Can You Be Counted On? Rom. 13:1-14 (HCSB) Nov. 06, 2011
Some time ago I heard a minister say, “the greatest ability is dependability.” That statement relates to the title of this lesson Can You Be Counted On? We need to ask ourselves if we can and then make sure our lifestyle measures up to that standard.
1. Counted On by the . . Government. 13:1-7
A. The . . Submission to Government. 13:1-4
1 Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those
that exist are instituted by God. 2 So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God's command,
and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct,
but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do good and you will have its approval.
B. The . . Service of Government. 13:4
4 For government is God's servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God's servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong.
C. The . . Servitude to Government for Taxation . 13:5-7
5 Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. 6 And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God's public servants, continually attending to these tasks. 7 Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.
Should Christians be counted on for matters of government? I am sure the great majority will say. “yes!” America’s greatness has been in the proportion to the number of Christians who stand up in government and express themselves. Strong church going families make a difference in their community. I pastored one time where we were ON local television. The Superintendent of Schools would rush home from his church and watch our worship service. He commented about it so I went by his office to talk with him. He told me the best people in town attended our church and we made a difference in town. We also recognize government serves us and we support them in those services. All of this takes money and the money for government comes through taxes. The Bible tells us to pay our taxes.
2. Counted On As A . . Good Neighbor? 13:8-10
A. A Good Neighbor who . . Lives the Commandments. 13:8
8 Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the
law. 9 The commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you
shall not covet, and if there is any other commandment—all are summed up by this: You shall love your
neighbor as yourself.
B. A Good Neighbor who . . Loves Their Neighbor. 13:10
10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.
Christians should be good neighbors. We moved into a new subdivision and for the first four years everyone had a Baptist background and attended church every Sunday Morning. Then one of the home owners moved and we now have an unwed non-church going couple with her children. We are trying to be good neighbors to these folks and have invited them to our church. The man has indicated an interest. In my opinion they need to be involved in a church and we must be witnesses to them. You know it is not going to be long. until many Christians will have un-wed couples living by them and the opportunity to witness will be right next door or across the street. Suppose you live by a neighbors who call themselves Christian but their lifestyle does not compute? What can you do? Be A Good Neighbor!
3. Counted On for A . . Godly Lifestyle? 13:11-14
A. A Good Neighbor who Lives with An . . Awareness of the Times. 13:11- 12a
11 Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, . . .”
B. A Good Neighbor who Lives with the . . Armor of Light. 13:12b-14
“. . . so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.
Paul encourages all Christians to live a godly life. I remember several years ago when the college I attended had a ministerial group. We had a senior minister come and talk to us. He told us; “don’t dress or act any different than the people you pastor except in the pulpit.” He emphasized living a lifestyle where no one was surprised when they found out you were a pastor. But when they learned we were they would look at our lifestyle and not be unduly surprised. Being a Christian takes in all of life. We should walk and talk differently than the world. We want to represent the Lord. If Paul warned the people about the times; how much mor do we need to be concerned? Surely the Lord wants to know; Can You Be Counted On? Amen? Amen!
(For a more detailed outline go to: http://www.preachhim.org/SundaySchoolIndex.html)