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Thursday, March 29, 2018

2018.03.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 13:11-14

Questions for Littles: What is it time to do (v11)? What is nearer now than when we first believed (11b)? What is far spent (v12)? What is at hand? What should we cast off? What should we put on? How should we walk (v13)? What six things, specifically, are ways that we must not walk? What (whom!) must we put on to be able to do this (v14)? For what should we make no provision? 
In this week’s Epistle reading, we learn something very important: salvation is more than being forgiven.

Of course, it must start there. God’s holiness, justice, and wrath will not permit us to receive any lasting or glorious good, as long as we are still guilty of our sins! And even He did permit it, what value would any other good have to us, if we still eternally perished?

Yes. Salvation starts with forgiveness. But it includes so much more. That is why v11 tells us that our salvation is actually nearer than when we first believed. Our salvation includes enjoying every good thing that Christ has earned for us.

And that means not just entrance into glory, but that the Lord would make us fit for that glory before we enter. Amazingly, God gives us a participation in this work of making us gloriously ready for heaven.

  1. Cast off the works of darkness. We see some of them listed here. Revelry and drunkenness, lewdness and lust… wicked! Of course these must be cast off as soon as possible! But notice the last two. Strife. Envy. These are in the same category as drunkenness, lewdness, and lust? God help us to give as little offense as possible, take as little offense as possible, and rejoice well with those who rejoice, and mourn well with those who mourn!!
  2. Put on Christ. Praise God that He has given us not just the “what” to do but the “how”… by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words: you know that your salvation comes from being united to Him. Now, continually remember that union, and be mindful of Him wherever you go. Get so accustomed to thinking of Christ that any moment in which you are not doing so is one in which you feel as if you were naked.
  3. Starve the flesh. The remaining sin from our former nature is a ravenously hungry beast. There is only one cure for such aggressive impulses. Starve them. Don’t make even a little wiggle room. Make. No. Provision. STARVE IT!

What sins have you been committing that you need to starve to death?
Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or HB310 “Take My Life, and Let it Be”

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