Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 151 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Romans 13 today and our focus is on putting on Christ – how can we do that?. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in .  Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

As a reminder, our episodes for the next two weeks might be a little shorter than normal, but we won’t scrimp on the Bible reading…just the blowhard commentary. Usually when I talk about Romans 13, my focus is on the first half of the chapter, which calls Christians to obey and submit to governing authorities – not the most popular teaching in the Bible, to say the least. Last year’s podcast, the Bible Reading podcast, still has several available episodes and show notes on that issue, if you’d like to explore what the Bible says about following the government, so you can click this link to check it out. 

Our focus today is on Paul’s command to put on Christ that we read in our verse of the day:

14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires. Romans 13:14

One little profound command: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ – but what does it mean? How can we obey this command? Let’s read our passage and then we will discuss the question.

First, we need to understand that this kind of metaphor was quite common in Israel. Job, for instance, in wondering why disaster has happened to him, when he was living a righteous life, uses a similar metaphor:

14 I clothed myself in righteousness,
and it enveloped me;
my just decisions were like a robe and a turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy,
and I examined the case of the stranger.
17 I shattered the fangs of the unjust
and snatched the prey from his teeth. Job 29:14-16 

In this case, Job’s clothing himself in righteousness meant that he did good to those in need, that he gave just decisions as a judge and that he actively and forcefully opposed those who were evil and unjust. His actions were his clothing. Paul also uses this metaphor in other places:

Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. 11 In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all12 Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,   Colossians 3:9-12

To put on these things, apparently means to do them and live them.  I believe this passage shows much more of what Paul is calling us to when he says to put on Christ. It involves a taking off – or letting go – of the habits, thoughts, words and actions of the old, pre-Jesus person and putting on (or doing and thinking) a whole new way of life – a way that is marked by compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…the Jesus way! Here’s John Piper with some wisdom to help us better understand putting on Christ:

The one other place in all the New Testament where Paul speaks of “putting on Christ” describes it as something already done. Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Baptism is an acting out of what happens by faith in conversion. And what happened was: You put on Christ, once and for all. Which means that the command to put on Christ is a call to become what you are—a Christ wearer.

So keep in mind as we move forward now that putting on the armor of light or putting on Christ in verses 12 and 14 are not instructions to become a Christian all over again. Paul is calling us to be what we are in Christ. You are children of the light, children of the day. Now dress like it, live like it, fight like it.

Putting on Christ each day doesn’t mean wearing him as an imposition, or nuisance, or a burden. It means wearing him as protection—that is, trusting him, and wearing him as the supplier of all your future needs—that is, hoping in him—and wearing him as your supreme treasure—that is, loving him.

Put on Jesus Christ means put him on as the parachute for your skydiving behind enemy lines. It means put him on as the high-impact protective anti-explosive suit when you disarm the bombs of the devil. It means put him on as the asbestos fire-proof suit when you rescue sinners from the flames of hell. It means put him on as a bullet proof vest when you confront the pistols of sin and unbelief.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ means put him on as a badge that admits you to all the resources of heaven that you need to do his will. It means put him on as the best intercom system that ever was so that there can be constant communication with the one whom you love above all others and who is himself everything you need. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ means trust him, hope in him, cherish him for all these things. [How do we put on Christ?]…The answer is … calling to mind the words of God that awaken more faith in Jesus, and calling to mind the promises of God that awaken more hope in Jesus, and calling to mind the beauty of Christ that awakens more love to Jesus

John Piper, Sermons from John Piper (2000–2014) (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 2014).

LAST Bible Memory verses for the month of May: Matthew 28:18-20 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”    

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