The 4-Point Call to Action

11 And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. 12 The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.

Rom. 13:11-14 NET (emphasis added)

This post is about the principles laid out in the above passage. Do you see it as a call to action for the sons of God? Until recently, I had not. We are entreated to

  1. Wake up from our sleep (v. 11)
  2. Cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor or weapons of light (v. 12)
  3. Live decently or walk properly, as in the daytime (v. 13)
    • No orgies and no drunkenness
    • No sexual immorality and no sensuality
    • No discord and no jealousy
  4. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh (v. 14)

Again, the recurrent theme of the New Testament books meets us to challenge our perspective and our way of life. Written in different ways to different audiences to account for the details and culture of that day, the principles are eternal and transcendent. The principles apply to us today. There’s embedded truth in each that inspires a closer look.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

WAKE UP — On the surface, any command to wake up suggests that there is some awareness lacking. There is a general condition among the people where most are missing the clues. More than the coming of the Lord, there are things the sons of God should know, should do, and should be. But we aren’t… not yet.

CAST OFF THE WORKS OF DARKNESS — Again, the contrast between light and darkness. It’s like the reminder keeps coming. From the psalms and the proverbs, all the way through to the epistles. There’s this battle that is won, this battle that we wage, and our part is to remain in the marvelous light. The first transition of salvation is out of darkness and into marvelous light. Each has characterizing works or deeds, and we are told to cast off dark works. We are told to keep choosing light. Light comes with armor, a way of defense.

LIVE DECENTLY, WALK PROPERLY AS IN THE DAYLIGHT — This is good, and oddly placed when it comes to the details of this principle. No partying, carousing, or orgies. Check. No drunkenness. Duh, right? No sexual immorality. Of course. No sensuality or lustful acts. Agreed. Then, there are the last two. No quarreling and no jealousy. These are not the works or behaviors of people who live in God’s light. No quarreling and no jealousy. Selah.

PUT ON THE LORD JESUS AND MAKE NO PROVISION FOR THE FLESH — We make provision for the flesh when we give attention to our carnal desires to fulfill them. This passage says don’t do it. Let’s not let our flesh rule our lives. Instead, let’s choose Jesus. That’s a bold set of alternatives, right? It’s the simplicity of salvation, and one of the few times we ascribe to either/or in Scripture.

Dear Ones, let’s stay in the light. There is a right way to live, and it’s in His light. The works of the light do not include orgies, drunkenness, promiscuity, lust, quarreling or discord, or jealousy. That’s just the way it is. May we invest in ourselves and flourish in the places the Lord has planted us. May we know we live in light, and love that light. And may the light of God in us, compel others out of the shadows. Amen.

Dr. Shaunta Scroggins is the lead contributor for The Bereans’ Commentary.

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