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Putting on Christ
Romans 13:14 - 14:23
At the close of Romans 13 the Spirit of God tells us to Ňput on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereofÓ (Romans 13:14). Specifically, that is an admonition telling us not to mistreat our brethren. In chapter 14 the Apostle was inspired of God to tell us exactly what it means to put on Christ and how we must not make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts of the flesh. All needless division among men is rooted in and springs from pride and is a direct result of men making provision for the flesh, striving to fulfil the lusts of the flesh. GodŐs people must avoid such needless, unnecessary strife and division by bending to and accommodating one another in all matters of insignificance. In Romans 14 the apostle Paul was inspired by God the Holy Ghost to tell us that putting on Christ and making not provision for the flesh involves five things.
1st — GodŐs elect are all equally dear to him and should be equally dear to us (vv. 1-3). — To put on Christ is to receive and embrace GodŐs people as God receives and embraces them. All the redeemed, whether weak or strong, are equally loved of God and equally accepted in the Beloved. All are equally dear to Christ. All should be equally loved and accepted by us. All should be equally dear to us (Philippians 2:1-4).
2nd — If we are truly one with Christ and one in Christ, then none of us live unto ourselves (vv. 4-8). — To put on Christ is to live with, serve, and treat one another as the LordŐs own people. All believers belong to God our Savior. We live in eternal and everlasting union with him!
3rd — Christ the Lord is Lord of all (vv. 9-16). — To put on Christ is to bow to and recognize Christ alone as Lord of all his own. We have no right to try to rule, judge, or try to judge one anotherŐs lives and/or service of the Lord. Christ is Lord of all his people. What arrogance, what pride, what presumption we display when we set ourselves up judges of the LordŐs blood bought people!
4th — The kingdom of God is altogether spiritual (vv. 17-21). — To put on Christ is to live and walk before God and with one another in righteousness peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. How silly, how ungodly it is for GodŐs people in this world to offend one another, fuss, fight, and divide over things that donŐt matter! We should be concerned that each know and possess the righteousness of God, the peace of the Holy Ghost, and the joy of faith. Living upon the righteousness of Christ, living with one another in peace, living and serving God together in joy, that is what it is to put on Christ!
5th — The secret of all true religion is faith, faith in Christ. — Everything done, all religious activity, all religious service, all religious sacrifice, all religious duty without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is nothing but sin, nothing but making provision for the flesh (vv. 22-23). — To put on Christ is to live by faith in Christ. To put on Christ is to believe on the Son of God. Everything else, call it what you will, is just sin, just a show of wisdom in will-worship to the gratifying of the flesh!