Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 13

Debts, duties, and the duty to act in love

Romans 13:8

In financial matters, Christians are like other people in this world. They may have homes, families and businesses. They have people whom they must pay; they have duties that they must carry out.

In all these things, Christians should be honourable. Christians should pay their debts; they should carry out their duties. They should be people whom other people can trust (Luke 16:10-11).

When we have paid our debts, there is nothing more to pay. When we have carried out our duties, we are free from those duties. However, there is one duty that Christians will always have towards other people. It is the duty to act in love towards other people. (Mark 12:29-31; Luke 10:25-37; 1 Corinthians chapter 13). That kind of love is not an emotion. It is the decision to offer help and kindness to everyone that God places in our lives. That love does not depend on whether we like that person. In fact, it shows greater love to help someone whom we do not actually like.

It is by our acts of love that we truly carry out Godís law (13:9-10). In other words, the law of God in the Bible is teaching us to show love to other people. A person might obey some of the rules in the Bible, but still have an attitude of hate towards other people. That person would not truly be obeying Godís law, because he is not showing love. However, by means of love, a person does what the rest of Godís law is teaching him to do. It is that personís desire to show to other people the same kind of love that God has for them (Matthew 5:43-48). There can be no better attitude than that towards other people; that person is doing what God wants him to do.

Next part: Love and God's commands (Romans 13:9-10)


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