As Ron reminded us yesterday, we should be living in expectation of our King’s return. In yesterday’s reading Paul began by telling us where we don’t belong and the way we shouldn’t live. In today’s reading he continues with where we do belong, and what that means for us.
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
There is so much richness packed into just these four verses.
The first part is similar to Paul’s more famous “armour of God” in Ephesians 6, and we need to “put on” faith and love and the hope of Salvation. But the thing to note is that we do this since we belong to the day. Yet Paul wants us to put on a helmet which is the hope of salvation. Clearly since we already belong to the day, this is not hope as we often think of it—an uncertain longing for something that might not happen. No! Our hope is certain. It is not a longing but a fact. Verse 9 tells us that God appointed us to receive salvation! Not only is it certain but it was ordained by God, so that whether we live or die we can be with Him.
Don’t be tempted to gloss over verse 11 as a platitude or throw away, and again, don’t miss the causality implicit in the therefore. Encouraging one another is one of the great themes of Paul’s letters, but understand the reason he wants us to build each other up. It’s because God appointed us to live in the light since He wants us to be in relationship with Him.
Our appointment by God results in our love. We need to encourage one another and build each other up as we live soberly expecting our King’s return.
As Ron reminded us yesterday, that too is a certainty.