Romans 13:8: Paying our debts
Debt is a familiar concept to us and today in Romans 13:8 Paul is going to speak to us about paying our debts. Stott points out that the idea of debt is mentioned several times in Romans already. In Romans 1:14 Paul spoke of his debt to preach the gospel to all peoples; in Romans 8:12 how we are not debtors to the flesh but the Spirit; in Romans 13:6 of how we must fulfil our debts of honour and taxes and once again in Romans 13:8. ‘Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.’ There are two important debts that we need to reckon with in this verse. Firstly, there is the whole question of financial debt. There are some Christians who believe that debt is sinful, and that Christians are morally obligated to only work with cash. We want to look at this question and address the matter of financial debt. But the second matter is the one of our love debt and in particular the relationship of love to law. We live in an age where some even like this verse because it appears to be saying that love is the law, and there are many things justified in the name of love. So as we look at this verse today we need to clarify what Paul means in relation to our financial debt and what he means that love fulfils the law.