131201 Romans 13:11-14

Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Romans 13:11 – 14

Theme: It is Time to Get Up!
1. It is Time to Wake Up
2. It is Time to Get Dressed

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has 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 orgies 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 sinful nature.

This is the Word of the Lord.

Maybe this has happen to you: The alarm clock you set the night before goes off early in the morning to wake you up. You hear the cold wind howling through your windows. You are nice and warm in your bed, so you hit the snooze alarm. Nine minutes later, the alarm goes off again. You still aren't ready to leave your nice warm bed, so you hit the snooze button again. The next time the alarm goes off, you realize that now you are almost 20 minutes late in getting up. So, you finally drag yourself out of bed, and then have to run around the house getting dressed and eating a quick breakfast, just because you stayed in bed too long. In God's Word before us this morning, our Lord, through the Apostle Paul calls on all of us to get out of bed. He says to you and me: IT IS TIME TO GET UP! IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP, and IT IS TIME TO GET DRESSED.

When you wake up some mornings, do you find it almost impossible to wake up. Maybe you were up late the night before, or you didn't sleep well through the night, and so you don't have any motivation to wake up. In the opening verse before us, Paul gives us the motivation for us to wake up. First, he says we are to wake up "understanding the present time." Far too many people today, who do not yet know Jesus Christ as their only Savior from sin, are still living in spiritual sleep. This morning we could briefly walk through every one of the Ten Commandments and give numerous examples of how our God's Commandments are being broken by the sinful, unbelieving world around us. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul gives a description of the sin which has taken over the world; a description that sounds like it was written just yesterday. He says: "But among you [believers] there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or greed. . . nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking. . ." Understanding our present time, we can clearly see that it is time for you and me to wake up!

God's Word before us gives you and me another reason to wake up. Paul writes: ". . . our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here." This morning, as we begin a new church year, we are reminded that the second coming of our Lord and Savior is near. It is nearer now than it was years, months, days, even minutes ago. Paul says "the night is nearly over. . ." The "night" which Paul is speaking about is right now. It is that time which the Bible often refers to as "the last times". Paul says that this night will soon pass away. It is much like when you lay your head down at night, and suddenly your alarm clock goes off telling you the night is over already. Not only is this night which we are living in nearly over, but Paul has some much better news to share with us; he says "the day is almost here." The day of our Lord's return is coming soon. As that day approaches, we have comfort knowing that our Savior will return to take us to be with Him forever heaven. Comforted by this Good News, we are motivated to wake up.

After I wake up in the mornings, one of the toughest things for me to do is to get out of bed and get dressed. Rather than get up and get dressed, I would like to stay in my warm, comfortable bed. In God's Word before us this morning, we are encouraged not only to wake up, but we are also encouraged to get dressed.

When we wake up, before we can get dressed for a new day, we first must remove the clothes we wore during the night. Here in Romans 13, Paul was led to list three pairs of activities. These are activities which can't stand the light of day. They are activities which are done in darkness, and are encouraged by the prince of darkness, the devil. Paul writes, "Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy." These activities were part of everyday life for most of the people who lived in Rome during Paul's day. Can we see history repeating itself? These sins which were so common in Paul's day, are even more common in our world today.

It is time to get up! It is time to get up and take off our night clothes. The list which Paul gives us here in Romans, Jesus tells us these are all signs that the end is near. In Matthew 24:10,11 He says: "At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people." In Mark 13:12 Jesus says: "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death." Our Savior's return is near. That is why the Apostle encourages us to get up; to get up, take off our night clothes, and get dressed for a new day. In the second half of verse 12 Paul says: ". . . put on the armor of light." The picture is that of a soldier as he prepares for battle. He puts on all the necessary equipment he needs to protect and defend himself. We too, put on our armor. We put on the armor we need to protect and defend ourselves from this sinful world. Our armor for battle against this world is the Word of our God.

Having put on the armor of God's Word, Paul writes: "Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ..." What does it mean to clothe ourselves with Christ? It means that with the help of God the Holy Spirit we will put on the forgiveness of sins Jesus purchased for you and me through his perfect life and innocent suffering and death. It means, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of our God, living for the Savior. We do this when, with the help of God the Holy Spirit, we turn away from the deeds of darkness, and clothe ourselves with those things mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control."

This morning, we begin a new church year. It will be another year of grace from our Lord; a year of repentance and forgiveness; a year which will bring us one step closer to our inheritance of heaven. During this coming year, it is my prayer that you and I not only grow in our knowledge of our Savior and the wonderful things he has done for us, but also will make use of the opportunities we have to live for him and to tell others that IT IS TIME TO GET UP! IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP and IT IS TIME TO GET DRESSED! AMEN.



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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.


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