind of get distracted by. The debt aspect of this. Ohh no. When anything and sometimes people take this verse and try to teach a a whole doctrine around, you know never getting in debt. You know, Paul's not really addressing financial debt, and he's not talking about, you know, whether or not it's OK to get a loan for something that that's kind of a different point. We could talk about that at another time when we deal with finances and stewardship, but but here what Paul is saying again under the idea of rendering to all their due there, there is something due. To every person. Around you in your life, there is something owed. To every person around you in your life. And Paul says. Conduct yourself in a way. That what you owe those people in your life? Is well, nothing else except. To love one another. And I don't know if I. Ever really thought about it that way? Maybe I did, you know. I'm forgetful so. This is probably a lesson the words taught me 100 times. And he's like. Jerry, why don't you remember it? But thank God he's patient. Loving people is a debt that we owe. You know, sometimes we can think about love and we can think about ways that we've been loving people and. And then we can kind of be frustrated because they haven't. Reciprocated, they haven't loved us back. They haven't treated us the way that we've treated them and how, how frustrating it is, they don't acknowledge or even say thank you for the expression of love that we've been giving. But when we experience those things, we we need to come back and correct our thinking and our heart because what we're expressing in that is not love. That's an exchanging of favors. But love is not a favor. When when love is given, there is no. Repayment required. There is no required. It is freely give it. And whether or not it is reciprocated is really not the point, and and you don't love the way that God instructs us to love in order to get something back. Hear what Paul is saying. The reason why you are to love the people around you is not to get something back from them. It's because you. Owe them. There is a debt that you owe. And that is. To love those people in your life. It's a debt. You're already behind the the behind the ball. I don't know. I'm forgetting the phrase how it goes. But you know, I mean. Like you're already behind. It's it's. Already owed. It's not like. You need to. Do it or it will be owed it's already owed. That the debt's already there. You already need to start loving. And expressing love to the people in your life. Oh no one anything except to love one another. Jesus, of course. Gave that parable of the Good Samaritan. To demonstrate who? These commands apply to in our lives. They're in Matthew chapter 22. The teacher. Well, the one of. The Jewish people, religious leader, said. Teacher what? Is the great commandment in the law. And Jesus said that. Greatest commandment, most important commandment is to love the. Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. That's the greatest commandment. It's the first commandment that's the first priority of your life. You must love God. And then he goes on to say the second. One is like it you need. To love your neighbor. OK, great. I could do that. Who's my neighbor? Is it just one door over from my house? Do I have to love that? Guy around the corner. And that's why Jesus gives the parable of the Good Samaritan. Describing the situation where someone is beaten left for dead. And then three people walk by who don't know this guy. He doesn't live near them. He's he's, you know, not in their social circles. He's not in their lives. It's a random guy that they stumble across. On a journey. And it was the Samaritan. Who picked this man up and took him to the inn and got him medical treatment and provided for his needs? Jesus said which one was his neighbor. Well, the man who took care of him. He said that's. Right. Go do likewise, that's. Who the instruction. To love people applies to in our lives. Not just our spouse. Not just our immediate family, not just our extended family, not just our best friends or church family. We are instructed to love and hear the way Paul is saying it. We have a debt. To repair that is to love the people. That we stumble across the random people that we run into, to love the people that we're closest to. Sometimes that's the hardest. But to love every person that we come across and interact with. Love is that. Desire that seeking that endeavoring. To bring about what is good, what has eternal value, what is best for people in their lives, and it is a debt that we owe. It's not a fever that we. Give it's not. A optional thing? It's a. It's a debt that we. Owe when God? Looks at you, he says. Yeah, you you've got. Some debts to repay. There's a lot of people in. Your life. That are not experiencing. The love of God being demonstrated to them. And so, God says, look, I've loved you. I've expressed true love, real love towards you. I've shown you what love is. The debt that we owe is. To love those people that the debt really comes, though not because they've done such a great job at loving us. The debt comes from God. Who has done such a great job? At loving us. And because every person, because those people are so important to God because those people are what God cares most about. We owe this debt. To love one another. It's odd. It's due it's not optional. It's not. If you know there is some goodwill towards us, it is owed. To everyone that we interact with. Paul goes on to explain in verse 8 for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. You see, it's based on, not their goodness or their blessing of us or. Their love towards us. It's based upon God's instruction to us. He goes on to list some of the commandments there in verse 9. Essentially saying all of the commandments are fulfilled. In this idea of love. The commandments that speak to our relationship with God are fulfilled in. The instruction for us to love God with all of our. Hearts soul minded strength. And the commandments that relate to our relationships with one another are fulfilled in you shall love your neighbor as yourself. So love is the fulfillment. Of the law, he says in verse 10. It fulfills the law. And so until love is given. The law is not. Fulfilled there is a debt we owe love toward. People in our lives. Render to all their due. There's people that are easy to love. There's people that are. Hard to love. But the level of difficulty in executing that doesn't change. The debt that is owed. And yes, we could say it's really hard to love that person and just give up just like you could say it's really hard to pay back this credit card that I but you know, charge a bunch of money on, like, it's really hard. So I'm just going to give up, but that's wrong. Don't do that. Render to all their due. Don't just give up. The Lord has what you need. To enable you. To love the people that he's placed. In your life. Fulfill your debt of love. Towards people. Well, finally verses 11 through 14 gives us point #3 replace darkness with the light of Jesus. Verse 11 and do this knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep. For now, our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent. The day is at hand. Therefore, it let us cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light. Paul says, and do this. Here's a good reminder for us. What are we talking about here in Chapter 13? We're talking about application. Here's things to do willingly submit to your authorities. Fulfill your debt of love towards people, even the random guy that you just happen to stumble upon there on your journey. Down the road. Love people. Willingly support your authorities and do this, Paul says. These are action things. You're you're to be engaged in this, expending energy and activity, doing these things and do this, he says, knowing the time. And here what Paul is explaining is the time is late. It's kind of like the debt that is owed to love, right? And and it's kind of like it's past due. It's the time is late. There, there needs to be an urgency is what Paul is saying. It's high time to awake out of sleep. You've been. Walking through life. You've been going through the motions. You've been. In and out of the workplace, in and out of the home, in and out of the grocery store, you've been going about here and there and focused on things. And chasing things. Asleep for long enough. Not loving people that God has called you to love. Not submitting to authorities that God has placed in your life. The time is late. It's time to wake up. Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. And so there's an urgency, Paul says. We always have to fight against the complacency. Where where we can. Kind of settle in it and it. Is easy to just be comfortable. To love those who love us. To submit to laws that we like and agree with and. Submit to authorities that. Well, think the same things that we think and want the same things that we want. It's high time to awake out of sleep. Because our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. We're getting closer and closer. It's high time to. A week with that understanding, with that recognition, I'm going to be standing before the Lord. Really soon. How soon? Well, yeah, we can wonder. Like spend 2000 years, but. As has often been described, eternity. The timeline towards eternity kind of took a sharp turn. At the cross. Jesus came. He died. He rose again. The time had continued normally up to that point, but then now it's made a right turn and now time is going parallel to eternity. We're right at the edge. Like I'm right at the edge of the stage here and at any moment. The Lord returns and it's over. We're standing before him. The apostle John tells us in first John Chapter 2, verse 28. He says little children abide in him that when he appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming. You ever think about that? Being ashamed before him. As you cross over that split second into eternity, whether it's him returning or you going to him. John tells us abide in him. And then you don't have to worry about being ashamed before him. When you abide in him when he is your home, when he is your life. Then you will stand before him with confidence. When it's Jesus that you're living for, when you're rendering to Jesus, what he is due. You will. Not be ashamed before him at his coming. I thought really hard for a second trying to work that into my message that backfire or firework, whatever that was, but it didn't. Couldn't come up with anything so. It's high time to awake. Oh, I got it, I got that. Boom right there could have been the. Rapture we would be in the presence of the Lord. Would you be attained or confident? Have you rendered unto Jesus what he is due? John continues on in first John 229 if you know that he's righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born. Of him. That continues on into Chapter 3. Everyone who has this hope of appearing before him purifies himself. Even as he is pure. There is this. Thing that happens in our lives when we abide in Jesus and are living with an expectation when we understand the urgency and our our eagerly looking forward to standing before the Lord and entering into eternity, there is a purifying effect that takes place. But many times we've kind of lost sight of the return of Jesus. It could happen, you know, a long time from now, not really thinking about it, not really preparing for it. And and there is a bit of a balance that we have to navigate as believers right because. God does want us to plan ahead and prepare like, what is your plan for the next 20 years? It it's reasonable and it and and good stewardship to be thinking through that and preparing for that. But at the same time you have to maintain this expectation. This urgency I'm going to stand before the Lord. He says in verse 12, the night is far spent. The day is at hand. Therefore, here's what we're to do. There's action to take. Because the Lord, the day of the. Lord is at. Hand what is the action we're to take verse 12. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness. And that is put on the armor of light. The action that we're to take is an action of replacement. That we are to cast off the works of darkness and replace that segment of our life, those elements of our. Behavior our conduct, our heart, our mind. We're to replace those things with. Put on the armor of light. I like how this is not an exact fit. It's not cast off the works of darkness and put on the works of light. It's cast off the works of darkness and put. On the armor. Of light. Why do you suppose that is? The Lord here is not calling us to legalism. He's not really calling us to works. He's calling us to Malaysia. And he's saying cast off the works of darkness and in its place pursue God in its place. In the time that you would spend engaged in the works of darkness, the energy that you would expend for the works of darkness, the attention and and and. And focus that you would give to the works of darkness. Replace all of that with attention and energy and time. In pursuit of God. Replace darkness in your mind. With the light of Jesus, replace darkness in your heart. Cast it out, move it out. But as we often say, repentance is not just stopping the darkness. It's turning around and replacing that behavior. That activity, that attitude, that heart, that mindset. With what is right and what is good. Cast off the. Works of darkness. And put on the armor of light replace. Those things in your life, verse 13, he says. Let us walk properly. As in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. Let us walk. Properly, he says, it means to walk honorably or decently or honestly. And the idea here is, as in the day it's out in the open. There's there's not hidden parts of my life. There's not parts that have to be kind of obscured because they're dishonorable. I hope nobody finds out about that part of my life. Well, God already knows about that part of your life, right? You can't hide anything from God. None of us can. Let us walk properly. Honestly, honorably. As in the day, everything is lit up. Everything is naked and open before the eyes of the Lord, to whom we must all give account. So let's walk properly. Let's. We'll walk with that understanding what you know. I'm trying to hide things from other people, but I can't hide anything from you. I need to replace those things that I try to hide. The things in darkness. And replace those things with. Things that are of the day. Things that are of the Lord, things that are honorable in the sight of the Lord. Revelry and drunkenness. That's not honorable. That's not proper. That's not decent, and it's not honest. It is not part of what God has called. Any of us to. Unless it's not honorable, it's not decent. It's not proper. We are not to walk in those things and. And if there is those elements of of of darkness in your life, the Lord is saying take action. Let's go back to verse. 11 and do this. Take action knowing the time you're you're gonna be in the presence of the Lord, and it could be at any moment. And how do you want to stand before him? As one who is ashamed? Or the one as one who has confidence. Cast out. The drunkenness, the revelry. Cast out the lewdness and the lust. And and then I like how he adds in strife and envy. You know, we might. Look at the first couple of pairs. And say, yeah, you know. I'm pretty good. I don't get drunk and. Not really involved in any kind of immorality right now. So hey, I'm doing pretty good, right? And then strife and envy. Remember back? In Romans Chapter 7, as we dealt with last week, Paul says I would have never known what covetous covetousness was unless, but what it said do not covet unless the Lord said do not covet. Then Oh no. I understand what covetousness is, because it's. Reared up in my heart. This is not an exhaustive list of all the kinds of darkness, right? This is some examples, and we can easily kind of excuse ourselves. But strife and envy, I would suggest, are. Yeah, those are pretty good examples that. Are across the board. Quarrels and fights, struggles and battles issues. Personality conflicts. That that's part of darkness too. Covetousness, jealousy, envy, discontent. That's part of darkness, too. Replace darkness. With the light of Jesus. Identify and recognize those areas of darkness and turn on the light. Put Christ in the center of that aspect of your mind. And of your heart. Peter tells us in first Peter too, you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. This is who you are. You owe Jesus. A pursuit. Of relationship with him. You owe Jesus a walk in the light. He's chosen you. You're a chosen generation. You're a royal priesthood. You're a holy nation. You're his special person. And he's commissioned you to proclaim the praises. Of him. And he's the one who called you out of darkness. Render unto Jesus what he is due. Replace darkness. With the light of the Lord, verse 14 put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. Put on the Lord Jesus again. Notice what Paul is saying here. He's not saying put on good works and try to make up for all that darkness. That you've been living in. He's not saying put on good works and try to make up. For those evil works. He's saying put on the Lord Jesus. Know him. Hear from him. Talk to him, cry out to him. Submit to him. Listen to him, worship him, adore him. Long for him seek to know him, talk about him, put on the Lord. Put Jesus. On everything. Sometimes you go out to dinner with people and they bust out of their pocket. A little top of to you, right? And they put it on everything. It doesn't matter what they're eating. They put it on everything. Where to be that kind of people? But it's Jesus that we're putting on things. It's Jesus we put in the workplace as Jesus, we put into the, you know, entertainment time. It's Jesus we put into the the things that we're doing on the freeway. It's Jesus that we put into the pursuits that we have, you know, in this arena or that arena, it's Jesus. It's putting Jesus on everything he. Put on the Lord Jesus. Everything is for him. Whatever you do, do wholeheartedly as unto the Lord. Paul tells us I think in Colossians I saying that from memory, so it's probably. Wrong, but you could find it. We're to do everything, everything that we do wholeheartedly. Unto Jesus. And so if there's any darkness. Were to replace it with the light. Of Christ, Paul. Here goes on in verse 14 to say make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. This is where we got to get honest with ourselves. Sometimes we can. Be quite fake. About our desire to replace darkness in our life. I wanna replace darkness. Ohh man. I wanna put on the Lord Jesus and and have him be first and. And so there is the. Putting away of some darkness. We don't put away some of the provision for the darkness. The provision for the flesh that leaves the door open for that to reoccur in our lives. Make no provision for the flesh. Don't don't leave those open doors of opportunity. So that there is. The chance. The temptation right there, waiting to rise up again. We're going to have plenty of temptation in our lives. We don't. We don't need to sabotage ourselves and leave, you know, a minefield there in our walk that. Is just about to blow up at anytime. There, there might be some steps that we need to take. To replace darkness with the light of Christ means to also remove those instigators. Those things that the flesh uses and capitalizes on. Those things that feed the flesh. That strengthen it and demand once again to fulfill the lust of the flesh, the cravings that our flesh has. To replace. Those provisions for the flesh don't leave them. Make no provision for the flesh. Take those provisions for the flesh and make them provisions for Jesus. And so every time. You would battle that temptation now. It's an opportunity. To engage with the Lord, to seek the Lord, to pursue the Lord, replace darkness with the light of Jesus. And so here in Romans chapter 13. Render to all their due. Authorities in your. You owe them something. You owe them. Your willingness to support them. You owe them subjection. Render to all their due. The people in your life, the people that are closest to you, the people that are farthest from you, the random person that you stumble upon. You owe them something. You owe them love. Fulfill your debt of love. Toward people. And darkness. In any part of your life. If it's there, of course it's there. It's going to happen. We fall Into Darkness, we fall into situations we. Run into situations, we dive into situations. We get trapped. We get. Stumbled all of the above. There's darkness. We owe it to Jesus to replace that darkness with light. And to deal with those situations that are happening in our hearts and our minds. That are happening with our bodies. In a way that we can put Jesus 1st and surrender that area of our life to him. I want to finish up tonight with the thought from Second Kings chapter 13. And you don't have to turn there, but it's back with the Prophet Elisha. And he was sent to the king. He tells the king. Put your hand on the bow. So the king takes up his bow. Elisha says open up the window, he opens it, Elisha says, shoot. So the King shot an arrow out the window. And Elisha said the arrow of the Lord's deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria, you, for you must strike the Syrians until you have destroyed them. Just like you shot through this window, this is the arrow of the Lord's deliverance. The Lord is saying something here. He's going to deliver you. There's going. To be a work of the Lord. So then Elisha tells him again. Now take the arrows. Grab a few now. Not just one to shoot out the window, but now take a bunch. Strike the ground. So the king takes the bow and arrow and he. Pulls it back. Boom. Pulls it back. Doom pulls it back. Three times I struck the ground. And it says that Elisha was angry with him. He says you should have struck the ground five. Or six times. And then your. Attack against Syria would have been complete and successful. Here's instruction from the Lord. You were half hearted in it. It represents you're going to be half hearted when the Lord sends you out against Syria, you're not going to be. You're not gonna be victorious. You're gonna have a little bit of victory, but you're half hearted. You're not gonna experience nearly the victory that the Lord wanted to give you. I think that is a great picture for us to consider here, as Paul gives US application, you are a recipient of the gospel. Here's what to do. Here in chapter 13, some things that we are to do in order to render to all their due. Listen, don't just. Throw a couple arrows in the ground to willingly support your authorities. Willingly support your authorities. Really give yourself to that. And do it for the Lord and honor the Lord in the way that you are submitted to those that God has given authority in your life. And fulfill the depth of love towards people. Don't just doom doom, doom. Couple of arrows in the ground. Really do it. Recognize the debt that is owed. And seek to express and to demonstrate. The love of God. Towards the people that he brings across your path. And then replace darkness. Don't just. Get rid of one thing. One back alley, you know, and that that heart, that mind that you have that dark place. Don't just kind of pull off the top leaves, but leave the roots and the provision for the flesh down there. Empty the quiver. Let's give it all. To replace darkness with the light of Christ. That we might render to all their due, but I pray that you would help us to do that. May we take your words to heart and I pray God that you would fill us with your Holy Spirit. Or to empower us that as we make the choice to as we decide to Lord as we engage with you and according to your word that you would enable us and empower us. To do even the most difficult things on the list that's in our minds right now. Lord in the areas of submission and the areas of love and the. Areas of darkness. May we experience your work of enabling and empowering and deliverance. Lord, that we might put you first and fulfill our obligation to you. But it's our reasonable service. To be a living sacrifice, to give ourselves to you completely and fully. Would you help us to see that? And Lord, would you help us to do it? I pray this in Jesus name.