Our Relationship With Christ
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Text: Romans 13:11-14
Romans chapter 13 has given us some very clear guidelines for our
relationship with other believers, our enemies, our government and our neighbors. In
this message we will focus on one final set of guidelines, this time for our
relationship with Christ.
II. Our Relationship With Our Enemies – Rom. 12:17-21
III. Our Relationship With Our Government – Romans 13:1-7
IV. Our Relationship With Our Neighbor – Romans 13:8-10
V. Our Relationship With Christ – Romans 13:11-14
The Apostle Paul, in these last four verses of chapter 13 urges his readers live energetic Christian lives. If you are going to live an energetic Christian life, you must be living in fellowship with the Lord. So, if you are going to have a good relationship with Christ, there are certain things you must do and certain things you must not do.
The first guiding principle for maintaining a good relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and being in fellowship with him is, you must…
"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
There are far too many spectators in the ranks of Christendom! Too many Christians are sleeping on the job! Paul says, WAKE UP CHRISTIANS! Get in the game. Be a prayer warrior. Study and meditate on the Word. Share the Gospel with others. Speak out for the truth. Be involved in the ministry in your local church. Time is wasting. Paul then urges them on by saying our salvation is nearer than when we believed! That is, you are soon going to face the Lord Jesus Christ and give account of how you served Him. In fact, that is exactly what Paul says in Romans 14:12 "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." If a Christians is to have a cordial relationship with their Savior, they must be awake and active in the cause of Christ, if for no other reason, they will give account of themselves to Him.
The second guiding principle for maintaining a good relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and being in fellowship with him is, you must…
Know this: You can’t effectively serve the Lord while you are living for the devil!
"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." Romans 13:12
The phrase "the night" is a reference, I believe, to the time that Christ is out of the world and the phrase "the day" refers to the time when Christ will come back to this earth and rule and reign in righteousness. Presently, Satan is the prince of this world and the ruler of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 2:2; 6:12). He is free to work his wiles in this sin-darkened world. But, the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, the LIGHT OF THE WORLD, is imminent (could happen at any moment). This has been a theme echoed throughout the Gospels. For instance, Matthew 24:44 says, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." As in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), we need to be ready and waiting our Lord’s return. And, how can you be ready? First, we must "cast off the works of darkness…" Darkness is often a symbol of sin, and especially secret sin (John 3:19-21). It is secret sin that is in focus here. Believers are to put sin out of their lives and then "put on the armor of light." Light is often a symbol of the truth of the Lord and it is in this passage. Putting on, that is knowing and applying the Word of God, is protective armor. Armor is a defensive measure against the enemy! I remind you of Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
Forsaking sin and knowing and obeying the Word of God enhance our relationship with Christ.
The third guiding principle for maintaining a good relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and being in fellowship with him is, you must…
"Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying." Romans 13:13
The word translated honestly is the Greek word euschmonwv - euschemonos (yoo-skhay-mon'-ose; 2156) which means "in a seemly manner, decently." Read that into the context: Let us walk or behave in a decent manner. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that any believer who expects to live in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ must behave like a Christian not a heathen. He then cites three classes of sin –
This is not an all inclusive list of unacceptable behavior, but a sample list of the types of behavior that are carnal and therefore not to be a part of the Christian’s life. In fact, a Christian who engages in worldly behavior is at odds and in fact is an enemy of the Lord. (James 4:4).
The last guiding principle for maintaining a good relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and being in fellowship with him is, you must…
"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Romans 13:14
In this verse Paul revisits briefly what he covered in depth in Romans 6 & 8. Romans 6:12-13 says, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
In another of Paul’s letter we read, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16
Those who would have a good relationship with Christ must yield to the control Holy Spirit and not their old natures.
In summary, the four guiding principle for maintaining a good relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and being in fellowship with him are …