Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Romans 13:8-14

I once heard one preacher say it this way, "Debt is dumb. If you have $3 and spend $7, you are dumb." Paul comes into Romans 13:8 with a similar premise, but with less harsh phraseology. “Owe no man anything,” is a thought that is replete in scripture as far back as Solomon in the Proverbs where “the borrower is slave to the lender,” is presented as the perspective of borrowing money and going into debt. Ironically, Paul doesn’t end his theology on the point of “don’t be in debt,” rather, he uses it to show the position that every believer is in when it comes to the call of love. “Owe no man anything, but to love one another.” You should not have any debt towards anyone except the inherent debt of love that you owe them. It is assumed that you MUST love others. As if you owe them a million dollars, you owe them love. 
Christ made this call decades earlier when He said, “by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one for another.” Paul reiterates this theology of love when in his intro to 1 Timothy, he says that to follow Christ is not just to live with a clean conscience in Spirit-following, or to live with true deep rich faith, but also to live with love out of a pure heart. This doesn’t even take into account the theology of the apostle John, who uses “love” so often, it could have been his middle name. The call of scripture, the call of Jesus, the call to us today, is that we love one another, and that we love in such a way that acknowledges that it is a debt that is never fulfilled. We won’t ever reach the end of our necessity to love others.

Food for Thought: Read Romans 13:8-14. Is debt good? What is the type of debt that Paul says you should actually have and never be free from?