Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 13:14)
In our last visit we began interpreting Paul’s description of “the deeds of darkness” as described in Romans 13:13, “orgies and drunkenness…sexual immorality and debauchery…dissension and jealousy.”
Orgies and drunkenness describe feasts and drinking parties that went late into the night. Sexual immorality often takes place during such times when people indulge in revelry. So does debauchery. This word means, unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, shamelessness, insolence. Paul is describing what takes place in the red light districts of most big cities. Rome was no exception.
Often this shameless debauchery snowballs into rivalry, one group of rioters pitted against another, seeking to outdo each other in disgusting behavior. Things spiral downward toward the lowest kind of self-gratification. This is intensified with jealousy for what another has.
Since we live in a world like this and still have a sinful nature, it would be wise to take Paul’s warning and coping strategy seriously. Wake up! Put aside the deeds of darkness. Put on the armor or weapons of light. Behave decently. Paul indelibly imprints these steps in our hearts in one succinct verse, Romans 13:14, “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
It was this verse Augustine heard a child quoting behind a neighbor’s fence that God used to break and bring him to the place of trusting in Jesus Christ. This broke the shackles of a wantonly sinful life and transformed him into a saint.
Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)