ROMANS 13:12-14: “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: The “day” is at hand! What “day” is this referring to? It is the “Day of the Lord”, the culmination of all things. Paul sees this day growing ever closer. Seeing this he is called to action, and calls the church to action. There is no time left to dabble in those things that we know have their root in darkness. It is time for us to cast off these works and to put on the armor of light. I think most Christians would agree with this statement, but we struggle with how to do this.
Paul lists some of the negative things that we need to cast off. They are both external and internal sins. Yet, this list is not exhaustive by any means. It seems that Paul is using some of the more common sins his listeners would be familiar with, that their culture struggled with, as a means of contrast and example. But, making lists really never accomplishes the end goal. The problem with lists is that they are never complete. We always forget something, or we consciously or subconsciously omit something important from that list. Lists will never help us walk properly as in the daytime.
Lists also lead to pride. Entire denominations have been started around “lists”. The First Church of the “I don’t ———— (fill in the blank), and so on. Lists allow us to look at others judgmentally while we justify ourselves. They give us a false sense of security and assurance. However, they may still leave us walking in darkness. So what is the answer? How do we cast off the works of darkness so that we can put on the armor of light?
Paul exhorts us to “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ”! He speaks of this like the act of putting on a coat. This is exactly what he means. In Ephesians 6 Paul speaks about putting on the “Full Armor” of God. In essence this is putting on the “fullness” of Jesus Christ, or simply – putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. Every area of our life is covered. The helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, our feet covered with the Gospel of peace, and our hands fully occupied with the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith. There is no room, no opportunity, and no time to be involved in the works of darkness when you are fully engaged with the “fulness of Jesus Christ”!
This is a simple thought and a simple concept. The most powerful things in life are really simple. Why do we always try to complicate them? We need to “simply” embrace them. When we are all decked out in our finest clothes for a wedding or a special event we have not desire to play in the mud. When we are clothed in the Lord Jesus Christ we have no desire to play in the darkness. There are no lists needed. The light reveals and dispels. Victory is found as we abide in Christ, as we abide in His light, as we walk after the Spirit! It is that simple!
Lord, this morning cleanse me and clothe me in Your righteousness. May I put on Your fullness today and make no provision for the flesh. Be my strength and victory. In Jesus Name!