High time to awake out of sleep

Image Source: www.pixabay.com
Image Source: www.pixabay.com

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Rom. 13:11-14

The metaphor which is sustained throughout these verses, that of night and day, is meant to give a vivid picture of the present age and the age to come. We are living in the age of darkness, when sin and evil and injustice are rampant and universal. But there is coming an age of light, a day inaugurated by the coming of Jesus Christ to bring about the fulness of his kingdom.

From this metaphor, we are invited to the consideration of both the fact that this present darkness is temporary and passing and that the day is near at hand. We are therefore to live in light of eternity; it makes no sense to live for that which will ultimately pass away (11-12).

This means more than merely longing for some unknown future, however. This hope creates concrete patterns of behavior in a life which is separate from the world in its way of sin and rebellion against God (13). The Christian is not to join the world in the various ways it urges us to indulge the flesh. On the contrary, we are to live lives of self-control - we are not to give in to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. Anything less is not Christian, no matter how much we give lip-service to the gospel.

But how do we sustain this long-term battle against conformity to the world? We do so, not only by refusing to make provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts, but primarily by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ (14). This means standing in the grace he has already provided, living in his present grace through the Spirit, and longing for the future grace which will come at his appearing and his kingdom. It means living in union with Christ by faith and finding all the resources we need for godliness and righteousness in him. Without him, we are nothing. But with him, we can find limitless grace and hope and joy.

By: Jeremiah Bass