Sunday, September 28, 2014

Paul's Epistles Part 33 – The Day is Near

Paul's Epistles
Part 33 – The Day is Near
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
We are going to look at the Epistles of Paul in this series of sermons. Paul has explained in the last few verses that God's mercy is great, and He forgives all who call on the name of the Lord.

The last couple weeks we looked at Paul explaining how, in light of God's mercy he has just explained; we should be Living Sacrifices, Honoring Authority, Law is fulfilled by Love,

This week we will take a look at Paul telling us how The Day is Near.


SCRIPTURE REFERENCE Romans 13:11-13
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 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. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

"And do this..."  Do what?

Paul begins today's scripture with "and do this...", speaking about what we looked at last week, which was love fulfilling the law, and how we are to love ourselves so that we can properly love others.

We are commanded to love God, love our brothers and sisters in Christ, and love non-believers as well, who are referred to in the scriptures as our neighbors.


                   I.            IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP!
a.      Understand the present time
                                                                         i.      Why is it time to wake up? If you understood the present time you would know.

                                                                      ii.      How can you understand the present time?
1.      Reading scripture
2.      Looking at world events through the eyes of scripture

3.      attending an end times prophecy class


b.     The hour has come for you to WAKE UP!
                                                                         i.      The hour has come for you to WAKE UP from your slumber

                                                                      ii.      1 Thessalonians 5:6 "So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded."

                                                                   iii.      1 Timothy 4:16 "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

                                                                     iv.      Colossians 4:2 "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;"

                                                                        v.      Luke 21:34-36 "Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. "But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."


c.      The night is nearly over
                                                                         i.      What is the night a metaphor for?
1.      Darkness, sin, walking in the flesh, evil in the world.

                                                                      ii.      The night is nearly over.
1.       Sins time on earth is nearly complete.

2.      The light is coming!
a.      The coming of Christ is NEAR!



               II.            SO PUT ASIDE DEEDS OF DARKNESS
a.      Deeds of darkness are obvious
                                                                         i.      Ephesians 5:1-20 " Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


b.     Do not walk in the flesh
                                                                         i.      Rather, walk in the Spirit of God!

                                                                      ii.      Spiritual Fruits
1.      Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

2.      Paul just instructed us last week on love!


c.      Walking in the Spirit
                                                                         i.      This is the "Armor of Light"
1.      In the Spirit of God we have Spiritual Gifts (that the Holy Spirit gives to other believers through us"

2.      The Spiritual Fruits, which we naturally produce when living obediently.

3.      The Whole armor of God, used for our battles against the Spiritual Realms and Powers of this world.

4.      And the Armor of Light, which is being "clothed" or covered by our Lord Jesus Christ.
a.      This Armor of light is the "White Robe" spoke about in many scriptures which will cover us (and our sins) when we stand before Christ on Judgment Day.

b.     On this day, Jesus Christ will "acknowledge us before God the Father", as belonging to Him, and our sins will be covered and overlooked because of the White Robe, or Armor of Light we are to wear in this Dark Age on earth.



            III.            LETS BEHAVE LIKE THE LIGHT
a.      Behave decently
                                                                         i.      as in the daytime
1.      Isaiah 29:15 "Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, "Who sees us? Who will know?"

2.      Ephesians 5:11-13 "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;  for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.  But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.…"

3.      Jeremiah 16:17 "My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes."

4.      Remember, darkness and evil is nothing more than the absence of light and love.

                                                                      ii.      If we are wearing the Armor of Light (covered in Christ), then we are representing His kingdom, and need to live accordingly.
1.      John 3:19-21 "This is the judgment: that light has entered the world, and men have preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil. Everybody who does wrong hates the light and keeps away from it, for fear his deeds may be exposed. But everybody who is living by the truth will come to the light to make it plain that all he has done has been done through God."

                                                                   iii.      i.e., if a police officer abuses others while in uniform, it effects the department he represents.

                                                                     iv.      When we do not live according to the Spirit, but follow our flesh and gratify its desires, we misrepresent the kingdom of God.

b.     Do not follow your flesh
                                                                         i.      deeds of darkness

                                                                      ii.      Listed here in Romans 13; carousing and drunkenness, sexual immorality, debauchery, dissension, jealousy

                                                                   iii.      Deeds of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19; "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

c.      Put on the Armor of light!
                                                                         i.      vs. 14 "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about (or dwell on) how to gratify the desires of the flesh."

                                                                      ii.      Live in the Spirit, NOT by the flesh!

                                                                   iii.      Living in the flesh is what got us all at odds with God in the first place!

1.      The Spirit of God said, "Do not eat of the tree..."

2.      Satan tempted the flesh, and Even gave into her flesh desire, then taking the fruit to Adam, tempting him, and he followed his flesh instead of the command from the Spirit of God.

CONCLUSION


Ephesians 5:14-17
For this reason it says, Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you." Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

WE MUST LIVE THE LIGHT
Luke 18:13-14 "But the tax collector stood at a distance... and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man... went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Acts 19:18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.
1 Tim 5:20 Those [elders] who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that others may take warning.
Rom 13:12 The night is almost over, it will be daylight soon; let us give up the things we prefer to do under cover of the dark; let us arm ourselves and appear in the light.



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