Owe no man – Part 1
Text: Romans 13:7-10.
This message is the first of three messages the Lord is sending us from Romans Chapter 13. The topic is lifted from verse 8. “Owe No man,” (KJV) while the other two are “The Love Debt” and “The Folly and Pains of Debt.” In the previous verses, the Apostle had admonished believers to be obedient to governing authorities and in verses 6 and 7, he discussed the duty which we owe our governments. In some countries, where taxes are taken seriously, the money that comes from taxes is enough to run the government.
From this command to discharge fully this obligation, he then transited to the subject of debts “in general,” and to an injunction not to be indebted to “any one.” In other words, he was saying make it your policy or try your best to owe no one.
• Owe No Man-The Meaning
Clearly, the Apostle is exhorting believers to live a debt-free life. In our age of buy and pay later, this passage admonishes us to live above board. While this may not apply to those who borrow for business purposes, to form the habit of buying things on credit is unchristian. Beyond this, I also believe this passage admonishes us to check our lives and be sure we are not indebted to people/persons or institutions/organisations that we are responsible to. Indebtedness is not only a matter of borrowing money, it also includes:
• Responsibilities/Duties we fail to Perform. Just as you must pay your taxes, remember to give God your tithes.
• Gratitude/Appreciation we fail to Show. Not only in material things, but might be a matter of your words.
• Due Services we fail to render. Do not fail to render assistance, including doing menial jobs for those you often go to seek financial assistance.
• Vows we fail to Redeem. Any vow you fail to redeem is a debt. (Psa. 56:12, Pro. 20:25)
• Reward/Gifts we decided not to Release.
If you are indebted in any way to anyone in any of these regards, the admonition of God to you today is “Owe no Man.” The Greek word here is “opheileo” which means “to owe money, to be in debt for that which is due or the debt of due goodwill.” The NIV therefore renders it, “let no debt remain outstanding.”
• Owe No Man: The Purpose
One might ask, why do we have to struggle to owe no man? I believe there are three reasons among others we all must struggle to live a debt free life. These are:
• It Is Your Divine Pathway To Unhindered Freedom. Whatever you owe legitimately legitimates/legalises you as a debtor. So owe no man (Pro. 22:7)
• It Is Your Divine Route To Living Out Your Life Of Abounding Grace.
• It Is Your Strength To Face Every Man Without Shame. (Phil. 1:20)
I believe “Owe no Man” also means “Owe no Institution or organisation.” As a member of your Church, you owe God your giving beginning with your tithe. I believe it is ungodly to belong to a community, enjoy the benefits and consistently fail to perform your responsibilities. So, “Owe no Organisation.”
Rev. Dr. Israel Kristilere. Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory)
Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.