October 21, 2018
Romans 13:14… But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.
Notice the order of events, as described here. Often people get it backwards. We say, in essence, “Lord, let me first take a shower and then I will come to you, all clean and presentable. Then, you can wash me in your blood and cleanse me.” If you try to get clean in the shower of obedience, or any shower of your choice, you will fail. Only Jesus can wash away sin and the stains of sin. Go to Him… as you are.
“Put on the Lord, Jesus Christ.” What does that mean to you? To some, it means, “Act a certain way.” If you put on the Lord, you will act differently. But you can’t just act differently; that is phony.
Some people have heard it said, by Jesus, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Armed with that thought only, they set out to do what it says. That is only the second part of a command. The first part is, “Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Without doing the first part, we can get caught up in humanitarian activities. Humanitarian activities can make for a more pleasant lifestyle for all. But we can miss the important part of today’s verse… “Put on the lord.” When/if we do that, we put on love, and love makes no provision for selfish flesh.
Verse 8… Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the Law.
I have said this before, but I find it important so I will say it again, “God is not defined by our interpretation of “love.” Love is defined, known, by God. A boy might buy a girl flowers to prove his love. God doesn’t do that; He sent His Son to die. True love does not go to the store with whatever left over change is in his pocket. True love offers the person, himself. It requires sacrifice. That type of love is ours when we put on the Lord. So, the message of this verse is, “Don’t try battling the flesh without first putting on the Lord.” The flesh is a formidable foe when we try to walk with God. It will be your friend if you walk away. (Romans 8:8-9)