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THE BELIEVER'S SPIRITUAL DUTY
: Having begun this chapter talking about the duty
of the believer to respect and submit to government,
Paul now turns his attention to the believers duty as he
lives out his daily life. While government passes laws
that are designed to protect and control society, the
Christian has a duty to live out the life of Christ as he
passes through this world. That is the emphasis of
If you were observant as we read the text, you
noticed that Paul uses the language of haste and
urgency. He is telling us that the duties mentioned here
are not to be put off for another day, but are to be
carried out every day as the believer lives his or her
in the world.
Let's take a few minutes this evening to consider
The Believer's Spiritual Duty. You may find that you
are doing your duty well. However, you might come to
see that there are certain areas that need attention.
I. V. 11
OUR DUTY TO WATCH DILIGENTLY
Watch The Seasons - The word "time" refers to
a "season of time". This whole verse has to do
with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His
people. The idea here is that the believer is to
keep his eyes on the changing world around him
and understand that the coming of the Lord is
near. Sadly, many believers cruise lazily through
life not even considering the fact that Jesus
might return at any moment. Yet, all one has to
do is cross-reference the daily news with the
Word of God to see that His coming is near.
Therefore, the advise Jesus gave in Matthew is still good advise for us today,
Watch For The Savior - Paul tells us that our
salvation is nearer than when we believed. As
you know, there are three stages to salvation.
We are saved, we are being saved and we will
be saved. At the moment of conversion, we
were saved from the penalty of sin. We are
being saved daily from the power of sin. We will
be saved eventually from the presence of sin.
Our salvation is fully accomplished this evening,
but it being worked out daily in our lives. One
day, when Jesus returns for His people, we will
experience the complete effects of our salvation.
What Paul means is that every day we pitch our
tent one step closer to glory! He merely wants to remind us that Jesus is nearer today than He
was yesterday. Are you living your life in the
anticipation of His soon return?
B. Watch For Sleep
- Paul tells us that the time for
slumber has long since passed. The words
"high time" mean that a specific hour has
arrived. Too many of the people of God are
sleeping on the job tonight. Living their lives as
they please without any thought for the will of
God or the return of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Sleep is defined as, "A
state of inactivity,
with a loss of consciousness, and a decrease
in responsiveness to events taking place." I n
other words, the sleeping person is out of touch
with the events that surround him while he
sleeps. While it may be fine to doze through that
ball game, or to get a good nights sleep, there is
no excuse for being asleep to the things of God!
However, many people in the church are in a
state of inactivity when it comes to the things of
God. This should not be! May the Lord find us
watching when He comes! May He find us
awake when He returns!
Our Duty To Watch Diligently
II. V. 12
OUR DUTY TO WAR DILIGENTLY
A Time Of Crisis - Paul is telling us that the time
to sleep has well passed. Now it is time to
become active in the business of the Lord. His
words remind us that there is an urgency to the
things of God. Everyday, people are dying
without the Lord and going to Hell. Everyday the
forces of evil are growing stronger and working
harder in the world. There is a tremendous need
for believers everywhere to wake up from their
slumber to recognize the seriousness and the
lateness of the hour and to get busy serving the
Lord with all of their might. If you are planning to
tell your neighbors about Jesus, the time is now!
If you are going to tell your family about Jesus
the time is now. If you are going to go to work
for the Lord the time is now! May we recognize
the crisis of the hour and dedicate ourselves to
being all God wants us to be in these days.
(Ill. Another thought that is contained in this
verse is that the reign of darkness on this earth
is growing ever nearer its destined end. Since
Satan knows that his time is short, Rev. 12:12,
he is pulling out all the stops in our day. Very
soon, the darkness of sin that has fallen over this
world like a veil will be lifted and the glorious
dawn of a new day will come. A day when Jesus
Himself will rule and reign in righteousness and glory.)
A Time Of Commitment - The idea of this verse
is of a man rising from sleep, throwing off the
bed covers and his night clothes and getting
himself dressed for the day. Since Paul uses the
word "armor", we could say that he is speaking
of a new recruit who shows up for duty in the
military. Once there, he is stripped of his civilian
clothes and is dressed up in the uniform of the
army. It is a change that will last for as long as
For us, the imagery is perfect. It speaks of
the believer forever laying aside the ways of the
old life and dressing up once for all in the ways
of the new life in Jesus. This is an idea that is
echoed several times in the epistles of Paul, Col.
3:1-17; Eph. 6:10-18; Gal. 5:16-26.
God's idea of the Christian life is one of total
commitment and dedication. However, most
Christians see the Christian life as one of
compromises. They honor God over here while
doing as they please over here. This cannot be!
God's command is for our total commitment,
once for all! Have you done that? Are you even
I. Our Duty To Watch Diligently
II. Our Duty To War Diligently
(III. The preceding idea carries over into this verse.
Paul calls upon the believer to exhibit the right kind
of walk in his everyday life.)
III. V. 13
OUR DUTY TO WALK DILIGENTLY
A. We Should Show A Decent Walk - The phrase "walk
is, we are to live an outward life that is consistent with
who we are on the inside. There should be no
pretense in our lives. If we say we are saved, we
should live as though we are saved. We are to be sure that our practice matches our profession.
Note: I am convinced that the reason so many people
have such a hard time staying clean and living for God
is because they have never been saved to begin with.
With the new birth comes the desire to live a life that
is pleasing to the Lord. A life that is honest. A life that
is a living sacrifice to His glory
in the world.) Does you walk match your talk's e uses
a phrase "as in the day'. That is, there should
be nothing hidden about our lives. We should
be like and open book to all who look at us and
see how we live. Nothing hypocritical, nothing
hidden, just a life that is open, honest and
pleasing to the Lord. Does that describe the life
you are living?
We Should Shun A Devilish Walk - After telling how
Paul turns his attention to how we
not live. He mentions six sins of the flesh
that were no doubt prevalent in Paul's day. The six
sins are also prevalent in our day as well! Let's look
at them for just a moment.
1. Rioting - Refers to wild parties, sexual orgies,
2. Drunkenness - Refers to habitual and intentional
intoxication. Can speak of alcohol or drug abuse.
It is interesting to note that the New Testament
usually speaks of drunkenness and rioting
together, Rom.13:13; Gal. 5:21; 1 Pet. 4:3
3. Chambering - This word comes fro ma word that
means "to go to
someone," It refers to
sexual activities that are engaged in outside of
the marriage relationship. It is a work of the flesh
and it is a sin! Whether it be fornication, which is
any sexual activity before marriage, or adultery,
which is any sexual activity after marriage with
someone who is not your spouse, it is a sin! It
doesn't matter whether or not society condones
it, God does not! (Note: It is a sad statement of
the condition of the "professing" church when
sexual activity that has been forbidden by God is
as prevalent in the church as it is in the world!)
4. Wantonness - This word is tied to the previous
word and it refers to unbridled, uninhibited sexual
desire and activity.. It speaks against the casual
attitude society holds concerning sex, where
every form of sexual expression is indulged in
5. Strife - This word refers to a mind set that seeks its own way first and foremost without
regard for the cost to others. It speaks of those people who are-constantly bickering,
engage in competitive antagonism and petty disagreements - It speaks of people who are
just plain mean. Always looking for a fight. Walking around with an attitude and a chip
their shoulder. The world. and sadly the church
is filled with this kind of people
6. Envy - Refers to a spirit of `;jealous'. This
is an attitude of "me first
It is an attitude of the heart that
seeks everything self wants without concern for
the impact upon the lives of others.
Are any of these things active in your life this
evening! If so, there is a remedy. It is called
confession and repentance!
I. Our Duty To Watch Diligently
Our Duty To War Diligently
III. Our Duty To Walk Diligently
IV. V. 14
OUR DUTY TO WAIT DILIGENTLY
Wait Properly Dressed - Paul tells us that while we
are waiting in this world for the Lord to return, we
should be careful that we acts the right way. He tells
us to "put
the Lord Jesus Christ." Of course, we
were placed into Jesus at the moment of our
conversion, 1 Cor. 12:13. Here, he means that we
are to cloth ourselves in all that Jesus is! We are to
adopt His character as our character. We are to
adopt His lifestyle as our lifestyle. He is truth, we are
to walk in truth. He is light, we are to walk in light. He
is faithful, we are to be faithful. He is holy, we are to
be holy. He loves the Father, we are to love the
Father. He walked in total obedience to God, we are
to walk in total obedience to God. The idea is
encapsulated by John in 1 John 2:6. The idea here is
a progression toward perfection! God is in the
business of growing saints, Eph. 4:13. He is seeking
to reproduce the life of His Son in each of us.
Therefore, until He comes, let us determine that we
will live Christlike in front of a hell-bound world.
Wait Properly Disengaged - We are told to make
"not provision for
the flesh." The word
"forethought or planning".
The idea is this,
we are to avoid any and all attempts by the mind to
allow for the fulfilling of fleshly lusts.
We are guilty of assuming that sin begins with the devil. He thinks it up and he tempts
us with it. Well, that occurs occasionally. More often, sin begins a little closer to home,
Long as we live in his world; there will be within us a pull toward the things of the
world. However, we do not have to fall into any temptation, 1 Cor. 10:31.
We will sin, but we do not have to!
We will be tempted. but we do not
have to yield, Rom. 6:14. When we allow our minds, hearts, wills and emotions to rule
our lives, they will make provision for the flesh, because the are still heavily influenced by,
the flesh and by its wicked desires. However, when we allow the Spirit of God to control our
thinking, we will not do what the flesh wants, but we will do what the Spirit wants,
Gal. 5:16. The whole idea here is that we are to control the mind, heart, will and emotions so that they are
under the power of the Spirit of God. We are to give no thought to the
desires of the flesh. Sounds tough, but the Spirit of God is able to give us the
victory in this
warfare, 1 John 4:4, 1 Cor. 15:57.
: So Christian, are you doing your spiritual duty this
evening? Or, has the Spirit of God placed His finger on
some area or the other that needs immediate attention? If
so, then I recommend bringing that need to Jesus. If He is
calling, you come!