Romans 13:12
The night is nearly over; the day has drawn near. So let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Sermons
A Luminous CharacterRomans 13:12
Day At HandJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:12
Preparation for the DayJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:12
Preparation for the DayJ. Jowett, M.A.Romans 13:12
The Armour of LightBunyan.Romans 13:12
The Armour of LightA. Raleigh, D.D.Romans 13:12
The Armour of LightR. Watson.Romans 13:12
The Armour of Light IsJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:12
The DawnAbp. Trench.Romans 13:12
The Departing Night and Coming DayC. Bradley, M.A.Romans 13:12
The Night and the DayEssex Congregational RemembrancerRomans 13:12
The Night and the DayW. Arthur, M.A.Romans 13:12
The Soldier's Morning-CallAlexander MaclarenRomans 13:12
Christ-LikenessR.M. Edgar Romans 13:8-14
A CallJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
Approaching SalvationJ. Parsons.Romans 13:11-14
Beware of SleepingRomans 13:11-14
Cause for Spiritual RejoicingHomiletic MonthlyRomans 13:11-14
Desidia and AlacritasR. F. Horton, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
Dressing in the MorningC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 13:11-14
High Time to AwakeT. Hammond.Romans 13:11-14
High Time to Awake Out of SleepJ. Parsons.Romans 13:11-14
Knowledge of TimeBiblical MuseumRomans 13:11-14
Knowledge of TimeG. McMichael, B.A.Romans 13:11-14
Preparation for Christ's ComingD. Thomas, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
Present and FutureWeekly PulpitRomans 13:11-14
SleepJ. Beeby.Romans 13:11-14
Sleeping ChristiansC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 13:11-14
The Approach of DayS.R. Aldridge Romans 13:11-14
The Breaking DayJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
The Christian's Duty in the Present AgeC.H. Irwin Romans 13:11-14
The Dawn of the Great DayW. B. Pope, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
The Day Breaketh!T.F. Lockyer Romans 13:11-14
The Earthly and the Heavenly State of the GoodD. Thomas, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
The Nearness of Salvation a Motive to VigilanceH. Belfrage, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
The Need of Special ExertionJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
The Peril of SleepT. Davidson.Romans 13:11-14
The Sleeper ArousedW. W. Wythe.Romans 13:11-14
The Wakeful ChristianA. J. Parry.Romans 13:11-14
Time Closing in Upon UsA. Maclaren, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
Time to AwakeH. Melvill, B.D.Romans 13:11-14
Time to AwakeJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
Timely ReflectionsC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 13:11-14
Wake Up! Wake UpC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 13:11-14
The Christian is not to be insensible to the movements of the world. "Knowing the time," says the apostle (ver. 11). Mr. Spurgeon says he reads the newspapers to see how God is governing the world. It is well for us to know what are the current beliefs and motives of our fellow-men.

I. THE CHRISTIAN'S CONFIDENCE.

1. "The night is far spent.

(1) The forces of evil are far spent. Some Christians are always looking on the dark side of things. They see no traces of the breaking day. With them it is always night. They would have us believe, with Canon Taylor, that missions are a failure. They would have us believe, with Lord Wemyss, that prohibition of the liquor traffic is a failure. They would have us believe that Sunday closing is a failure. But it is those who want such movements to fail that usually originate such a cry. There is no failure in the forces of right. Failure is written on the forces of sin. Its night is far spent.

(2) The clouds of mystery will soon be lifted. There are difficulties in reconciling religion and science. Yet the. difficulties are only apparent. They are only temporary clouds. There are difficulties in God's providence that we cannot understand. But by-and-by they will all be made plain. Every mystery will be solved. Now we know in part; but then shall we know even as also we are known."

(3) The dark hours of pain and sorrow will soon be over. How dark is the hour of sickness! how dark the hour of bereavement! What shadows disappointment causes to pass over our lives! But the night is far spent. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

2. "The day is at hand. The day of our Saviour's coming is rapidly drawing nearer. Already we may hear the sound of his chariot-wheels. Gradually his kingdom has been making progress in the earth, his truth has been gaining the victory over error. The Reformation shook off the dust of centuries from the Word of God. The discovery of printing had already prepared the way for the spread of the emancipated Bible. Old kingdoms that encouraged error and fostered ecclesiastical despotism have been falling. New nations have arisen to sway the destinies of the world - the nations of the Bible-loving, liberty-loving, Anglo-Saxon race. Old wrongs have been redressed. Our King is coming. The day is at hand."

II. THE CHRISTIAN'S CALL.

1. A call to activity. "Now it is high time to awake out of sleep" (ver. 11). It is plain that this exhortation is addressed to Christians, for the writer adds, "for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." Many Christians are asleep. They are inactive and idle, and are doing nothing to prepare the way of the Lord. It may be addressed also to the unconverted. This very passage, the closing part of this thirteenth chapter, was the means of converting St. Augustine.

2. A call to amendment. "Let us cast off the works of darkness" (ver. 12). Some works are literally works of darkness, as for example those specified in the thirteenth verse. Drunkenness and impurity are most practised in the night. "They that be drunken are drunken in the night." But "works of darkness" may be regarded as including all sinful works. Sin loves concealment. The Christian is to cast off everything that will not bear the light, to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. "The day is at hand." How shall we abide the day of our Lord's coming if we do not, by Divine help, separate ourselves from sin?

3. A call to conflict. "Let us put on the armour of light" (ver. 12). We are to wage war with our own temptations, and with the evil that is in the world. Let our armour be the armour of light. Let us not fight the world with its own weapons - with hatred, or bitterness, or deceit. Let our weapons be good weapons - the weapons of truth, justice, love. They will conquer. Let us never do evil that good may come.

4. A call to Christ-likeness. "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ" (ver. 14). That is to say, "Be clothed with his spirit." This is the secret of strength. Like Sir Galahad, whose strength was as the strength of ten because his heart was pure, the man who is Christ-like in spirit will overcome all temptations, and will grapple victoriously with all difficulties. This is emphatically a call which the Christian needs to hear in the present age, when there is so much in the Church as well as in the world that is contrary to the spirit of Christ. Let us, then, hear the trumpet-call of duty, and, as we go forth, let us brace up our spirits with the inspiring thought that "the night is far spent, and the day is at hand." - C.H.I.







The night is far spent, the day is at hand.
Essex Congregational Remembrancer.
These words contain —

I. A REPRESENTATION OF THIS LIFE AND OF THE LIFE TO COME.

1. This life is the night. Our condition in this state is one of —(1) Ignorance. What feeble conceptions have we of God! What mistakes do we make respecting the methods of Divine grace. He who knows most confesses "that we know in part, and prophesy in part."(2) Danger. In the night of this life "your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." Nor is he a solitary agent. Besides, how many natural ills surround us!(3) Trouble.

2. The next life is day. Heaven will be a day of —(1) Knowledge. Good men will there see things as they are, God as He is, and know even as they are known.(2) Safety.(3) Happiness (Revelation 7:15-17).

II. AN ADMONITION OF THE DEPARTURE OF THE FORMER, AND OF THE APPROACH OF THE LATTER. We are informed of this fact by —

1. Revolving periods of time.

2. The doctrines of the gospel. There is not one of them which does not terminate in heaven. Christians are justified and sanctified that they may be capacitated to enjoy heaven.

3. The ordinances of the gospel. Why do we unite in songs of praise, but in the hope of ere long uniting in the praises of heaven?

4. Surrounding objects, combined with our own bodily infirmities.

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

You have here a view of life opposite to the one taken by our Lord. Speaking of what is coming He says, "The night cometh," and speaking of what now is, "Work while it is called day." He looks upon us as labourers in the field, who, when the night comes, must leave their work done or undone, which must stand till the great light comes again to show exactly how it was left. Paul, however, regards us as soldiers in a campaign. The night is come, and we have encamped for the night; the uniform is laid off; some are sitting round the campfire, some are walking about, some are playing tricks, some are doing what they would not dare to do in the day. A voice is heard, "The night is far spent — put on your armour, be ready."

I. THE PRESENT DARKNESS.

1. Suppose you are on a hill, say a mile from the Thames. It might be that you could neither see the river nor the objects on it, but that would not prove that they did not exist. The only fact is that they and you are in darkness. Light does not create things; it only makes them manifest. So we are dwelling in the midst of ten thousand grand and mysterious realities, but we do not see them because of the shadows that lie on our souls.

2. By misapprehension we are liable in the dark to take the distant for the near, the little for the great, the common for the valuable, and vice versa. As the armour is scattered in the night the breastplate looks no brighter than the trunk of a tree, the helmet than a stone, etc. And the things which are symbolised by these pieces of armour do not always seem to us of their proper value. There is the girdle of truth — of unutterable price and value; but in this dim world men think that an ingenious deception is better. The breastplate of righteousness — why, many a man thinks more of a royal or municipal decoration. The helmet of salvation — many a woman prefers a new bonnet to that.

3. The dark brings us false anticipations. "When a man walketh in the darkness he knoweth not whither he goeth." A man looking into the dark forms an incorrect estimate of what is before him. He has no power to calculate where he will be after five steps or ten. This is pre-eminently the condition of the man who is going straight towards eternity.

4. Darkness is often the time of dreaming. The sleeping soldier dreams probably not of battlefields, but of sheepfolds, etc.; and in the midst of the dream bursts in the cry, "To arms!" So it may be that thy imagination is full of a life to be that never will be; with plans for this very year that will never be carried out.

II. THE COMING DAY. "The night is far spent." I know not in your case how far. The reason why we are in the dark is that this part of the world is turned away from the sun, and we are sitting in the shadow of our own world. And so the reason why we do not see God and heaven is simply because we have turned away from that side of heaven. Absence from the Lord is night-time; the presence of the Lord is the break of day. All you know is by faith; but the time of sight is coming. The moment is fixed, but God will never tell it. But it is at hand! The Judge is at the door.

III. THE DUTY TO WHICH WE ARE CALLED.

1. "Cast off the works of darkness" — everything that people will venture to do in the dark, but not in the light. Even here we have certain lamps — dim, it is true — but which cast light on our affairs. The lamp of —(1) Civil law. Is there anything in your action that if brought out to a court of justice would be stamped as guilty?(2) Commercial integrity. Many a thing that would escape the former lamp would, if brought to this, appear odious. Is there in your ways anything that, if subjected to the keen eye of half a dozen honourable men, would be pronounced mean and shabby?(3) Domestic honour. Many a thing that will escape the other two would look very vile under this. Is there aught in thee which would appear shameful in the eyes of those who love thee?(4) Church discipline. Is there anything that, if brought under the knowledge of your brethren, would compel them to say, "It is sin"? Cast them all off,

2. "Put on the armour of light." Look at the man who has got the polished shield, breastplate, etc., etc. As long as it is night they look poor and common; but when the great sun begins to play, look at them, how they shine in the light! Everything beautiful welcomes the light; and righteousness, peace, truth, etc., are akin to the light. Don't say, "There they are, I can find them when I seek them"; or, "I shall have time enough when the alarm is sounded"; or, "I know some one who will get them for me." Put them on, so that when the day dawns you may be ready. "But the day has not broken yet." No; if it had you would have had no time to put the armour on. "But I have no armour, no girdle of righteousness," etc. Then "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" — there is all the armour you need.

(W. Arthur, M.A.)

I. THE FACT STATED. The apostle reverses the sense in which our Lord uses these words (John 9:4). Jesus contrasts the present scene with the darkness of the grave, while the apostle contrasts it with the bright heaven that lies beyond it.

1. "The night" is a picture of the Christian's present state. In comparison with other men, and with his own former condition, he is in broad day. But the apostle is not thinking of these things. As he contemplates eternity, he feels that believers are all still in darkness. And the figure accords with our own experience and feelings. Night is a season of cheerlessness, incertitude, perplexity, inaction, and danger. Who is there that does not feel his spiritual condition here to be the same? But it is our ignorance that this figure most forcibly represents. Night throws a veil over the face of things. The traveller may be passing through the most beautiful scenes, but he might almost as well be going over a desert. So with us. What do we know of the things we most wish to know? Ours, however, is not a night of total darkness. The stars shine above us, and something like the mild, steady rays of an unclouded moon reach us; but it is night still, and we long for the shadows to flee away.

2. "The day" signifies heaven. "There shall be no night there." Nothing to endanger, impede, bewilder, or distress. Everything we wish done away with here shall be done away with there. And there shall all which we have so long wished to see come — sunshine, brightness, beauty, and happiness. Travel on a bright day through a beautiful country, with the glorious sun shining, and all nature exulting in his shining. Then transfer this scene to heaven. There shines in unclouded splendour the Sun of Righteousness. This glorious light is ever shining on the most glorious objects, and we shall behold these objects, and the same light on ourselves shall cause us to "shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father." Now this day is near.

II. THE ADVICE GIVEN is grounded on the fact stated. "Let us cast off," etc.

1. Before, however, we can do this, there is something else to be done. Paul has in his mind a man asleep, who must in the first instance awake. Like a fellow-traveller or a fellow-soldier who has risen before us, Paul announces the approaching morning, and bids us rise. Now all this supposes that Christians may sink into a state of spiritual negligence, sloth, and torpor. And it shows us that out of such a state we must be roused before we can obey this exhortation.

2. We are to "cast off the works of darkness," so called, because they court secrecy, and because they are connected with the prince of darkness. It is impossible to fall into a state of spiritual indifference without getting some of these unclean things upon us. And they are to be got rid of in the first place. There is not a greater delusion than to think we can be clothed in the graces of Christ's Spirit while we are holding fast any beloved sin. As to our bodies, we may put a clean garment over an unclean one, but we can never get our minds imbued with any one Christian grace as long as we are harbouring any one unchristian lust. Hence we are to "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit," in order to "perfect holiness in the fear of God."

3. The roused-up man is addressed as a warrior, and told to put on the "armour of light,"(1) The source of this is Divine. Like the light, holiness is heaven-born. As evil desires and works proceed from Satan in his dark world, so all "holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works," proceed from God in His bright world. This armour is a part of God's own nature. He is Light — "glorious in holiness"; His purity gives Him His splendour. So when He communicates His holiness to us, He communicates with it a portion of His own glory. We look for safety and victory only from the armour He gives us, but that armour dignifies us as we go forth to the fight in it.

2. This holiness accords well with the heaven to which we are going. It is light, something harmonising with the splendid day which is soon to break on us. The expression intimates "meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light."

(C. Bradley, M.A.)

I. THE NIGHT —

1. Of time and mystery.

2. Of sin and sorrow.

3. Of individual experience.

II. THE DAY —

1. Of eternity and revelation.

2. Of righteousness and salvation.

3. Of final decision.

III. THE DEPARTURE OF ONE AND THE NEAR APPROACH OF THE OTHER —

1. Evident.

2. A call to activity.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I. WHAT WE ARE TO CAST OFF.

1. Works that consisted with a time of ignorance.

2. That will not bear the light.

3. That spring from darkness.

II. WHAT ARE WE TO PUT ON?

1. Armour, offensive, defensive.

2. Of light.

III. WHY? "Because the night," etc.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I. THE FACT ASSERTED.

1. In reference to Rome and the heathen world at large, the night of Gentile ignorance and vice was far spent, and the day of gospel knowledge, grace, and blessing was at hand.

2. In reference to the Christian Church at Rome, the night of imperfect acquaintance with the gospel was far spent, and the clear day of spiritual light was at hand.

3. In reference to each individual Christian, whosoever and wheresoever he may be, the night of temptation, trial, and trouble is far spent, and the day of heavenly glory and bliss is at hand.

II. THE EXHORTATION FOUNDED ON THIS FACT.

1. From the practice of all sin. The dress to be "cast off" is "the works of darkness," so called because —(1) Their source is darkness.(2) Their scene of action is darkness, as far as man can render it so.(3) Their end is the "blackness of darkness for ever"! Sin must return to the place from whence it came; and woe to him who shall be found in its company at the time!

2. To the pursuit of all holiness. "Let us put on the armour of light." In Ephesians 6:13-17 he enumerates the several particulars of the Christian armour.But it is more briefly described in ver. 14.

1. Make the example of Christ your pattern.

2. Seek for union with Christ as your strength.

(J. Jowett, M.A.)

The whole time between His first coming and His second may be looked at as the dawn, the daybreak; light still struggling with darkness, the darkness only slowly receding, but yet ever receding — retreating step by step, and pierced through and through as it retreats by the glittering shafts of the true king of day.

(Abp. Trench.)

Put on the armour of light
1. Divine in its origin.

2. Excellent in its nature.

3. Essential in its adoption.

4. Invincible in its use.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

Religion is the best armour a man can have, but the worst cloak.

(Bunyan.)

It is a habit of the Apostle Paul to present almost everything in its dual aspect — e.g., the "flesh" fails and corrupts; the "spirit" quickens and nourishes; "sin" condemns and slays; "grace" justifies, purifies, saves; "death " is swallowed up of "life." Here is the same method in another of its applications. There is one who is told the night is almost gone; that the morning is coming, that it is time to put off all the works of darkness, and to stand waiting for the glow of the sunrise. And he wishes to do it. But how hard the work is! How difficult to distinguish! These "works of darkness" are not all wicked and horrible. They are things that may be helpful or inimical, according to circumstances. "And here I stand," one has to think, "in the dark, to watch against evil, to put it away, to keep it away." No! you would have little chance of coming out of it into morning in that way — in the way simply of resistance to evil by inward strength and wisdom. Our apostle never proposes action in that way. He had tried it, and knew what it ended in. "Try it," saith he, "in this way." "Put off"; and in the same act, "put on." Put on what? Not "the works of light," although he might have said that with propriety; but "the armour of light" — thus conveying to us the sentiment that Christian faith, in proportion as we live in it, and Christian virtues, in proportion as we put them on, become a soldier's armour. Live the Christian life fully, and you will become like an armed man. Put on this armour, then. It can be done easily, quietly. Many a gentle soul is clad in it. Many a battle is fought and won without dust, or noise, or blood — by soul-confidence; by heart faith; by patient waiting; by looking to Christ; by longings for heaven. Courage! you who are striving, and you who are weary, and you who are longing for more than you can express. "The night is far spent, the day is at hand."

(A. Raleigh, D.D.)

I. ITS NATURE.

1. The military girdle, that which was intended to give support and firmness to the body: "Having your loins girt about with truth" — i.e., absolute sincerity in the consecration of ourselves to the service of Christ, our great Head.

2. "The breastplate of righteousness": all holiness, inward and outward. And as the breastplate defended the vital parts, so whatever injuries we may sustain, they cannot reach the conscience while this breastplate is there. And when the conscience is kept pure, all is safe.

3. "Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." This refers to the greaves and shoes, which were designed to give a firm footing and to guard against hidden traps. No man is in a state of preparation for the Christian conflict but he who is at peace with God. But pardoning love and regenerating grace, having set the man free from sin, give him firm ground, and enable him, standing fast in the Lord and the power of His might, to beat down every enemy that assails him.

4. "The shield of faith," the use of which is "to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one": in allusion to those firebrands which were sometimes shot along with the arrows, or to the arrows themselves, the iron heads of which had been previously heated, in order to inflict more intolerable pain. This shield quenches the fiery darts

(1)Of persecution.

(2)Of temptation and affliction.

5. "An helmet the hope of salvation." It defends the head, the very vital part. Despair chills exertion.

6. "The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."

(1)Our Lord Himself has given us an instance of its defensive power in His own temptation.

(2)But the Christian is to carry on an offensive warfare by zealously and consistently, on all proper occasions, proclaiming the truth of God.

II. WHY IT IS CALLED "THE ARMOUR OF LIGHT."

1. With reference to its origin, which is heavenly. It is therefore well called the whole armour of God. Though it is true that sincerity, righteousness, faith, suppose acts of the will, and a certain state of the affections, yet, nevertheless, they are wrought in man by God, and are found only in the regenerate.

2. Because it is only found where Christianity exists and exerts its proper influence. No man is seen in the armour of light but a true Christian. We find no instance in which the philosophy of ancient times made a warrior such as the apostle describes, armed him with armour like this, and led him on to victory. St. Paul tried whether Pharisaism would do; so that, "touching the righteousness of the law," he was "blameless." Yet he was held in the bondage of pride, and prejudice, and anger. Take our modern infidel philosopher, with reason and virtue on his lips, and with pride, selfishness, and passion in his heart.

3. Because it corresponds with the character of our dispensation, which is a dispensation of light.

III. THE MOTIVES WHICH SHOULD INDUCE US TO ARRAY OURSELVES IN THIS ARMOUR. Consider —

1. The degraded state of the man who is not invested with it.

2. The moral elevation which it gives to every one who is invested with it.

3. That you must either conquer or be conquered.

(R. Watson.)

Humboldt tells us that, after bathing among the noctilucae in the phosphorescent water of the Pacific, his skin was luminous for hours after. In a spiritual sense, is it not true that when we bathe, so to speak, mind and heart in the truths and influences of Christianity, allowing, seeking their appropriate effect upon us, the whole character shines with a heaven-given light and beauty, that we can bear. about with us into the common scenes and daily duties of life?

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