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Archive for March, 2017

Romans 13:11

Posted in Romans, Romans 13

Romans 13:11

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Rom. 13:11a (Holman) “Besides this, knowing the time, . . .”

Like most gifted people, Paul was haunted by the shortness of time. He could always hear “time’s winged chariot hurrying near” (Andrew Marvell).

Minutes never cease ticking themselves into the past. Each flying moment holds another by the heel. Life is gone before we know it. Waves of an ocean continue to return, and raindrops fall again, but moments never return. We can recall some things, but not the minute just passed by. If wasted, it cannot be retrieved. If used wisely, it cannot be regretted.

At age 130, Jacob called his years “few” (GN 47:9). In Psalm 90, Moses compared us to grass that flourishes in the morning, but in the evening is cast down. He said our lives pass quickly, and we fly away. James (4:14) described our lives as a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes. The first chapters of Chronicles are a huge cemetery. More are buried in St. Louis than live there.

Life is short, but this does not mean this world of time is insignificant. We live in a sphere of critical importance. Compared with eternity, time is but a grain of sand on the seashore, yet it is the realm of creation and salvation. This world is the battlefield of good and evil. Therefore, we cannot afford the luxury of sleeping.

Rom. 13:11b “. . .it

Romans 13:5-10

Posted in Romans, Romans 13

Romans 13:5-10

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Rom. 13:5 (Holman) “Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience.”

Christians obey law not only due to fear of punishment, but also because it is right. Good citizenship is a case of conviction. We need higher motives than only seeking to escape punishment. Civil obedience is a religious duty, service to God.

Rom. 13:6 “And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks.”

Conscience has a positive, as well as a negative, side. It keeps us from law-breaking, and urges us to pay taxes. When we cheat government, we rob an institution ordained of God. Paying taxes is as spiritual as going to prayer meeting. Our obligation to government is as binding as our duty to tithe to church.

Historically, Christians have been noted for faithfully paying taxes. Even when persecuted, believers have paid taxes. In one severe time, Tertullian tried to convince Rome that whatever they lost by Christians refusing to give gifts to temples, was more than made up for by their conscientious payment of taxes.

Government costs money. Since we enjoy a state’s benefit and protection, we should help pay the bills. Even if things are a bureaucratic mess, pay. Israel levied a temple tax. Rome levied a land tax, income tax,