“Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
~Romans 13:14 (NRSV)
We live in a most urgent hour. It is our destiny to live in the light of the Day of the Lord, for the night of this evil world is drawing sharply to a close. We are to constantly ask ourselves, “What time is it in the world?” It is time that the Lord comes. And whether the Lord comes on the clouds of heaven this very day or 10,000 years from now is irrelevant—the Day is close. We live in that reality.
The Apostle Paul, in this passage (vv. 11-14) at the end of chapter 13 of Romans, is rousing us from our spiritual slumber. We must put on the Lord in order to live by salvation’s light.
Not Living As If We Are In The Night
Paul speaks of six (3 x 2) states—works of darkness—that exemplify our standing as living in the night, not prepared for the coming Day. He mentions revelling and drunkenness, debauchery and licentiousness, and quarrelling and jealousy. That he spends time identifying these, as poignant examples, is noteworthy. Importantly, the matching of each evil quality with another so similar compounds the character of the night; there are then, three genotypes of the flesh, among others, to dispose of day by day. These examples are inebriated partying, sexual immorality, and behaviours dividing community.
Non-specifically, belonging to the night is also about moral drowsiness—a failure to be roused with thought of the Day, where justice, mercy, and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8) are waylaid for the salubriousness of the flesh and allure of this world. We must act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
Not living as if we are in the night is about dealing with these above issues, and then putting on the Lord.
What ‘Putting On The Lord’ Means
Merely dealing with the darkness of the night is not preparing us for the Day. We must do more. We must put on the Lord as well as making no provision for the flesh; gratifying none of its desires. This is a difficult thing to do; it can only be done one day at a time.
Many believers may spruik about the coming Day of the Lord, but such talk is worthless; action is what is required—action to walk as if we are armoured by light. Action is the characterisation of faith.
It bears considering, salvation has not rectified the desires of the flesh, and a conscious effort by believers to put on Christ is ordered so that we might live according to the promise. This is a commitment to live the new way each and every day, until the Day. Putting on Christ is striving to live like the person of Jesus.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.