In the middle of a long series of exhortations, Paul wrote a short one that’s memorable and hard-hitting, especially in light of the fact that we will face God in the judgment (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12). There are three steps the Holy Spirit wanted you to remember in Romans 13:11-14.
- Wake up: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (v. 11; cp. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:1-13).
- Clear up: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy” (vv. 12-13; cp. Colossians 3:5-11; 1 John 2:28-3:3).
- Grow up: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (v. 14; cp. Hebrews 6:1-3).
If you’ll commit this passage to memory, you’ll possess a simple way to recall vital truths that can keep you on the “straight and narrow” way of righteous living (Matthew 7:13-14). When you feel yourself slipping or struggling with temptation, if you can wake up, clear up, and grow up, you can be a “good and faithful servant” and “enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:21, 23).