This is the sermon for Sunday April 18th, 2010.

Practical Christianity part 8

Love is doing.

Romans 13:11-14.

Romans 13:11-14 HCSB – 11 Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.

INTRODUCTION

This is the 8th sermon in our series, “Practical Christianity.

Last week we looked at the fact that love fulfills the Law; so our duty as believers in Jesus is first to love God, and then love others – both the believers and non-believers.  This can only be done through the love of God shed abroad in our hearts through Jesus Christ.

Today we are continuing love’s theme.  We are going to be looking at the subject, “love is doing.”

James says something very important in his epistle.

James 1:22 HCSB – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Paul is going to show a great example of what this looks like in the passage that we will be dissecting this morning.  Let’s begin.

Its time to wake up!

Romans 13:11-12a HCSB – 11 Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near…

Many people use alarm clocks to wake up.  But even when it sounds, people often hit the snooze button so that can get that 5 minutes of extra sleep.  To truly wake up, not only must you open your eyes; but you must rouse yourself out of the bed.

This is true as Christians.  Many unfortunately are asleep in the pews so to speak.  They are hearing the Word preached, but they are not really listening and thereby obeying.  There are also many excuses that Christians will give as well.

Excuses:

  • Worked to many hours and need rest.
  • Music not to our liking.
  • Not feeling too well.
  • Don’t really feel called.

Well this morning I’m sounding the alarm!  You can either hit the snooze button and mute me in your mind, or you can rouse yourself from your slumber.

Wake in Greek:

  • Egeiro (eg-i`-ro).
  • To raise yourself up from a lying position to a standing one.

Why should we wake up and be serious?  Because, “Salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” This is not talking about our present salvation, but future one.   The coming of Jesus to deliver us from this evil world by eradicating evil is closer now than when we first were converted.

What does this waking up look like?

Remove the old, rotten clothing of works of darkness.

Romans 13:12b-13 HCSB – 12 so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy.

This is the first step on the road of repentance: renouncing our old evil ways.  Notice these ways are called, “deeds” here.  You see sin is a deeds related thing.  We may be sinners by birth, but we work hard toward our own destruction.  It is what our evil hearts desire.  We must remove those evil deeds like we would old, nasty, smelly clothing.

The works of darkness:

  • Carousing and Drunkenness. In the Roman culture, huge parties were common place.  Not just for physical pleasure, but they believed that there was something spiritual that took place in the sexual unions that were common in these parties.  The Greek word for carousing here is komos (ko-mos). It means, “to carouse, to party, to revel, to riot.”  So to contextualize it to our day it would be wild parties, fights, and rioting; more then just the sexual union but any sort of debauchery.  Drunkenness is also listed.  No matter what your view is concerning alcohol consumption, as Christians we can all agree on one thing – it is a sin to get drunk…period.  Paul mentions drunkenness and his command concerning it.

Ephesians 5:18 HCSB – And don’t get drunk with wine, which [leads to] reckless actions, but be filled with the Spirit…

  • Sexual impurity and promiscuity. This is talking about having more than one sexual partner other than your spouse.  Adultery in the church must be cast off.  Promiscuity in Greens Literal Translation is translated as, “lustful acts.” We have a couple of terms that apply here: sex in advertising and sex as a weapon.  You want to sell a product: sex sells!  Our culture knows this and uses it well.  We as believers cannot allow sexual idols and images to influence us.  Jesus uses this Greek work for promiscuity and says it comes from within a person and what the result of it is along with other vices.

Mark 7:21-23 HCSB  – 21 For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, 22 adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, lewdness, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”

  • Quarreling and jealousy. The Greek word for quarreling means, “strife, contention, disputes, litigations, and bitter conflict.”  This fills many a church and many a church member.  We must cast this aside.  Jealousy in Greek means, “to envy with indignation.”  Many a Christian gets upset over other Christian’s recognition.  This must cease and be cast away from us.

But it is not enough to take the old clothes off: we must put on the Armor of Light.  How do we do this?

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 13:14a HCSB  – But put on the Lord Jesus Christ…

Its not works but trust.  Trusting in Him not only to save you, but to keep you from stumbling.

So cloth yourselves in Christ!  Be in close union with Him.  This is the second part of repentance.  Paul has more to say about this.

Ephesians 4:22-24 NET – 22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.

Colossians 3:8-11 HCSB – 8 But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices 10 and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.

Galatians 3:27 HCSB – For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

If you have been baptized into Christ, you have put Him on; now walk in this reality.

Continue to deny what the flesh desires.

Romans 13:14b HCSB  – … and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.

Just because you are in Christ doesn’t mean you no longer have these sinful desires.  They are still there.  But as Christians we are not to make plans to satisfy them.

Greek study:

  • Fleshly – sarx.  Means, “That which is external; frailties and weaknesses.” Christ has conquered sin and the flesh; but those weaknesses remain.
  • Desires  – epithumia (ep-ee-thoo-mee`-ah). Means, “Forbidden lusts, urges, or passions.”
  • Plans – proneia (pron`-oy-ah). Means, “To supply an opportunity.”

Please do not be self-righteous and say that you do not have forbidden desires, because you would be lying.  The desires are not sin, but making an opportunity for the desires to grow greater and given in to them are.  Don’t provide an opportunity for the flesh.

CONCLUSION

As we conclude: remove the opportunity that the flesh provides; do this by trusting completely in Christ as Savior and King, and asking the help of the Holy Spirit in walking close to Him.  Also, don’t give the forbidden lusts an opportunity to grow.  Make some choices in removing the opportunity of the flesh.

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