Commentary on "The Election of Grace"
Day 6: Thursday, September 16, 2010 -Nearer Than We Believed
Today’s text is Romans 13:11-13:
“Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near….” NASB
The New Living Translation is helpful:
“This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here….” Romans 13:11-12a
Because the Lord’s return is imminent, Paul exhorts believers to be vigilant spiritually and be alert because
“…our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”
The expectation that Christ may return at any time is one reason that we are exhorted to live our lives for the Lord. This world is not a playground for believers; it is a battleground.
This last section of chapter 13 is a wakeup call! It admonishes us to realize what time it is!
When it says, "knowing the time," it means "perceiving or understanding" the time. The NIV translates this well, "And do this, understanding the present time." There are two Greek words for the word "time". One of them is "chronos" and it emphasizes chronological, calendar kind of time. The other word is "kairos" and it refers to quality kind of time." The word that the Holy Spirit led Paul to choose is this latter word, "Kairos". We could translate it, "And this do, knowing the kind of time it is..." We're to know what kind of time it is. The Bible tells us its time to wake up and live in the light because the return of the Lord is near!
The Bible tells us that the kind of time we're living in is THE LAST DAYS:
The writer of Hebrews exhorts:
"God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world." Hebrews 1:1-2 NASB
I John 2:18 - "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that anti-Christ is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour."
The "last days" began with Christ's ascension into heaven and not in 1844.
Many people raise the objection, "But you Christians have been saying that for over 2000 years!" That's true! And if the return of the Lord was near then, think of how close we are to it now! This objection is answered by the apostle Peter when he writes: “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."…8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:3-4, 8-9, NASB
It’s time for believer’s to wake up and live whole-heartedly for the Master; not to be saved, or even to ensure salvation, rather because they are saved.
“This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.” 1 Timothy 4:10 NLT
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