The Kingdom Way (Offering your body… Part 2)
I. The BELIEVER and the AUTHORITIES. (v.1-7)
A. REALIZE the seat of true AUTHORITY. (v.1-2)
B. Overcome EVIL with GOOD. (v. 3-7; Rom 12:21; I Pet. 4:19)
In our text today Paul continues “fleshing out” what it means to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. And he starts with a hot button topic – politics. How do we, as Christians who are set free by grace, live under the constraints of the earthly authorities?
1. Kid’s Question: Who is in charge of you? Who do you have to listen to?
2. Have you ever seen examples of evil being overcome by good? What was that like?
II. The CENTRALITY of LOVE. (v.8-14)
A. The KEY to the LAW. (v.8-10)
B. A SENSE of URGENCY. (v.11-12)
C. Our RESPONSIBILITY to ACT. (v.12-14)
Every time Paul starts talking about the way we need to act, he brings it back around to love. Love is what has transformed us, and it has to be the guiding rule and principle for the way we live as the people of God. It’s love that motivates and empowers the actions of our lives.
3. Love is the fulfillment of the law? Is it really that simple? If so, why do we struggle so hard to love at times?
4. In what ways does life lull you to sleep (v.11) in regards to your living your life in surrender to Jesus? What are some ways you can “stay awake”?
5. What are some practical steps to “clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ”? What can you do to move in that direction this week?
III. BRINGING these two ideas TOGETHER. (Rom. 12:1)
A. The REALITY about AUTHORITY. (v.1-2; Ps. 2:1-6; Mt. 28:18)
B. LOVE is more important than POWER. (v.8-10; Col. 3:14; Jn 13:34-35)
C. The SUBVERSIVE nature of the KINGDOM. (v.1-14; Mt. 13:33; Jn 18:36)
So how do these two ideas…love and government…come together in the life of the believer. There are several threads that weave them together in our lives as we follow Jesus. Last week we talked about teaching the mind as one part of discipleship and formation. These ideas are important to grasp because the truth that they convey helps to shape us to be like Jesus.
6. How does God being the ultimate authority change the way you view your circumstances this week? What are the challenges to seeing life as under God’s authority?
7. If love is more important than power, how does that shape our political engagement? Is it wrong to seek power?
8. Consider a situation that is currently challenging to you. How does the subversive nature of the kingdom impact your choices in addressing this?