Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Romans 13:8-14 The Armor of Light



KEY TEXT: Romans 13:11-14 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires

KEY THOT: The "salvation" that Paul is referring here is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, for it is "nearer to us now than when we first believed." The darker the world becomes, the closer we are to the coming Day, when light will completely dispel darkness. In the meantime, as spiritual and moral darkness encroaches more and more parts of the world with the "doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1, NKJV), it signals that the day is at hand. As the saying goes, "The darkest hour is before dawn". So, we should expect greater and greater spiritual and moral confusion as Jesus' coming draws nearer: "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron" (1 Timothy 4:1-2, NKJV).

In these last days, Paul urges believers to "cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light" (v.12). Light is an armor that will protect us against darkness. To walk in the light is to walk in the light of God's holiness: "Let us walk properly as in the daytime" (v.13a). To walk in darkness is to indulge in "orgies and drunkenness" (ungodly partying) "sexual immorality", "sensuality" (indulging in physical pleasures), "quarreling and jealousy" (inter-personal conflicts). If we continue to walk in darkness, while calling ourselves children of light, then we are in danger of self-deception--or worse, self-destruction: "By rejecting this (good conscience), some have made shipwreck of their faith, among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme" (1 Timothy 1:19-20).

We are therefore to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ, make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires" (v.14). In other words, the only way to reject darkness is to put on the armor of light, viz., having Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith, giving no room for the flesh to indulge in its sinful desires. We cannot compromise with sin because Christ has delivered us from sin's power by crucifying our flesh. So, it's now up to us to live like people who are dead to sin but alive to God. The best protection against darkness is to walk in the light of God's holiness--to be transparent before God and before other believers. No pretension and hypocrisy, but be totally honest and authentic.

Abba-Father, deliver us from deeds of darkness and help us put on the Lord Jesus Christ as the armor of light. May Your Spirit empower us to daily walk in the light of Your presence. Amen.

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