Our Duty to Live Godly

27 November 2022 AM – Romans 13:11-14 – Rom2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: As Christians, we have a duty to obey government (v.1-7), we have a duty to love others (v.8-10), but we also have a duty to live godly (v.11-14). Godliness is not an option in the Christian life. God expects His children to live godly lives. (Titus 2:12) “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” If you know Christ as your Saviour, not only has He delivered you from hell, but He has delivered you from the ungodliness of this sinful world. As Christians, all too often, we walk in the flesh. That is living the Christian life by our own effort and not depending on the Holy Spirit. Thus, we read in Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
While we may know all this, many Christians do not know how to make it work in their daily lives.
Transition: As we look at this section, I want us to note the four steps we must take to fulfil our duty to live godly.
  1. We must wake up (Ro 13:11)
a.         God expects Christians to know the time
1)         The word translated “knowing” means “perceiving”.
2)         We ought to perceive that we are living in the last days. Our world is in a mess. Christ may return at any moment.
3)         No one knows the precise time of Christ’s return, but every thinking Christian knows that it is nearer today than it was yesterday. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
b.         Knowing the time is nearing, we must wake up
1)         God left us here to be a godly light in this dark world of sin, but many Christians are sleeping on the job.
2)         Greek scholar, Kenneth Wuest states, “‘Sleep’ here refers to a lethargic, non-aggressive, lazy Christian life.”
3)         Let’s consider some ways that Christians fall asleep.
a)         By ignoring unconfessed sin in their hearts
b)         By neglecting Bible reading and prayer
c)         By not making church attendance a priority
d)         By getting more excited about Christmas, hobbies, recreation, or sports than about serving the Lord
e)         By seldom witnessing for the Lord
f)          By not thinking about the Lord’s return
g)         By living for self and for pleasure
4)         If you have been spiritually sleeping, it is time to wake up.
2.        We should Arm Ourselves (Ro 13:12)
Verse 12 begins, The night is advanced. The dawn is approaching. Time is running out. Therefore…
a.         We should put off the works of darkness
1)         Before we can arm ourselves, we must take off our old gear. The picture here is that of taking off one set of clothing and putting on another.
2)         What are the “works of darkness”? They are the ungodly deeds of the flesh; things opposed to God’s holiness. These keep Christians from God’s fellowship. To the Ephesian believers Paul wrote, (Ephesians 5:11) “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” John added, (1 John 1:6) “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
3)         We must put off (i.e., stop doing) all that displeases God and hinders fellowship with Him. Whether that vice is a sinful habit, bad language, carnal thoughts, worldly entertainment, or neglecting Bible reading, say “no” to your flesh. If you do not want Jesus to return while you are doing some work of darkness, then put it off today!
b.         We should put on the armour of light
1)         This armour of light describes the Christian’s defensive and offensive weapons to use when tempted to sin.
2)         Since God is light and Christians are the children of light, these are spiritual weapons used to resist and defeat the evils of darkness. We cannot defeat evil in the power of our flesh, but only as we depend fully on the Holy Spirit.
3)         In Ephesians 6:10-18, God gives us a list of spiritual armour that we must put on. That list includes, God’s truth to resist Satan’s lies, Christ’s righteousness to resist Satan’s accusations, the peace of God’s forgiveness to overcome Satan’s reminders of our past failures, faith to trust God’s promises when tempted to doubt, God’s helmet to protect our mind and emotions from anxiety, the sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) to resist Satan, and prayer to petition God’s help during attacks. These are essential armour for spiritual victory.
4)         In 2 Peter 1:5-9, God lists offensive armour that will strengthen and enhance our godly walk. We are to add to our faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly love, and agape love. Peter assures us that these will make us fruitful.
3.        Choose to Walk Decently (Ro 13:13)
a.         To walk decently is first positive
1)         We must walk honestly, as in the day.
2)         The word translated “honestly” is translated “decently” in 1Co 14:40. It describes that which is decent or proper for a Christian to do in broad daylight.
3)         Often Christians think that if there is not a specific verse forbidding an activity then it is okay to do it. They ignore Bible principles. They think that Christian Liberty is the right to do anything that is not clearly forbidden. They are mistaken. Christian Liberty is the right to choose not to do permitted things that may cause others to stumble.
4)         God is charging us to deliberately seek to walk in a way that, without question, will glorify Him.
b.         To walk decently is also negative
1)         Walking decently is choosing to do right, but it is also choosing NOT to do wrong.
2)         Paul lists six specific sins that are not decent or proper for Christians to do.
a)         Rioting – late-night wild parties
b)         Drunkenness – drinking alcohol is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1) “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
c)         Chambering – The state of living together as man and wife, without being legally married.
d)         Wantonness – uncontrolled lust
e)         Strife – quarrelling
f)          Envying – heated competition, fierceness
3)         These indecent activities are common today, even among many Christians, but we are not to get involved in them.
4)         Since our Lord Jesus is absolutely perfect and holy, and in Him is NO darkness at all, ask yourself, “Would Jesus feel perfectly at home joining me in every activity of my daily life?” (e.g., TV, videos, Internet, social media, the way I dress, my relationships, entertainment, my music, etc.)
4.        Stay Near the Lord (Ro 13:14)
a.         This step also begins with a positive
1)         The word “put on” is the same word as we found back in verse 12. Here, God commands us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ as we would put on our clothes. We are to wear Christ’s character and always take Him with us. (Ephesians 6:10) “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
2)         Spend quality time with Him every day.
3)         Depend on Christ for victory.
b.         It also follows with a negative
1)         Allow no forethought about fleshly desires or plans.
2)         Ask Christ to help you guard your thoughts.
3)         Avoid all situations that Christ would avoid.
Conclusion: God wants you and me to live godly lives, and we can if we follow the steps He laid out for us: 1) Wake up, 2) Arm ourselves, 3) Choose to walk decently, and 4) Stay near the Lord. If your Christian life is asleep, God wants you to WAKE UP! If you have been doing things that are not decent or if you have been pondering sinful plans, God knows your heart. You must confess your sins and put on the character of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus may come today. Let’s be ready!
Song: Will Jesus Find Us Watching – 148