Summary: Message 43 in our exposition of Romans. This message focuses on living as light in a dark world.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Children of the Day”
In the first 11 chapters of Romans, Paul powerfully proclaims the truths concerning God’s wonderful salvation plan. Beginning in chapter 12, Paul specifies some areas of our thinking needing our attention crucial to the transformation of our living. When our thinking gets straightened out our living straight is not far behind. Be transformed by the renewing of your thinking.
I. Regarding life in light of Christ’s return (13:11-14)
We need to get a perspective on the age in which we live. In the passage, Paul draws attention to the times in which we live followed by a “therefore” introducing three pairs of admonitions for life in the last days. We find three references to time in verse 11 and 12. In light of the season or times or age in which we live, we must live differently. In light of the coming culmination of the kingdom of light we are to abandon the things associated with the kingdom of darkness and adopt kingdom living in the present. Remember, renewed thinking must lead to transformed living. If your living is not godly your thinking is not godly.
11Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
I detect two sections in this continuing instruction in righteous living.
First -- An encouragement to PERCEIVE THE TIMES.
Second -- An exhortation to PRACTICE THE TRUTH in light of the times.
Paul ties this section to the last by “and this” We can either tie the “this” to the immediate context which would be “and continually love your neighbor as yourself…” OR …We could view this as a summary of all the previous exhortations concerning renewed thinking and transformed living offered since 12:1. I have a leaning toward the second option. Paul here provides a strong motivation to actually live differently in the present. We are to live differently NOW in light of the age (time) in which we live as well as the age (time) that is yet to come.
1. Perceive the times
Paul masterfully ties this little excursion in time both to earlier exhortation and to a summary exhortation repeated three times. Paul encourages us to live godly lives “knowing the time.” The word for time used here is not “chronos” which would refer to a specific time. Paul used the word “kairos” which indicated a season or period or opportunity. It indicates a critical, strategic period of time. We refer to “wintertime” or “springtime”.
Knowledge of the age in which we live and what God is doing motivates godly living. Paul uses a word for “to know” which empathizes knowledge by observation and perception not necessarily by experience. Developing an eternal perception concerning the time or age in which we live, we are to live transformed lives which includes loving our neighbor as ourselves. Paul reminds them of three aspects concerning the age or time in which we live.
a) It is already past time to wake up
11Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep
Literally, “to be awakened from sleep” (passive verb). We don’t usually wake ourselves up. We are usually awakened by someone or something. Sleep most likely refers to inactivity, dullness, lethargy, unawareness. Sleep indicates a state of inattention, apathy, ignorance. The coming of Jesus and His promised Holy Spirit marked the hour of awakening. Any time beyond that time is ALREADY past the hour to be awakened.
There is not a new revelation coming. There is not some grand subsequent new event to wake us up. The age and hour in which we live is ALREADY the hour to be awakened from sleep. This is the time for all believers to be AWAKE. Paul told the Ephesians of the wonderful work of Christ that raised them not only from sleep but from a dead condition cause by their connection to the kingdom of darkness.
2:1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephes. 2:1-3