Tuesday 8 September 2015

Romans 13:12-14 « Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh. »

I can just imagine the apostle Paul coming close to the end of this master piece of theology and practical advice on Christian living.  He is tying up all loose ends of his many thoughts he wants to leave this young and vibrant church in the capital of the known world.

Though I believe our culture is in a state of rapid moral decline, we are still not as bad as the culture in first century Rome.  The amount of sexual sin in Roman society and its general acceptance made Rome one of the most morally bankrupt cities of all times.  And many of the new converts to Christ came from such an environment.

As we saw in yesterday’s devotional, the word desires, as in the end of verse 14, literally means « longing for the thing forbidden. »  And Paul gives some very good sound advice: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision….  

Now the Greek word translated here as « provision » literally means « to think about it before hand ».  So Paul is encouraging the believers to Put on Jesus and don’t think about how to give a place to the forbidden thing.  Don’t be making plans and strategies.  Don’t be calculating how you might just happen to be in the right place at the right time to engage in sin.  Don’t even think about it.   Rather think about Jesus, His presence, His word, His goodness, His mercy, His love.  Think about these things.

The biggest difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is that a Christian doesn’t want to sin.  A sinner sins, because that is his nature.  It is no longer our’s.  So, IF we sin we have an avocate with the Father who will come to our aide.  But His plan is that we STOP SINNING.  As Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, « God and sin no more. »

Are you at times overwhelmed by thoughts that are birthed in sin and lead only away from God’s presence and God’s nature?  When you are bomb blasted by negative and sinful thoughts do you know how to battle them with the promises from God?

Today, ask God to help you identify the three most negative thoughts that reoccur in your mind.  Write them down and ask God to give you one promise from His word for each one.

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