A Wake Up Call - Romans 13

A Wake Up Call

Romans 13:1-14

The alarm has sounded.  Christian, it's time to wake up and roll out of bed.  "For now it is high time to awake out of sleep."  Like a trumpet call, Paul's words stir us to spiritual vigilance and zealous service, "for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed."  Romans 13:11.  We have been "eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body."  Romans 8:23.  It is that aspect of salvation that is drawing near.

Wake up!  "The night is far spent, the day is at hand."  The apostle Peter wrote of the dawning of the day when the morning star will rise in our hearts.  2 Peter 1:19.  In Revelation 22:16 Jesus says that He is "the Bright and Morning Star."  You won't want to be found slumbering and sleeping when Jesus comes.  The day of His coming is fast approaching.

Paul has three practical admonitions for believers, each beginning with the words let us.  First, "Let us cast off the works of darkness."  When the Lord returns to deliver Jerusalem, it is said, "In that day every man shall throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold---sin, which your own hands have made for yourselves."  Isaiah 31:7.  Let us discard with haste those things which are displeasing to God in our lives.  In Ephesians 5:11 we read, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose (or reprove) them." 

Second, "Let us put on the armor of light."  The time has come for spiritual warfare.  Off with the works of darkness and on with God's armor of light.  That armor is identified for us in Ephesians 6:14-17.  We might call it "the Christian's shining armor."  The darkness doesn't stand a chance in the light.  "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."  Matthew 5:16.

Third, "Let us walk properly (or decently), as in the day."  We are people of the day, not the night.  We have been saved by grace, and that grace teaches us "that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."  Titus 2:12, 13.

There are three pairs of vices which should have no part in the lives of children of God.  We should not walk in "revelry and drunkenness...lewdness and lust...strife and envy."  Romans 13:13.  These may have been part of the night which is far spent, but now we are living in a new day.  They are unmistakably works of darkness, which should be cast off like a dirty, old piece of clothing.

Finally, in contrast we are to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ."  Romans 13:14.  What does it mean?  How do you do that?  The NIV puts it this way: "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ."  Christ and His righteousness should cover us.  We should allow Him to be like our outer garment, so that when others see us they see His righteousness.  Jesus Christ lives in us.  By His Spirit He works through us.  He should be made manifest on us.

Let us answer the wake up call, and reveal Jesus to others before the revelation of that great day, when He comes again.

 

Lord, we have heard the wake up call.  Thank You for moving by Your Spirit in our lives.  May we fight Your battles, overcoming the darkness through the light that You have provided for us.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

The Weak and the Strong - Romans 14

 
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