Reading: Romans Chapter 13
By Pastor Alex
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14)
The Apostle Paul ends this chapter of exhortation with a final instruction: “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 14) which follows closely after “put on the armor of light” (v. 12). So, in context, we are told to put on the Lord Jesus Christ as a warrior would put on his armor. This armor of Jesus is a spiritual protection for our daily lives as believers. It is not just an ambiguous super-spiritual notion, but it implies “walking properly as in the daytime” (v. 13). Basically, we are to walk in the ways and deeds that Jesus taught and showed us. Without his armor, a warrior would perish in battle; the odds against him would be too strong, and he would be found exposed and vulnerable. Likewise, when we lack this armor of light, this armor of Christ, the danger of spiritual injury, even destruction, is a real and serious threat.
Note that, while Paul speaks of light, he mentions darkness; while the Holy Spirit calls us to “put on” the light, we also must “cast off" those works of darkness (v. 12). What are the works of darkness? The whole of scripture would give you a much more exhaustive list, but here we read of “orgies and drunkenness…sexual immorality and sensuality…quarreling and jealousy” (v. 13). We are commanded to “make no provision” for such things. In other words, in the budget of our lives, there should be no line item for these evils. Your place of work or school may have a strict attendance policy, but one that makes provision for absences with a doctor’s note. Without even knowing it, it is possible to have similar provisions for sin: “if I am lonely enough…” or “if I am hurt enough…” or “if I only entertain it in the confines of my heart….” Our policy toward sin should never include such follow-up statements. Make no provision! This may also include things we do that are not sin but may weaken us or make us susceptible. One saying I recall hearing over and over again from my dad throughout my childhood is this: “If you don’t want to get hit by the train, stay off the tracks.” Spiritually, there are many applications. Many good-intended Christians have been bewildered by the sin-train that suddenly hit them, all because they had a provision for standing on train tracks.
To top this all off, we must be in subjection to the governing authorities, paying our taxes, and honoring and respecting those to whom it is due. You may ask, isn’t there any way to simplify all this? Great question! Great answer: “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law…Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (vv. 8, 10).
Have a blessed day today. May the Lord Jesus Christ be your armor as you walk in the light of His love.