ROMANS 13:11-14

Sermon notes for Sunday, March 1, 2020 for EMC by Dr. Bill Hossler.

The Day Is Near

ROM 13:11 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.

“Understanding the present time…”

1 Chron 12:32 from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—  NIV (These were part of the fighting force which joined with King David)

AMOS 4:12

“Prepare to meet your God.” NIV

“Prepare to meet your God in judgment, Israel.”   TLC

“Time’s up, O Israel!  Prepare to meet your God!”  MSG

  • “Time to wake up from your slumber.”

  • “Put aside the deeds of darkness”

  • “Put on the armor of light.”

  • “Behave decently”- Not carousing, drunkenness, sexual immorality & debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. There is decent and indecent behavior.  And we are to know and behave accordingly.

  • Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. Put on the Character of Jesus.  How would He behave publicly?

  • Do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

  • “Time to wake up from your slumber.” (Sleep, nap, snooze, )  This is a reference to spiritual laziness and inactivity.  Dulled senses.  Attention to things other than Christian practices.  Careless; Neglectful (How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation);

I can’t tell you how many people I meet who were raised in church, walked with the Lord, participated in spiritual activities, went to church camp, attended a Bible College, but have slacked off. They are not necessarily opposed to spiritual things, but are no longer engaged.  They know they probably should get back in church but when Sunday roles around there are more interesting things to see, places to go or a bed to stay in.

I can think up a lot of religious holidays I don’t want to violate which keep me from walking.

  • “Put aside the deeds of darkness”This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  (John 3:19)We are to put aside that which we know to be wrong, evil, darkness, etc. The Holy Spirit will help us to know other areas we should also change.

  • “Put on the armor of light.” Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”

Honesty shines a light on dishonesty.  Speech seasoned with salt reveals the jaded nature of speech designed to harm and maim and distort.  A lifestyle of morality exposes and contrasts to immorality.  Light by its very nature reveals what would otherwise be hidden.

By putting on the armor of light you are building a barrier, a wedge between you and sin.  If you walk in the light, as he is in the light, darkness will seek to flee from you.  Darkness does not want to be revealed and so it seeks to get away.

  • “Behave decently”- Not carousing, drunkenness, sexual immorality, not in debauchery, dissension and jealousy.” There is decent and indecent behavior and we are to know and behave accordingly.  We are to know the difference and if we have the Holy Spirit, we usually know if what we are doing is wrong.  Some people may need guidance on some things, but the Holy Spirit is an incredible teacher about such things.

All of the things Paul mentions in this passage are things we can do.  God holds us accountable.  The Holy Spirit may help but we are the initiators of each of the actions.  We wake up, we “put aside the deeds of darkness” we “put on the armor of light, we clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, we put on the Character of Jesus and we avoid gratifying the desires of the flesh.

If you follow Christ, you will behave differently than many in the world want you to livet.

1 Peter 4:4  “They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.”  NIV

4 “Of course, your former friends will be very surprised when you don’t eagerly join them anymore in the wicked things they do, and they will laugh at you in contempt and scorn.”  TLB

If I become a Christian I will lose all of my friends.  Yes, you may lose some of them, but after you become a Christian, you will wonder why they were your friends in the first place.

Prepare to meet your God – 1 Pet 4:5 “But just remember that they must face the Judge of all, living and dead; they will be punished for the way they have lived.”

  • Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. Put on the Character of Jesus.  How would He behave publicly?

  • WWJD – What would Jesus Do?

  • HWJD – How would Jesus Dress?

  • HWJA – How would Jesus Act?

  • HWJB – How would Jesus behave

  • WWJG – Where would Jesus Go?

If you want to know what clothing yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ looks like, consider the following…

Col 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, , Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves withcompassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love.

Get in front of the mirror in the morning and ask yourself if you are dressing like Jesus would?

  • “Do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Notice that Paul suggests in this place that thinking is a major part of the process.

Bring every thought into captivity.

The body says, I want some drink or drugs, or illicit sex, or revenge – Don’t go there.  Don’ think about it.  Don’t let it get lodged in your brain.  The bird of temptation will fly over your head, but you don’t have to let it build a nest in your hair.

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  Prov 23:7