Romans 13:11­-14

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 9, 2015 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“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. 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. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Romans 13:11-14)

Since the beginning of Romans 12, Paul has been giving the church in Rome guidelines and ideas on how to live lives that demonstrate following Christ. As you’ve seen, this is helpful for our lives today and in our culture as well. But, we do need to remember that this book of Romans was originally written as a letter to the church in Rome; it’s always important that we keep this context in mind when reading it. Fortunately, this is a passage that does apply both then and now, in Rome and in wherever you’re reading this blog post from.

The context of this passage is particularly important when we read “And do this” at the start of verse 11. If you haven’t read what comes before this, you should be asking, “And do what?” Since the start of Romans 12, Paul has been mostly talking about love and how to live that out in a life that follows Jesus Christ. Remember back in Romans 12:1-2 how we’re supposed to have transformed lives that don’t look like the lives of those in the world? This is what we’re supposed to do!

Paul reminds us that our salvation is always growing nearer. We don’t know when Christ will return again, but we’re always getting one day closer to it. Each day that goes by is one day closer to eternal life - or eternal condemnation, depending on your choice to have faith in Jesus Christ or not.

Because the day of judgment is always getting closer, Paul urges us to stop sinning! We need to continue to strive toward that transformed life that focuses on God and on loving others. We should not allow human and worldly desires to invade our thinking or our actions, but of course that is easier said than done. Until judgment day comes, we still live in this world, and we are very easily corrupted by its sinful ways.

How can we combat this? Replace the bad things with the good. Paul gives us the image of taking off and putting on clothes. Think about when you’ve just had a really sweaty workout session or done a really dirty job. Aren’t you anxious to get those smelly, stinky clothes off and get cleaned up? That’s how we should feel about conforming to the world. Giving in to the desires of our flesh and of this world is like continuously wearing that stinky clothing. When we live transformed lives and follow God’s ways instead, it’s like putting on fresh, clean clothes after you’ve cleaned yourself up. Clothe yourselves with Jesus, not with the evils of this world.

What clothes are you wearing today? Are you wearing the stink of the world’s ways, or are you wearing the fresh smelling cleanliness of God’s ways? Take a look at your life today, so you’re prepared and cleaned up for when the day of judgment comes.

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