“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”–Romans 13:11
These are alarming times. Financially and economically, the world seems to be barreling down the road toward the precipice. Politically, the country seems to have lost its sanity. Morally, everybody seems to have thrown it all overboard. And Christians seem to have no idea what to do.
But the Bible tells us exactly what to do! In Romans 13 the Lord says that, “It is high time to awake out of sleep” (verse 11). He continues the wake-up metaphor with the admonition: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness [our night clothes], and let us put on the armour of light [our day clothes]” (Romans 13:12).
The idea is that it is time to get up out of bed! As a matter of fact, it is “high time” to do it. We have overslept! The Word of God is using this metaphor to tell us that the time has come for Christians to experience revival. There is no aspect of the dire situation in which the world finds itself today that is not directly related to the decline in the influence and power of Christianity.
The message of Romans 13:11–14 is that we can reverse the trend and have revival. According to this passage, we are morally obligated to be revived, to wake out of our sleep, and to come back to the power and life of New Testament Christianity.
The whole Bible testifies that revival waits on us. We are not waiting helplessly for the Lord to notice our predicament and give us the revival we need. He is waiting for His children to seek Him. God is willing to bring us up to the level of blessing He promised as soon as we are willing to wake up and get out of bed!
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”—James 4:8–10
It is well past the time that Christians and churches should have begun to seek the Lord in earnest for the revival we need. In response to the breakdown all around us and to the call of our God, let Christians around the world confess that it is high time that we come back to victorious living and triumphant evangelism.
It Is High Time We Surrendered Absolutely!
The powerful challenge of Romans 13 refers all the way back to the admonitions that begin in chapter 12. After eleven chapters that reveal the mercies of God to those He has saved from the penalty of their sins, is saving from the power of their sins, and will save from the very presence of sin, the book calls on the recipients of so great a salvation to dedicate their lives absolutely to the God who saved them.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God.”—Romans 12:1–2
It is high time that you dedicate your life to Christ without reservation, and begin living a dedicated life.
What reason can you give for refusing to live for the One who died for you? How can you excuse your choice to live for yourself when Christ has bought you with His blood? It is high time we dedicated our lives to Jesus Christ, and lived only for Him.
It Is High Time We Lived the Life of Love!
Just before saying, “It is high time to awake out of sleep,” Romans 13 admonishes believers to live in love as the Lord taught us: “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).
The Sermon on the Mount is the first extended discourse of our Lord recorded in the New Testament, and a lot of it is about living a life of love. The sermon is found in Matthew 5 through 7, and it ought to be read and absorbed anew by Christians today:
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”—Matthew 5:9
“Be reconciled to thy brother.”—Matthew 5:24b
“Give to him that asketh thee.”—Matthew 5:42a
“Love your enemies.”—Matthew 5:44b
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.”—Matthew 7:1
Strangely, many Christians who think of themselves as valiant for the truth in this dark day have yet to learn how to live the life of love. Not only is love for others at the root of the law of Christ, but love is also the beginning of the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in our lives (Galatians 5:22).
Isn’t it strange that we can contend for the faith but show so little of the love that is at the heart of the Christian faith? It is high time that the followers of Jesus learn to live in love and yield to His Spirit in order to abide in His love!
It Is High Time We Put on the Lord Jesus Christ!
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”—Galatians 2:20
Romans 13:12 tells us to put off our night clothes (“the works of darkness”) and to put on our day clothes (“the armour of light”) because “the night is far spent” and “the day is at hand” since “now is our salvation [the completion of it in our glorification] nearer than when we believed” (verse 11). Verse 14 then clarifies the meaning of this exhortation by telling us, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
Christian living is a matter of self-denial and faith in Christ. It is walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the desires of our flesh. And it is high time we learn to live this way. The world around us needs to see Christ in us, and this happens when we live the not-I-but-Christ life day after day.
It is a great tragedy that the world has seen so little of real Christianity for so long. Our carnal, selfish, worldly, and sinful lives cannot be blamed on God. It is not He that has decided to delay revival. He has told us that it is high time we surrender our lives and let Him live His life through us.
It is high time the disciples of Jesus live as the light of the world by letting the Light of the world shine through us. The times compel us to get serious about letting God have His way in our lives so that the world may both see and hear the truth of His salvation.