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                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS"

                    It's Time To Wake Up! (13:11-14)

INTRODUCTION

1. Apathy and lethargy are problems that often afflict the people of
   God...
   a. Many Christians simply "go through the motions"
   b. Many Churches exist, but with little zeal or progress

2. Such problems were common in New Testament times...
   a. The church in Ephesus left their first love - Re 2:4
   b. The church in Laodicea became lukewarm - Re 3:15-16

3. Paul felt the need to exhort the brethren in Rome to awake from sleep
   - Ro 13:11-14
   a. "To awake from carelessness and indifference" - B. W. Johnson
   b. "To shake off slothfulness, security, and all former sinful
      courses" - Poole
   c. To awake from "stupid, fatal indifference to eternal things" - JFB

[Have we become lethargic and indifferent to eternal things?  If so,
"It's Time To Wake Up!"  With Paul's exhortation before us, consider
some reasons...]

I. WHY WE NEED TO WAKE (11-12a)

   A. KNOWING THE TIME...
      1. Knowing the nature of time
         a. Time is short
         b. Time is fleeting - Jm 4:14-17
      2. Knowing what time it is
         a. Now is the time to obey the Lord
         b. Now is day of salvation - 2Co 6:1-2

   B. OUR SALVATION IS NEARER...
      1. Our salvation is nearer - in what way?
         a. The Lord's return is nearer
         b. Our own death is nearer, should we die before the Lord
            returns - cf. He 9:27
      2. Than we first believed
         a. Every day brings us closer
         b. Think of how much time has gone by since we believed!

   C. THE NIGHT IS FAR SPENT...
      1. The night - referring to the moral darkness of this world - cf.
         1Jn 2:8
      2. Is far spent - lit., "is cut off" It is becoming short; it is
         hastening to a close - cf. 1Co 7:31b
      3. This world and time as we know it will not last long

   D. THE DAY IS AT HAND...
      1. "The day of eternal blessedness is at hand - is about to dawn
         on us in our glorious resurrection unto eternal life" - Clarke
      2. Until which the Word of God serves as a light shining in the
         dark - cf. 2Pe 1:19

[Since these things are true, let us walk (conduct ourselves)
properly...]

II. HOW WE OUGHT TO WALK (12b-14)

   A. CASTING OFF THE WORKS OF DARKNESS...
      1. Such things as mentioned in this text:
         a. Revelry, drunkenness, lewdness
         b. Lust, strife, envy
      2. Such things as mentioned in other texts:
         a. Adultery, fornication, idolatry, sorcery, hatred,
            contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish
            ambitions, dissension's, heresies, murders - cf. Ga 5:19-21
         b. Passion, evil desire, covetousness, anger, malice,
            blasphemy, filthy language, lying - cf. Col 3:5-8

   B. PUTTING ON THE ARMOR OF LIGHT...
      1. The breastplate of faith and love, the hope of salvation as a
         helmet - 1Th 5:8
      2. That armor of God including truth, righteousness, the gospel,
         faith, the hope of salvation, the Word of God - cf. Ep 6:10-17

   C. PUTTING ON THE LORD JESUS...
      1. First, in baptism
         a. For in baptism we "put on" Christ - Ga 3:27
         b. We are raised "with" Christ, "made alive together with Him"
            - Col 2:11-13
      2. Then, in developing Christ-like character
         a. Putting on the new man, renewed in knowledge, with tender
            mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering,
            forbearance, forgiving one another, love - Col 3:10-14
         b. Being renewed in mind, a new man in true righteousness and
            holiness - Ep 4:20-24
         c. Growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ - cf.
            2Pe 1:5-8; 3:18

   D. MAKING NO PROVISION FOR THE FLESH...
      1. Something we must do!
         a. If we want to live spiritually - cf. Ro 8:12-13a
         b. If we desire the love of the Father - cf. 1Jn 2:15-17
      2. Something we can do!
         a. With the aid of the Spirit - cf. Ro 8:13b; Ep 3:16,20; Ga 5:
            16-17
         b. With the aid of God's providence - cf. 1Co 10:13
         c. With the aid of watchful prayer - Mt 26:41; cf. 1Pe 4:7;
            5:8
      3. How serious are we in this regard?
         a. Do we avoid circumstances that might tempt the flesh?
         b. Do we abstain from activities that arouse fleshly lusts?

CONCLUSION

1. Brethren, are we sleeping...?
   a. Indifferent to matters of the spirit, careless about things
      eternal?
   b. Lethargic in our service to the Lord, apathetic about our
      spiritual well-being?

2. If so, then "It's Time To Wake Up!"...
   a. The time to change and grow will be soon be gone!
   b. The day of eternity will arrive and we won't be ready!

3. Let us be children of the day, not of the night...
   a. Put on the Lord Jesus
   b. Put on the armor of light
   c. Walk properly
   d. Make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its fleshly lusts

...and we can look forward to obtaining salvation through Jesus Christ!
- cf. 1Th 5:1-11
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