Summary: Advent 1(A) - An advent alarm awakens all to put aside all evil deeds and then to be clothed with Christ.
AN ADVENT ALARM AWAKENS ALL (Outline)
November 29, 2009 --
ADVENT 1 --
INTRO: The morning alarm clock often wakes one up from a deep sleep. The alarm jars each one from their cozy, comfortable bed. Each one wakes up and shakes off the cobwebs of sleep. One by one people get put on their clothes for each day. Today God’s advent alarm rings in our hearts and lives. Our advent alarm says watch, get ready, and be alert. God through Paul speaks to each of us today about that very process of waking up, shaking off sin, and being clothed with Christ. "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed" (REVELATION 16:15). Every believer will be clothed on that Last Day with Christ. Now we are watching and waiting for the Lord’s return.
AN ADVENT ALARM AWAKENS ALL.
I. Put aside all evil deeds.
II. Be clothed with Christ.
I. PUT ASIDE ALL EVIL DEEDS
A. Paul wrote God’s inspired word to the believers in Rome probably in the spring of 57AD.
1. The tide of popularity was beginning to turn against Christianity and followers of the Way.
2. In the opening chapters of Romans Paul emphasizes being saved by grace through faith.
a. God’s undeserved love has saved believers. b. Salvation does not depend on works.
3. Chapter 13 starts with encouragement to honor authority and love one’s fellow man.
B. Verse 11a. “Do this”. This command means to honor and respect authority and love one’s neighbor.
1. The believers were to do this understanding their times. Persecution was starting.
2. The believers were to live like followers of Christ, not like the wicked world around them.
C. Verse 12b. These believers were to shake off their old, sinful way of life. It was darkness.
1. Verse 13b. Paul lists the evil that they once lived in. It was the sinfulness of the world
2. The darkness included wild, riotous living, sexual promiscuity. These were all selfish sins.
3. One who lives selfishly lives jealously. Selfish people are only concerned with themselves.
D. Evil deeds are often done in the dark. Darkness is associated with evil. Darkness stands in direct contrast to the light. Believers are called children of light. On this side of heaven darkness abounds. Wickedness, rebellion, and sin are all around us. At times that which is not light blinds us. "But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"(MATTHEW 6:23). An advent alarm awakens us to throw off deeds of darkness.
E. Why do we still walk in the dark even though we know better? There are a number of reasons. Even believers stray off of the narrow road that enters into the gates of heaven. First, there is our earthly birth. We are born as enemies of God, not friends. Only by grace does God make us his children. Also Satan is very, very deceptive. The things in this world that we can see, feel, and touch can often seem more important than anything else. Let’s face it – our sinful nature likes evil. "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (JOHN 3:19,20). At times we walk in the dark. It is our choice. Thankfully God sent His Light for us.
F. God’s advent alarm awakens us to pay attention to all of the evil that surrounds our every earthly day of life. God’s advent alarm alerts us to shake off all the evil deeds that are part of our living. This is a battle. It is a struggle. But we are not alone. God gives us his strength. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (HEBREWS 12:1). Notice that sin “easily entangles”. Notice God gives us faithful believers for our encouragement and help.
AN ADVENT ALARM AWAKENS ALL. With God we shake off and put aside all evil deeds.
II. BE CLOTHED WITH CHRIST
A. Verse 11. The present time was indeed very evil. In 70AD Jerusalem would be destroyed.
1. In 60AD Nero would burn Rome and blame the Christians. Persecution begins.
a. Christians die in the arena: fed to lions, gladiators. b. Christians became human torches.
2. The day of salvation and deliverance was closer now than when they first believed.