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Romans 13:11-12
December 9, 2018 – SUN a.m.

There is no other time for a Christian to focus in this life only right now.

We need to do what we ought now to do, knowing the time.

After Paul emphasized the salvation is through the righteousness of God by faith on the Lord Jesus Christ in the previous earlier chapters of this book, the immediate implications now of salvation come to the end in this chapter. Before moving to some practical matters, Paul here gives a short series of exhortation to us.

In the previous section of our study in the book of Roman starting chapter 12 Paul has been urging us renew our thinking according to what happened in the past. The Past is that Jesus died for our sins as our substitute and we are crucified with Christ (died to self). The Present is that we have the divine power in the Spirit that we might live with the renewed mind.

In our section of our study of Chapter 13, there is now changes on the perspective. We are to do or live based on what will happen in the future.

What is God’s salvation call you to do: you are to remodel your mind based on the past and then you are to reform your behaviour based on the future.

Hence, we are going to put our mind about future. Where are you going? What are your purpose or goal in life?

What are you planning to do for the next 5 or 3 or 1 year? Next month or next week? How do you use your time right now? How are you doing in your life right now?


  • The passage is divided into two sections: The statements of fact in v. 11-12a are indicative verbs, while the commands in v.12b – 14 are imperative verbs.

A. Time Statement Explained

v.11 “And that, knowing the time”

  • The phrase “knowing the time” was explained in the statements in v.11-12.

1. The Statement of the fact that it is high time to wake out of sleep and now (time)—v.11

2. The Statement of the fact that time of our salvation is closer that when we believed.—v.11

3. The Statement of the fact that the night is almost gone and the day is about to break—v.12

  • What is the identified time here? What time is it?

B. Time of Seriousness Emphasized

v.11that now it is high time to awake out of sleep”

  • It is an urgent call because the hour comes for you to awaken from sleep

1. Ancient times Example

  • During ancient times men had very limited light to work by night therefore they arose early at first light.
  • How many of us like to wake up and why you have to wake up? There are people who only depend on someone to wake up.

2.  Avoidance of wasting of Time

  • There are lot works need to be done. Realize that time is lost when time is wasted. Because of wasted time there

are works that have not done that needs to be done.

3. Awareness to the duties of Christian life.

What Paul wants to emphasize here in our context is that it is now time to wake up and be active to the Christian duties as written in chapters 12 to 13 (and also in the rest of the whole new testament). Paul means believers to take it seriously and be enthusiastic, energetic with full effort regarding these duties.

We believe that we are wasting a lot of time doing things in our lives. But do you give time in applying the Word of God to your life that would affect and will have transformation of your mind and attitude?

C. Time of Bodily Salvation Expected

v. 11 “for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

  • Your salvation draweth nigh for now salvation is closer to us than when we believed.

1.  The Completeness of the means of salvation

  • The means of Salvation is complete through Christ finished work of redemption.
  • Your salvation draweth nigh for now salvation is closer to us than when we believed.

Some may ask, what does it mean is not our salvation already been completed? Yes, Christ finished the redemptive work at the cross for means of our salvation. And when a person believed in Jesus Christ as his Saviour, he has done all that needs doing to obtain salvation and nothing can be added to it. The person is saved and eternally secured in Christ.

2. The Coming day of full salvation is approaching

  • The day of full salvation is approaching. 
  • However, our salvation is not totally finished, the bible teaches that we still groan in pain bodily under the burden of our sinful nature. Our old sinful nature is not yet eradicated. The day of full salvation which is glorification of our body has not yet arrived but we need to wait patiently for it will surely come.—Romans 8:17-23
  • The Lord Jesus could come today. You could go anytime in God’s appointed time.

3. The Commitment to work as we live in the meantime

  • We have work to do as our old man is not eradicated in this present life. If we do it casually it does not make it.

It takes urgency to remind us to work because Christ is coming soon.

Philippians 2:12 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

D. Time Schedule is Imminent

v. 12 “The night is far spent, the day is at hand”

1. Industriousness for the day is near

The verse says that the night is almost gone and the day is near.

Songwriter Annie L. Coghill writes a song other way around “Work for the night is coming” but the Apostle Paul says, “work for the day is coming”—Hallelujah when our work is done, it would not be dark, it will be light.—Revelation 22:5

2. Inspiration for the day is near

  • The coming day is presented as a motivation: be ready for the light

3. Interference as the day is near

We admit that in this present night there are lot of opposition and hindrances that come our ways and we can’t our way clear therefore we might stumble over unseen obstacles of our Christian race besides, there are lot of traps and snares waiting upon us that are unseen.

4. Increase of efforts as the day is near

  • When we realize that the day is near it is good for you to redouble your efforts.
  • In summary, the time for working is now. Let us lay aside everything else, because the brilliance of the new dayis

about to dawn,

All that we have mentioned identify the time Paul is stressing. It is now time for us to serve the Lord earnestly, it is time for us to focus on discipleship and for our growth as the dat of the Lord is near.


A. The Command with urgency

  • In other translation as in NASB it says, “Do this,” signifies a command. Although we can see no imperatives in our

passage but the starting word in v.11 “and that” give us a sense of urgency.

B. The Context in consideration

  • How can we make the word “this” or “that” as an imperative sense.

1. The starting point of the context—Romans 12:1

This could just point to previous content of loving one another or to love your neighbour from verses 8 to 10. But it actually refers back to Chapter 12:1

2. The section covered—Romans 12:1-13:10

a. Present your bodies—Romans 12:1
b. Renew your mind—Romans 12:1
c. Use your gifts—Romans 12:6-8
d. Serve one another—Romans 12:9-13
e. Love your enemies—Romans 12:14-21
f. Subject yourself to government—Romans 13:1-5
g. Pay your taxes—Romans 13:6-7
h. Love your neighbor—Romans 13:8-10
  • To summarized the second point is that the word “And that, knowing the time”  “Do this, knowing the time”. It means in light of the time “Do this” The passage is clearly giving us urgency. What do you think you should do to better you service for the Lord Jesus Christ right now?


Identifying the time in this passage you will have that instinctive nature of that knowledge.

v.12 “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

A. Apparent knowledge of the Time

Knowing the statement fact about the Time, you have now apparent knowledge of it.

B. Active service with urgency of Time

Be Busy for the Lord and be urgent about the Time.

Notice the disciples in Acts 8:4 “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”

C. Atmosphere lacking of instinctive of time

v.12 “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

  • Sadly Believers are asleep. There are some Believers are preoccupied their time with the darkness and some are feel superior to the darkness that they fight the darkness then suddenly indulging in the work of darkness.
  • Some Believers don’t act and live like the day is about to dawn. They don’t have the instinct sense of time.

Conclusion: Let us identified the time and have sense of urgency being zealous about our service to the Lord and living our Christian life. Since we are part of the kingdom of the Lord make now His priorities be our priorities.

The focus of a Christian is right now!