Babylon Keeps Repeating Itself

Eventually, every nation becomes like Babylon. It's a cycle that, throughout history, keeps repeating itself over and over. The Kings expect to be worshiped as gods, the Government becomes supreme, and even those who claim to be for God, look to the nations as opposed to God Almighty for salvation. Then that nation falls. It's the History of the World. Don't get me wrong, I'm patriotic, I love my country, its principles and ideals on which it was founded, and I know the bloody and often miserable history that got us here. I'm a patriot, BUT I know a government of, for and by the people eventually will be worshiped, one way or the other, by the people. You can't have God and government. God is a jealous God and will not share you affections, attentions, or allegiance. Honor and submit to the emperor, worship Jesus. I'm saying this because I see people who call themselves Christians, attacking one another over political ideaologies. The Bible says turn neither to the left or the right, and yet I see Christians doing just that! They are looking to a political movement to help and save them, instead of realizing that Jesus already has! Jesus said "They will know you are my disciples by how you love one another," Not how you vote! And if your political ideology causes you to harm another human being, either physically, socially, or mentally, you're political ideology is opposed to Christ. The earthly thrones, houses of congress or parliament, oval office, or whatever earthly seats of power that exist are there because God and we would do well to remember where our true citizenship lies. Stop harming one another. Love one another. Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, and be the body of Christ. Don't give in to divisive rhetoric and hate. Vote (if that is your right), pay your taxes, and be a good citizen, yet focus on Jesus, and let Him dictate your path. That is the path to peace. Romans 12-13 English Standard Version (ESV)


A Living Sacrifice


12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]


Gifts of Grace

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members,[e] and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.


Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.


14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[h] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Submission to the Authorities

13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.


Fulfilling the Law Through Love

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.


Footnotes:

a. Romans 12:1 Or brothers and sisters

b. Romans 12:1 Or your rational service

c. Romans 12:2 Greek age

d. Romans 12:2 Or what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God

e. Romans 12:4 Greek parts; also verse 5

f. Romans 12:8 Or gives aid

g. Romans 12:11 Or fervent in the Spirit

g. Romans 12:16 Or give yourselves to humble tasks

h. Romans 12:19 Greek give place


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