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,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law. 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 armour 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.
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