8 Pay everything you owe. But you can never pay back all the love you owe one another. Whoever loves other people has done everything the law requires. 9 Here are some commandments to think about. “Do not commit adultery.” “Do not commit murder.” “Do not steal.” “Do not want what belongs to others.” (Exodus 20:13 15,17; Deuteronomy 5:17 19,21) These and all other commands are included in one command. Here’s what it is. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18) 10 Love does not harm its neighbor. So love does everything the law requires. 11 When you do these things, keep in mind the times we are living in. The hour has already come for you to wake up from your sleep. The full effects of our salvation are closer now than when we first believed in Christ. 12 The dark night of evil is nearly over. The day of Christ’s return is almost here. So let us get rid of the works of darkness that harm us. Let us do the works of light that protect us. 13 Let us act as we should, like people living in the daytime. Have nothing to do with wild parties, and don’t get drunk. Don’t take part in sexual sins or evil conduct. Don’t fight with each other or be jealous of anyone. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ as if he were your clothing. Don’t think about how to satisfy sinful desires.
Paul is again exhorting the Church in Rome, teaching that love is the fulfillment of the law. He is instructing on what to do, and then why it should be done, since salvation is nearing.
But the components of this passage that I am drawn to are “putting on the armour of light”, and “clothing oneself with the Lord Jesus Christ”. Armour is for protection. Clothes can too, but can also be a reflection of our taste, our role, our status, and Paul is encouraging us to infuse this with Christ.
These instructions require action and intention. They require decisions, they require choices, they require submission, they require discipline, they require sacrifice of the desires of our sinful nature. And by taking these actions, Christ protects us and empowers us in His light to resist, to overcome, and to reflect Him.
Lord, help me to always be actively submitting to your ways and to be clothed in You. In a world that taunts and tempts, may I shine your light, with love for all and to draw others to yourself. Amen.
Written by Steve Fell