Love With Greater Urgency!
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Do this in verse 11. Do what? Love your neighbor! From verse 8: 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
From Verse 10: 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
- Wake Up to What is Truly Important
II Peter 3 last days emphases.
- People need to know Christ
They need to wake up. As we have awakened to the reality of God in our world.
- We have a part to play in this
Our lives point to a different way to live. Whether or not this works, we still have our part to play. If we are persecuted for righteousness sake, we are not to enact revenge!
If we are engaged in the process of evangelism. Anything that you do that demonstrates the love of God. Anything that you do that explains any aspect of God’s plans for this world. Understanding the truth and understanding how we respond to God by faith.
We all have a testimony. We all have an understanding of how we connected with God. We should be able to explain the gospel. It can be as simple as memorizing John 3:10 or Romans 10:9-10
- We are united to the interests of Christ
The difficulty here is that the gospel is often preached with reference to how Christ will promote our interests.
If we do not want to participate in the interests of Christ, we should examine our commitment to Him. Follow Jesus.
- Put Aside the Deeds of Darkness
Ephesians 4 the same analogy. Put off, be renewed, put on. This is in application to Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this world any longer, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Colossians 3 Set your hearts on things above, set your minds on things above, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
In many ways the deeds of darkness are an expression of displacing the God that we cannot see with His good gifts to us that we can see.
- Sensual pursuits left behind
If anyone would be my disciple, he must deny himself, take up His cross daily and follow me.
Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Fast! Exercise! Spiritual disciplines of abstinence.
- Prideful disputes are left behind
Why not rather be wronged?
I Cor 6: 7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
Spiritual disciplines of engagement. Serve! Sacrifice! Pray!
- Greed amounts to idolatry
Col 3: 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
Give, give give!!
III. Put on the Armor of Light
- Why call this armor?
Armor protects against attack. Attacks of darkness are diffused by putting on armor. To do what is right and good is to put on armor!
- Light dispels darkness
It must do this!
There needs to be something for light to bounce off of. And that is God. God is there. We will demonstrate this with our actions!
I John 4: 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
I know a man whose wife had an affair. He will not divorce her. He is laying down his life for Jesus Christ to love a woman whom he does not believe loves him.
- Following Jesus is our opportunity for life
Flesh vs. Spirit Gal 5
Jesus vs. Flesh here
Clothe yourself with Christ. Similar to Ephesians 4. Put off, be renewed, put on.