9For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
11Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
12The night is almost gone, and the day is near Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
13Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.
14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
“Whatever we do reflects the Cross. This is why sometimes we have to be a Christian even if we don’t want to be.” My pastor told me that a while ago when I was asking him about some struggles I was having. He related to me in my Marine Corps days. Those of you that have worn a uniform know the feeling. When you are wearing it, you have a sense of duty. You are projecting the image of the entire organization you belong to. What about when you take it off at the end of the day? You’re still in that organization, but the reminder isn’t there as much.
Verse 14 is talking about this. As Christians, we always represent Christ, regardless if we want to or not. The world looks at us as Christians 24/7 and are waiting for us to “screw up” so they can try to pick apart “religion.”
I’ll try not to get fired up about “religion” right now, but we need to do as Paul says here. We need to “put on” Jesus Christ, as if a uniform. It will remind us of our duty, of the love we are to project always. As we’ve discussed earlier in Romans, God is Love and the love that we have is from Him. So then, if we coat ourselves in Christ, what do we do? We love. Unconditionally and to everyone. When we leave our uniform at home, or church, we can and will easily forget and give into these lusts Paul describes. That is definitely not an exhaustive list, so let’s not look at it like, “well, I don’t do THOSE things, so I’m ok.” Nay! We have all sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. This is why we NEED to clothe ourselves in Christ. It also helps others.
Sometimes I forget I was even in the service. As that time in my life drifts further away and another day goes by that I don’t wear the uniform, it drifts from my recollection. Until I see a commercial or a t-shirt or a news article that shows someone wearing the uniform. I instantly snap back and remember. Fast forward to today’s daily life as a Christian. There’s nothing that helps me remember more than seeing someone act a Christian. Especially when I realize it was something I should have done but didn’t. You can be that person that helps another remember. That’s how we nourish and support and help one another in our faith.
Who’s uniform are you wearing today?