It's Time for the Church to Be the Church—Romans 13:12-13
"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. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy" (Romans 13:12-13)
It's time for the church to be the church. It is time for it to stand up and be the glorious creation that Jesus paid for it to be. No longer, should there be no difference between believers and the world, but we should look like day in comparison to the darkness that exists. As Paul reminds us, "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here".
We were called to walk in the light as He is in the light ( I John 1:7 ). As believers we have been rescued from the darkness that held us captive and ushered into the kingdom of his dear son ( Colossians 1:13 ). Because of this we are new creations in Christ Jesus ( II Corinthians 5:17 ), as such we should live like who we are; not wrapped up in the behaviors of the world. The things of this world are evident; immoralities, drunkenness, debauchery, dissension, jealousy, all of these things characterize the world. As Christians there should not even be a hint of these things among us. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children" ( Ephesians 5:1 ). Emulating God will make us shine like the noon day sun in this dark world.
Paul went on to say in Ephesians, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible" ( Ephesians 5:8-14 ). If we live according to our new nature fashioned after Jesus in true righteousness and holiness ( Ephesians 4:24 ), then every evil deed around us will be exposed by the light of His truth functioning in our lives. People will notice the difference in our lives and respond to it. The Lord living through us will convict those around us because our lives will be so different than theirs.
Jesus also instructed the disciples on this matter. "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man" ( Luke 21:34-36 ). He knew that in the last days mankind would be so evil that unless we were careful those concerns would creep in and entrap us. Jesus' solution was to watch and pray in order to escape the corruption in the world. As believers we must remain in the truth, walk in the light and stand firm until the end.
As the church we are called to overcome and stand our ground. To do this we must understand the Lord's will, watch, pray and surround ourselves with other likeminded believers. We should be careful how we live, making the most of every opportunity ( Ephesians 5:15-17 ). The days are evil, but God has equipped the church to be the light in this dark world. Let's stand together and be all that he has called us to be.