CLOTHED WITH JESUS
Ascended Lord Jesus, you are the pioneer of my salvation, the one who delivers me.
Read Romans 13:8–14
Love Fulfills the Law
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
The Day Is Near
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 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. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.[c]
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThe upcoming Ascension Day reminds us that Jesus reigns from heaven (Matthew 28:18). Thank him for the ways in which you have recently been conscious of his hand at work in your life.
Our living sacrifice within society must also mean discharging our debts of all kinds to others. The only outstanding debt should be to love one another, as this is always binding on us (v 8). Perhaps with reassuring the weak already in mind, Paul twice stresses that loving our neighbor is sufficient to keep all the commandments (vs 9,10). He insists that our duty in society is to ensure that no harm comes to a neighbor, using the same word translated ‘evil’ in Romans 13:3,4. If avoiding evil should mean we avoid punishment from the authorities, avoiding harming our neighbor should mean we’re contributing positively to the good of society around us.
Commending Jesus through this kind of living sacrifice is significant: it means we’re standing against sins which destroy our lives, households and communities (vs 9,13). It’s also pressing in the sense that we need to be awake and rise to the challenges of the season we’re experiencing (v 11).
That’s not to say, as Paul knew personally, that this is easy. Paul reminds us that we face a spiritual battle in which we have to choose decisively to live for Christ, armored for the battle and clothed with his presence (vs 12,14).
Put on the armor of light. Against what in the world do you feel yourself needing to stand your ground?
Merciful One, I long to stand firm for you in the face of daily temptation and pressure, Thank you for your armor that enables me to win the battle.