Sunday – September 25, 2022
Word On Worship – Sunday – September 25, 2022
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.
Imagine how you would feel if you were told that you had only a few months to live. You might try to cram a lifetime into those last days. You might travel to places you have always wanted to see. You might do things for which you had never found the time before. It would not be difficult to understand why you would want to spend your last days indulging yourself.
In Romans 13:8-14, Paul proposes a radically different response to a similar type of deadline—one every Christian must face. He reminds the Christian that his time is limited because the day of the Lord’s return is daily drawing nearer. In the light of this reality, he calls on us to deny ourselves and to live for God. Not to indulge himself, but to give himself sacrificially in serving others to seek for their good. We have been oversleeping. The night has passed. The new day is dawning—the day of our Lord’s return. We must get about doing those things which remain to be done.
Paul is looking at time from two perspectives. In the first place, he is looking at that time which has elapsed between our initial salvation and the present. The time which has passed should have produced growth and maturity and greater sensitivity to both good and evil. In the Book of Hebrews, the Hebrew saints had been saved for some time. But instead of growth and progress in their faith, the reverse seems to have been true, and for this the writer rebukes his readers. In the same way, these Roman saints have been saved for some time now and should be growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. But they still seem to be “sleepy Christians,” not fully awake and alert.
Time is also viewed in a second way. Because too much unprofitable time has passed by, the time they have remaining is slowly eroding away. Paul is saying is that the time left between the day of their initial salvation and the day of their final salvation is diminishing. And for us too, there is less time to serve the Lord now than there was when we were first saved. Not only the Roman saints, but we ourselves must hasten to demonstrate love. Paul spurs us on to love and good deeds (Heb 10:24). Our focus is not only to be upon others, but upon God, His grace, our salvation, and the rapidly approaching day of His return. This will mean glory for us and rewards for faithfulness. Let us not waste this time, but rather serve God faithfully and so be found faithful when He returns.