An Acceptable Debt
March 28, 2021
What makes a church a church? Biblical preaching and teaching. Corporate worship (including baptism and communion). Purity of the gospel. Evangelistic proclamation. Generous fellowship. Sacrificial service. Church membership and church discipline.
What makes Grace Bible Church Grace Bible Church? What sets us apart and makes us unique? What identifies us as Christ’s church and sets us apart from other churches in the area? Certainly that we hold to the attributes I’ve already mentioned contribute to our uniqueness. I am thankful for the presence of all those healthy marks of a godly church. But there’s another mark that makes us unique and different. It is part of the fellowship that I’ve already mentioned. It is brotherly love for one another. We don’t just say we care; we really do care for one another. We love and nurture and minister to one another generously.
In January I noted that one particularly damaging loss in 2020 was the loss of relationship. Because of that, I want to prioritize the necessity and priority of relationships in 2021. One way we will do that is with a series of sermons around the themes of caring for one another and building relationships on a number of communion Sundays this year. And in the providence of God, where we find ourselves in Romans 13 provides an opportunity for the second of these sermons on relationship this year: the priority of love. In Romans 13:8-10, the apostle Paul will express the importance of love this way:
Love in the church body is evidence of life in the church body.
How do you know that a church is really alive, vibrant, healthy, and thriving? You know a church is alive when it loves. There are other signs of life as well; this isn’t the only sign, but as you think about relationships in the church, this may be the most significant sign of corporate life in the church.
In this passage, Paul makes four statements about the priority of love in the church body:
- Love in the Church Body: the Principle (v. 8a)
- Love in the Church Body: the Purpose (v. 8b)
- Love in the Church Body: the Proof (vv. 9-10a)
- Love in the Church Body: the Purpose (v. 10b)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 13:8-10.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.