Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 13 part 3

If you have your Bibles today you can join me as we turn to, you guessed it Romans Chapter 13 starting at verse 11.

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So, let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. 

Romans 13:11-14

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections or points. Let’s take a look at my first point. In reading this passage, Paul makes 2 things clear. The first is…

It’s Time To Wake Up!

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So, let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Romans 13:11-12

Paul takes advantage here of the age-old understanding that there is a contrast between day and night. Between the light and darkness. Associating the light with good and darkness with evil. It’s the contrast between life and death. And in this Paul says it’s time to wake up from your personal darkness. Wake up, its time recognize what God is doing. Wake up and recognize what God is planning to do. Why?

“…because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”

Romans 13:11

Because the day is almost here.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So, let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Romans 13:12

Let’s come out of our darkness come into His light.

When I was elementary school age, we lived in this old Victorian house. It was a neat place but, at times it was also super creepy. Maybe you guys can relate? When I moved through our dark house, from that dark and scary hallway to the safety of the well-lit family room, I could run like the wind. Even at that young age, I sensed that there was a danger of evil in the darkness. Likewise, most children are afraid the dark. No one needed to teach me this. Even as adults when its dark out, we take extra precautions to assure that our loved ones make it indoors safely. Just like this, even now we tolerate darkness in our lives but, we pretend that it doesn’t exist. We pretend that its not evil. We are spiritually asleep and It’s time to wake up.

“…So, let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Romans 13:12

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:13

This is the armor of light. When a soldier dresses for battle it is because he/she has been briefed on a certain threat and orders are given to neutralize the threat. They are wake and in a state of vigilance. Church, we need to take on an attitude of spiritual vigilance. Not tolerating darkness to take hold in our hearts and minds. The Word of God has briefed us as to the threat of evil. And His Word has also given us our own marching orders

for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:16

We must rout out and expel evil from every area in or lives. Because, good which is from God and evil which is of Satan cannot coexist. Sin begins with a thought. Will you be vigilant against the thoughts that seek to establish darkness in our lives. It’s time to wake up.

I’ll move on to my next point. In regards his message, the second thing Paul points to is his understanding that…

Jesus Is Coming

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. 

Romans 13:13-14

Once you are awake in Christ, Paul is continuing to point to this “Day of the Lord” type imagery. Where our lives will be weighed out before Christ.

“The day of the Lord is near  for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you;   your deeds will return upon your own head. 16 Just as you drank on my holy hill,    so all the nations will drink continually; they will drink and drink  and be as if they had never been. 17 But on Mount Zion will be deliverance;   it will be holy,  and Jacob will possess his inheritance.

Obadiah 15-17

The Day of the Lord is that holy moment when it becomes abundantly clear the Christ is in charge. Jesus is coming. And Church we have become too comfortable with the idea that we can live as the world does and all will be fine. We have not made Christ our focal point. We have not taken up our role in the sanctification process.

It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:  
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Ephesians 5:12-14

Here is where many of us get caught up. We accept that Jesus died for our sin and that we are forgiven, praise God. But we continue in on the same path as before. We grow deceived as though some how our continuing sinful life is null and void. Our deception is that we can be in Christ and in sin at the same time.

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. 

Romans 13:14

Just so we are clear the word here used in the Greek for flesh is sarx, translates as sinful nature. Paul is saying that we must be vigilant to righteousness in Christ Jesus because, he is coming back soon. That our master Jesus is returning, and we must have our spiritual house/His bride in order so that we will be ready to join Him when he arrives. Jesus is coming for His bride who is without spot or wrinkle.

Let’s look at Jesus’ Parable of the Ten Virgins: Matthew 25. First there is a division between all those who expect the Lord’s coming. We must not be spiritually unprepared like the foolish ones. Some will make it and some, those who were unprepared will not, even though they all waited together.  At some point the door will be closed. The opportunity will be gone. and He will say…“Truly, I tell you, I don’t know you.” Clothe your-self in Christ Jesus. Make Him your focal point. Put off the sinful nature. And put on that which is holy. Its Jesus and he is coming soon.

Jesus Died for all of humanity. His invitation of salvation is a proposal of partnership. God will always do his part and in this he has given us a role, as well. Some will be awake and prepared because they have put off the evil ways of the world. Let me ask you this, will you be ready when he comes? Will you have the house in order when the master comes home.

Will you open our hearts to Jesus today in such a way that you become open to His voice leading you and guiding you through the choices of life. About this lime I like to remind you of this…

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today?  God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life?  He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today

You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here.

Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26