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Romans 13:11-14


Intro : Having begun this chapter talking about the duty of the believer to respect and submit to government, Paul now turns his attention to the believers duty as he lives out his daily life. While government passes laws that are designed to protect and control society, the Christian has a duty to live out the life of Christ as he passes through this world. That is the emphasis of these verses.

If you were observant as we read the text, you noticed that Paul uses the language of haste and urgency. He is telling us that the duties mentioned here are not to be put off for another day, but are to be carried out every day as the believer lives his or her life in the world.

Let's take a few minutes this evening to consider The Believer's Spiritual Duty. You may find that you are doing your duty well. However, you might come to see that there are certain areas that need attention.

I. V. 11
    A . Watch The Seasons - The word "time" refers to a "season of time". This whole verse has to do with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His people. The idea here is that the believer is to keep his eyes on the changing world around him and understand that the coming of the Lord is near. Sadly, many believers cruise lazily through life not even considering the fact that Jesus might return at any moment. Yet, all one has to do is cross-reference the daily news with the Word of God to see that His coming is near. Therefore, the advise Jesus gave in Matthew is still good advise for us today, Matt. 24:42-44.

B. Watch For Sleep - Paul tells us that the time for slumber has long since passed. The words "high time" mean that a specific hour has arrived. Too many of the people of God are sleeping on the job tonight. Living their lives as they please without any thought for the will of God or the return of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Sleep is defined as, "A state of inactivity, with a loss of consciousness, and a decrease in responsiveness to events taking place." I n other words, the sleeping person is out of touch with the events that surround him while he sleeps. While it may be fine to doze through that ball game, or to get a good nights sleep, there is no excuse for being asleep to the things of God! However, many people in the church are in a state of inactivity when it comes to the things of God. This should not be! May the Lord find us watching when He comes! May He find us awake when He returns!

    C. Watch For The Savior - Paul tells us that our salvation is nearer than when we believed. As you know, there are three stages to salvation. We are saved, we are being saved and we will be saved. At the moment of conversion, we were saved from the penalty of sin. We are being saved daily from the power of sin. We will be saved eventually from the presence of sin. Our salvation is fully accomplished this evening, but it being worked out daily in our lives. One day, when Jesus returns for His people, we will experience the complete effects of our salvation. What Paul means is that every day we pitch our tent one step closer to glory! He merely wants to remind us that Jesus is nearer today than He was yesterday. Are you living your life in the anticipation of His soon return?

I. Our Duty To Watch Diligently

II. V. 12
    A. A Time Of Crisis - Paul is telling us that the time to sleep has well passed. Now it is time to become active in the business of the Lord. His words remind us that there is an urgency to the things of God. Everyday, people are dying without the Lord and going to Hell. Everyday the forces of evil are growing stronger and working harder in the world. There is a tremendous need for believers everywhere to wake up from their slumber to recognize the seriousness and the lateness of the hour and to get busy serving the Lord with all of their might. If you are planning to tell your neighbors about Jesus, the time is now! If you are going to tell your family about Jesus the time is now. If you are going to go to work for the Lord the time is now! May we recognize the crisis of the hour and dedicate ourselves to being all God wants us to be in these days.

(Ill. Another thought that is contained in this verse is that the reign of darkness on this earth is growing ever nearer its destined end. Since Satan knows that his time is short, Rev. 12:12, he is pulling out all the stops in our day. Very soon, the darkness of sin that has fallen over this world like a veil will be lifted and the glorious dawn of a new day will come. A day when Jesus Himself will rule and reign in righteousness and glory.)

    B. A Time Of Commitment - The idea of this verse is of a man rising from sleep, throwing off the bed covers and his night clothes and getting himself dressed for the day. Since Paul uses the word "armor", we could say that he is speaking of a new recruit who shows up for duty in the military. Once there, he is stripped of his civilian clothes and is dressed up in the uniform of the army. It is a change that will last for as long as he serves.

    For us, the imagery is perfect. It speaks of the believer forever laying aside the ways of the old life and dressing up once for all in the ways of the new life in Jesus. This is an idea that is echoed several times in the epistles of Paul, Col. 3:1-17; Eph. 6:10-18; Gal. 5:16-26.

    God's idea of the Christian life is one of total commitment and dedication. However, most Christians see the Christian life as one of compromises. They honor God over here while doing as they please over here. This cannot be! God's command is for our total commitment, once for all! Have you done that? Are you even willing?

I. Our Duty To Watch Diligently 

II. Our Duty To War Diligently

III. V. 13

(III. The preceding idea carries over into this verse. Paul calls upon the believer to exhibit the right kind of walk in his everyday life.)
A. We Should Show A Decent Walk - The phrase "walk honestly" means to "behave properly." That is, we are to live an outward life that is consistent with who we are on the inside. There should be no pretense in our lives. If we say we are saved, we should live as though we are saved. We are to be sure that our practice matches our profession. Note: I am convinced that the reason so many people have such a hard time staying clean and living for God is because they have never been saved to begin with. With the new birth comes the desire to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. A life that is honest. A life that is a living sacrifice to His glory in the world.) Does you walk match your talk's e uses a phrase "as in the day'. That is, there should be nothing hidden about our lives. We should be like and open book to all who look at us and see how we live. Nothing hypocritical, nothing hidden, just a life that is open, honest and pleasing to the Lord. Does that describe the life you are living?
    B. We Should Shun A Devilish Walk - After telling how we should live, Paul turns his attention to how we should not live. He mentions six sins of the flesh that were no doubt prevalent in Paul's day. The six sins are also prevalent in our day as well! Let's look at them for just a moment.
      1. Rioting - Refers to wild parties, sexual orgies, brawling, etc.
      2. Drunkenness - Refers to habitual and intentional intoxication. Can speak of alcohol or drug abuse. It is interesting to note that the New Testament usually speaks of drunkenness and rioting together, Rom.13:13; Gal. 5:21; 1 Pet. 4:3

3. Chambering - This word comes fro ma word that means "to go to bed with someone," It refers to sexual activities that are engaged in outside of the marriage relationship. It is a work of the flesh and it is a sin! Whether it be fornication, which is any sexual activity before marriage, or adultery, which is any sexual activity after marriage with someone who is not your spouse, it is a sin! It doesn't matter whether or not society condones it, God does not! (Note: It is a sad statement of the condition of the "professing" church when sexual activity that has been forbidden by God is as prevalent in the church as it is in the world!)

    4. Wantonness - This word is tied to the previous word and it refers to unbridled, uninhibited sexual desire and activity.. It speaks against the casual attitude society holds concerning sex, where every form of sexual expression is indulged in and encouraged.
5. Strife - This word refers to a mind set that seeks its own way first and foremost without regard for the cost to others. It speaks of those people who are-constantly bickering, engage in competitive antagonism and petty disagreements - It speaks of people who are just plain mean. Always looking for a fight. Walking around with an attitude and a chip on their shoulder. The world. and sadly the church is filled with this kind of people 

6. Envy - Refers to a spirit of `;jealous'. This is an attitude of "me first and every one else after." It is an attitude of the heart that seeks everything self wants without concern for the impact upon the lives of others.

Are any of these things active in your life this evening! If so, there is a remedy. It is called confession and repentance!

I. Our Duty To Watch Diligently
II. Our Duty To War Diligently
III. Our Duty To Walk Diligently
IV. V. 14

    A. Wait Properly Dressed - Paul tells us that while we are waiting in this world for the Lord to return, we should be careful that we acts the right way. He tells us to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ." Of course, we were placed into Jesus at the moment of our conversion, 1 Cor. 12:13. Here, he means that we are to cloth ourselves in all that Jesus is! We are to adopt His character as our character. We are to adopt His lifestyle as our lifestyle. He is truth, we are to walk in truth. He is light, we are to walk in light. He is faithful, we are to be faithful. He is holy, we are to be holy. He loves the Father, we are to love the Father. He walked in total obedience to God, we are to walk in total obedience to God. The idea is encapsulated by John in 1 John 2:6. The idea here is a progression toward perfection! God is in the business of growing saints, Eph. 4:13. He is seeking to reproduce the life of His Son in each of us. Therefore, until He comes, let us determine that we will live Christlike in front of a hell-bound world.

    B. Wait Properly Disengaged - We are told to make "not provision for the flesh." The word "provision" means "forethought or planning". The idea is this, we are to avoid any and all attempts by the mind to allow for the fulfilling of fleshly lusts.

    We are guilty of assuming that sin begins with the devil. He thinks it up and he tempts us with it. Well, that occurs occasionally.  More often, sin begins a little closer to home, James 1:14-15. Long as we live in his world; there will be within us a pull toward the things of the world. However, we do not have to fall into any temptation, 1 Cor. 10:31. We will sin, but we do not have to!

    We will be tempted. but we do not have to yield, Rom. 6:14. When we allow our minds, hearts, wills and emotions to rule our lives, they will make provision for the flesh, because the are still heavily influenced by, the flesh and by its wicked desires. However, when we allow the Spirit of God to control our thinking, we will not do what the flesh wants, but we will do what the Spirit wants, Gal. 5:16. The whole idea here is that we are to control the mind, heart, will and emotions so that they are under the power of the Spirit of God.  We are to give no thought to the desires of the flesh.  Sounds tough, but the Spirit of God is able to give us the victory in this warfare, 1 John 4:4, 1 Cor. 15:57.

Conc : So Christian, are you doing your spiritual duty this evening? Or, has the Spirit of God placed His finger on some area or the other that needs immediate attention? If so, then I recommend bringing that need to Jesus. If He is calling, you come!


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