“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Romans 13:12–14 NIV84, emphasis added)
The context of Rom. 13:14 is rather intense. Many serious sins indeed. And the Apostle Paul is speaking to the Church at Rome. But whether it is Rome A.D. 57 or Grand Junction A.D. 2022, or whether we are personally committing such grave sins, we all need to “mind” this verse.
What does it look like to “clothe [ourselves] with the Lord Jesus Christ”? One thing for sure is before we start our day by prayfully putting on the “Clothes of Christ” from Col. 3:12-14. (We can also put on the Heavenly Armor at this time, too.) The Lord Jesus is: Our Coat of Compassion, our Gloves of Kindness our Hat of Humility, our Socks of Gentleness, our Slippers of Patience: The Left Slipper of Forbearance and the Right Slipper of Forgiveness, and our Belt of Love.*
We would be a more forgiving community, a more compassionate and kind community. We would be seeking the good of others—and the interests of our Lord Jesus—and be less concerned about what we get out of it or how inconvenient serving others might be.
And then we would not have “time” to “think about how to gratify the desires of [our] sinful nature.” Why? Because we are thinking about how to serve and Love others—yes, even those in our family.
So, let us hear two encouraging words. The first from our Brother Peter and the Other from Our Lord to the Church at Sardis:
For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. … The end of all things is near. Therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. — (1 Peter 4:3,7-8 NIV84).
Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. … Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. — (Rev. 3:1, 5 NIV84)
With Joy and Much Peace,
*This prayer is taken from my book, A Call to Repentance & Restoration; Here’s a link to give it a look/see https://www.amazon.com/Call-Repentance-Restoration-Personal-Prayer/dp/1662831676