Service to Ourselves: A Changed Life

We don’t have a lot of time (Romans 13:11-12a)

There is an urgency in loving our neighbors because time marches on. We cannot procrastinate because the time for our ultimate salvation is closer than most of us realize (Ecclesiastes 9:10; Ephesians 5:14-17; I Thessalonians 5:5-8; I Peter 4:7). The reign of evil is coming to a close (Isaiah 60:1-2, 12-20; I John 2:8). Christ will be coming soon (Philippians 4:5; Hebrews 10:25; James 5:8).

Remove sin and put on righteousness (Romans 13:12b-14)

It is easy to procrastinate when you think you have tomorrow to change, but we don’t have the luxury of time. Therefore, we must both rid ourselves of sin and protect ourselves with righteousness. It is not enough to do one without the other.

When a person approaches being a Christian as only a matter of removing sin, he leaves himself defenseless (Matthew 12:43-45; II Peter 2:20-22). A person has to arm himself (Ephesians 5:10-17).

When a person believes they can be a Christian ignoring the sins in their lives and living for God, they will not last. In truth, they really don’t understand what it means to be righteous (Romans 6:1-2; Ephesians 5:11-13; I Peter 4:1-3).

To illustrate the fact that we must walk properly, Paul lists out sins commonly committed at night:

Revelry: Letting loose. It refers to the riotous processions Greeks had in following Bacchus, the god of wine.

Drunkenness: Being intoxicated.

Lewdness: Literally to lie down in bed. It is a euphemism for sexual intercourse, just as we use “sleeping around” today (Hebrews 13:4).

Lust: Licentiousness; that is having a license to sin. It refers to someone acting like an animal in the pursuit of pleasure or shameless behavior.

Strife: Quarreling, being contentious.

Jealousy: Wanting to keep what you think belongs to you.

Paul groups these sins into three groups: sins related to drinking, sins related to sex, and sins related to uncontrolled emotions. Contrast them to the three descriptions of proper living: soberly, righteously, and godly (Titus 2:12).

Instead of sins, righteousness fills a Christian’s life so thoroughly that there is no room for the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 3:27; 5:16; Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 3:8-10). As Christians, we cannot make any allowance for sin or give forethought to sinning.

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