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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to “The Archives Page”: More Bible Study Outlines.

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LOVE FULFILLS THE LAW
August 28, 2016

 

SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:1-2; 13:8-14

 

KEY VERSE: Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)

 

INTRODUCTION: The apostle begins on the basic assumption that all his listeners have been genuinely born again. But for some reason, known or unknown, there has not been the clear-cut demonstration of the new life in Christ toward God, toward self and others. The amazing fact before us is that the chapter begins with God actually pleading with man rather than commanding him. How gracious and patient is the Lord.

 

INSIGHT: The Biblical pattern is to relate doctrine and duty, for what you believe must determine how you behave. In these closing chapters, Paul discusses our relationship with the Lord (Romans 12:1-2), our self (Romans 12:3), the church (Romans 12:4-16), our enemies (Romans 12:17-21), government (Romans 13), and believers who disagree Romans 14 and 15.

 

I. SEE, RECEIVE, AND RESPOND TO GOD’S MERCY. (Romans 12:1-2)

 

A. The Passionate Plea Of Paul. (Romans 12:1a)

 

·        (Romans 12:1a) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,…

 

In other words: Therefore, I beg of you, brethren, by the mercies of God that you yield your bodies -- your total personalities -- a living sacrifice, set apart for God, well-pleasing to God, which is your rational or spiritual service.

 

“I beg of you” is the language of grace, not law. There is no thunder here from Mount Sinai. Moses commanded; Paul exhorts. Could Paul have commanded? Well, he told Philemon that he could have given him a command, but he didn’t. Paul doesn’t command; he says, “I beg of you.”

 

“By the mercies of God” denoting an abundance of mercy. God is rich in mercy; God has plenty of it. He has plenty of it for you. “Mercy” means compassion, pity, and the tenderness of God. His compassions never fail.

 

B. The Purpose Of The Plea. (Romans 12:1b)

 

·        (Romans 12:1b) …that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

 

By an act of the will we place our total personalities at the disposal of God. He says to yield “your bodies,” your total personalities. The body is the instrument through which we express ourselves. The mind, the affections, the will, and the Holy Spirit can use the body.

 

This is our “reasonable service,” our rational service, and it is well-pleasing to God.

 

C. The Power Of The Purpose. (Romans 12:2)

 

·        (Romans 12:2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

1. Don’t be conformed.

 

We are commanded “be not conformed to this world.” The word “conformed” means “to fashion, or to shape.” It literally means “to mold”. We are not to allow this world to squeeze us into its mold. We are not to allow the world to make us like it is! You see the world, and those who are controlled by its influence, are vastly different from that which God intends men to be. We are to avoid being squeezed into the world's mold! We must be different and remain different!

 

2. Do be transformed.

 

Then we are commanded to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The word “transformed” gives us our English word “metamorphosis”. It describes the transformation a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. Did you know that the caterpillar and the butterfly are the same creature? What happens when the caterpillar enters the cocoon and later emerges is that the part of the insect that resides on the inside is allowed to be manifested on the outside.

 

3. Do be yielded.

 

By yielding our bodies and our minds to God, we will be able to “prove” or “live out” God's will before a world that is looking. When the world sees you and me living lives that are absolutely spiritual, we will be proof positive to that doubting world that God can take the worst and make the best out of it. We will be the evidence of God’s power to a perishing world and we will finally be salt and light as Christians have been commanded to be (see Matthew 5:13-16).

 

II. THE DEBT OF LOVE. (Romans 13:8-10)

 

A. Sincere Love Fulfills The Law.

 

·        (Romans 13:8) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

 

Did you borrow your neighbor’s lawnmower? Take it back to him. Housewife, did you borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor? Return it, please. Owe no one anything. In this we find Paul saying that the believer is positively to owe no man anything but love. This is a great principle to guide Christians in installment purchasing. You may ask, “Do you think we should turn in our credit cards?” No, but you had better be able to see your way clear in order to pay your debts.

 

The believer always owes the debt of love to his neighbor. That does not necessarily mean the man next door, but all people with whom you come in contact. This love is not some sentimental thing. I get a little disturbed when I hear liberalism continually talk about love, love, love. How do you reveal love?

 

B. Sincere Love Overcomes sin.

 

·        (Romans 13:9) For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

 

1. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

 

Now don’t tell me that you love someone and are committing adultery with that one. You can call that love if you want to, but it is nothing in the world but sex. It is licentiousness, it is fornication, and it is sin in God’s sight. God hasn’t changed His mind about it.

 

2. “Thou shalt not kill.”

 

You can kill a person in more ways than pulling a trigger of a gun. You can destroy them by ruining their reputation.

 

3. “Thou shalt not steal.”

 

If you love, you won’t get something dishonestly.

 

4. “Thou shalt not covet.”

 

When your neighbor drives up in a new automobile, how do you feel about it? Sometimes we say, “I wish we had the car and they had one just like it.” What we really mean is that we would rather have that car than see them have it.

 

INSIGHT: Paul is saying that our love for our neighbor is revealed in what we do rather than in what we say. He is not putting the Christian back under the Law; he is saying that love manifests itself in not committing adultery, not killing, not stealing, not coveting. You can talk about love all you want to, but if you commit these acts against your neighbor, you have no love for him.

 

C. Sincere Love Does No Harm.

 

·        (Romans 13:10) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

 

This love is the fruit of the Spirit. Love never seeks to harm another. Rather, it actively seeks the welfare and honor of all. Therefore the man who acts in love is really fulfilling the requirements of the second part of the law.

 

III. CLEAN UP AND DRESS UP. (Romans 13:11-14)

 

A. Get Ready For Christ’s Imminent Return.

 

·        (Romans 13:11-12) And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

 

1. Be prepared.

 

Paul said this nineteen hundred years ago and certainly we ought to say it with a little more urgency in this day in which we are living. Let me give you my translation: “And this -- seeing that ye know the time or the season, that now it is the hour for you to wake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is passing, it is far spent, and the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

 

INSIGHT: In this closing section an alarm clock goes off to waken believers who have gone to sleep in the world and have forgotten this added incentive for yielding their total personalities to God. My friend, this is not the time for the child of God to live for the things of this world. I think many a rich Christian is going to be embarrassed when the Lord comes. How big will your bank account be, my friend? Are you using your time and what you possess for God?

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye yield your total personalities -- all you are, all you have -- to God. This is rational. This is reasonable. This is what you are supposed to be doing, Christian friend.

 

2. Be pure.

 

If we really are looking for the return of Christ, it will purify our lives. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). These fellows who get divorces and live like the world, then talk about being premillennial and pretribulational and looking for the imminent coming of Christ, are not being honest. The apostle John says that that man is a liar! Let us wake up, my friend. Let us live for God in this hour!

 

B. Don’t Run With The Wrong Crowd.

 

·        (Romans 13:13) Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

 

In other words, let us walk honorably as those in the day; not in wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.

 

We hear a great deal about night life. The believer is identified with day life. He walks as one who belongs to the day.

 

C. Put Christ First In Your Life.

 

·        (Romans 13:14) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

 

Oh, how many believers are making every provision for the flesh but are making no provision to go into His presence. My friend, I beg you to put Christ first in your life and to get out the Word of God. This is all important. You must make Christ the Lord of your life!

 

Prize Chickens

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. – Romans 12:20

 

In [Romans 12:20], the apostle Paul said that by helping our enemies we heap "coals of fire" on their heads. He certainly didn't mean that this is a good way to hurt them to get even. He meant that by using kindness we might secure their repentance, thus showing our sincere desire for their eternal good.

 

A Christian lady owned two prize chickens that got out of their run and busied themselves in the garden of an ill-tempered neighbor. The man caught the hens, wrung their necks, and threw them back over the fence.

 

Naturally, the woman was upset, but she didn't get angry and rush over and scream at him. Instead, she took the birds, dressed them out, and prepared two chicken pies. Then she delivered one of the freshly baked pies to the man who had killed her hens. She apologized for not being more careful about keeping her chickens in her own yard.

 

Her children, expecting an angry scene, hid behind a bush to see the man’s face and hear what he'd say. But he was speechless! That chicken pie and apology filled him with a burning sense of shame. But she wasn't trying to get even. Her motive in returning good for evil was to show her neighbor true Christian love, and maybe even bring about a change of heart. – H.V.L., Our Daily Bread, April 15

 

CONCLUSION: When we (Christians) put on the Lord Jesus Christ as we ought, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. We will be aware of our responsibilities toward God and toward others.

 

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER:All the resources we need to live the Christian life are found in Jesus Christ.” -- Charles G. Trumbull (in Victory in Christ)

 

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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.

 

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