A, First Sunday in Advent
TEXT: Romans 3:11-14, Wake up! Put On Your Good Clothes!
Now is the time to wake up, put on your best work clothes and prepare to receive Jesus Christ with determined and diligent Christ-likeness.
I. WE ARE CALLED TO EXERCISE THE DEEDS OF DARKNESS FROM OUR LIVES AND OUR CONGREGATION.
A. This is the time? at which we have arrived, to get rid of all uncleanness.
ILLUS: Medieval death sentence...chained to a dead body.
Christ is coming...we don't know when!
Our death is approaching...we don't know the hour...Nursing Home.
Efforts to put God off until "later" are absolutely foolishness!
B. It's amazing! So many choose to immerse themselves in sin and choose to live with the consequences.
The drug addict does what he knows will hurt him, cost his job, his family his way of life....believed the lie, "It won't hurt you".
The pregnant teenager knows the possibility of changed life plans: college abandoned, forced marriage! forced premature adulthood...believed the lie: "It won't happen to you."
The adulterous spouse knows he/she can loose wife/husband, children, hope...believed the lie, "You won't get caught" or “You can still love your spouse and do this."
We volunteer for this suffering, these consequences and the scars remain for a lifetime.
C. What has sin ever done for us?
Has it ever brought a moments pleasure without guilt and shame? No!
Have the ruined relationships ever been the same again? No!
Have diseases obtained through sin ever left because you were sorry? No!
Sin has given us a harvest of guilt, isolation, disease, broken shame, broken marriages, single parent children and distrust.
Sin has brought congregations strife, dissension, members leaving in anger, disillusioned, and with a reputation for hypocrisy.
In the face of Christ's eminent return? In the power of His Spirit, it is time to turn away from it all!
II. WE ARE CALLED BY GOD TO CLOTHE OUR LIVES WITH CHRIST.
A. Sin has been conquered by Christ so that we don't have to continue in it!
Christ did not fulfill the law of God so that we could continue to break.
Christ did not Give His life as a sacrifice of our sins so that we could continue to be slaves to its evil and its harmful results.
We have been saved by Christ for eternal life...without sin.
We have been rescued by Christ for Christ-like living.
B. We are called in Christ and equipped by Christ for a life which is beautiful.
God desires the very best for us. Phil.2:4-8.
The Old sinful nature(Old Adam) is to be abandoned. Rom. 6:12-14,
C. We are called to put on the armor of Christ's light, to live in Christ’s presence and power.
We are called to appropriate His righteousness. Isa. 61:11.
He gives us the armor of defense, Eph. 6:13.
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