Submission and Love

Study Guide

​​In this passage, Paul encourages believers to live in submission to God by yielding to human authorities, loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, and throwing off any works of darkness that hinder us from living in the light of Christ in anticipation of his return.
  1. Governmental authorities are servants of God because they’re serving within a system that he created. It’s for this reason Paul instructs us to give respect and honor to all those in authority (the government, leaders, teachers, and ultimately, Christ). Think about the authorities in your life. Where are you and where are you not showing them honor and submitting to their leadership with a humble heart?

  2. We must be cautious not to be discipled by our culture where all sides are selling fear and nothing for our souls. We must look to the Scriptures to be discipled. How is this most difficult for you?

  3. Loving our neighbor as ourselves doesn’t mean we’re required to affirm sin, but it does require us to do for and to them what we would want for ourselves. What does it look like for you to be proactive in doing good rather than just not doing wrong? Who is your neighbor, and how can you practically love them this week?

  4. Paul addresses some very practical applications of what it looks like to live our lives as slaves to God. In what areas of your life are you living in anticipation of Christ’s return. In what areas do you need to take steps of repentance?

Key Points
  • God has ordained authority whether or not it is acknowledged. We are to honor and submit to the leadership of those whom God has placed in authority unless they are requiring us to sin.

  • Be careful to be discipled by Scripture and not the culture. Our culture has nothing for our souls.

  • The outworking of loving others is not just to refrain from doing wrong to them but to actively do good to them.

  • We are surrounded by darkness but must live in obedience and not participate in the darkness. Because we belong to the day, we are to avoid the darkness of wild parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, quarreling, and jealousy.

  • Time is precious. Jesus could return at any time. We must be ready for his return and live in anticipation of it.

Other Scripture References

Scripture: Romans 12:9-21