ROMANS 13:14: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Have you ever heard the expression – “Clothes make the man!”? Is this really true? Can we glean anything from this statement and the closing verse of Romans chapter 13?
My first pastorate was in Mt. Baldy, California. This mountain church is a picturesque a-frame building, constructed out of river rock, and finished with a beautiful knotty pine interior. It has a large glass window that is constructed around a large cross in the middle of the glass. And, it looks out to a wonderful view of the mountains. It has become a destination place for weddings.
Across from the church, on the other side of the road, was a bar and grill. It was noted for being a party destination. It often was lined with motorcycles and the crowd was known to get pretty rowdy. This stood as a stark contrast to the tranquil setting of this beautiful little mountain church.
I will never forget one of the weddings I performed when I began as pastor. There were 17 weddings on the schedule when I began. This wedding stood out and I still remember it. When every one came to the wedding they were in beautiful dresses and tuxedos. Yet, you could tell they all looked very uncomfortable.
The wedding went well. Then something happened that I will never forget. One by one the wedding part went into the restroom and changed their clothes. From the tuxedos and dresses they emerged in jeans, boots, and cowboy hats. Not only did their clothes change, but the entire atmosphere changed. Now, I own jeans, boots, and cowboy hats. This is nothing against any form of attire. It just illustrates how what we wear affects our behavior.
From the controlled and somewhat respectful attitude that prevailed before and during the wedding, it was as if preschoolers had just been let out to the playground. They all quickly headed to the bar and grill right across the street and I could hear them as they went – “Let’s go tie one on!” The tuxes and dresses had only a temporary impact on their behavior. When they got into some comfortable clothes their real personality ripped loose!
I wonder if this can be true of our life in Christ? Do we act a certain way when we are in church, or with other Christians, but then act totally different when we are alone or at home? Do we throw off our robes of righteousness only to put on our former clothes of self so that we too can – “Tie one on!”? What does the Scripture say?
- “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:14 NKJV
Paul uses the analogy of putting on clothes to illustrate how we are to walk in Christ. When we are dressed up in a tux or a fancy dress, we are very unlikely to go where we will get dirty and soiled. When we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, when we walk after the Spirit, when we realize that we are clothed in His righteousness, this too will change the way we live.
To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is to live in His presence every moment of every day. We can not live compartmentalized Christian lives. We do not walk with Christ on Sunday and Wednesday, and then walk according to the flesh the rest of the week. We are called to both walk and live in the Spirit!
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV
When I was a child we used to put on our Sunday best to go to church. Most churches do not adhere to this practice any longer and neither do I. However, I need to put on my Jesus best each and every day of my life! I need to grow in the fruit of the Spirit. I also need to walk and live in the Spirit. I need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ each and every moment of my life and live for Him!
Lord, grant me the grace to live up to the clothes that You have given me!
- “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;”. Philippians 3:8-9 NKJV
- “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Revelation 3:5 NKJV
In Jesus Name!