I think it is interesting to note that here he calls it "the armor of light. The focused light waves of the laser may be the most effective defense against enemy satellites and ballistic missiles. The Christian's armor of light is his best defense against the relentless attacks of the wicked one.
Yet some of us have no idea what these pieces of armor are or how to put them on.
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We've been sound asleep when the instructions have been given. And it's no wonder that Satan is winning the battle in our lives. Nobody is seeing any significant changes or growth in the likeness of Christ in us. So wake up, sleepyhead, to your present responsibility. Take off your night clothes and put on your day clothes, your armor of light. That's the only way you will ever be able to live a godly life that honors Christ in the midst of this ungodly world system. But speaking of the clothes to put on reminds Paul of the Christian's ultimate defense against Satan and his world system.
And that's how he wants to conclude this wake-up call. Wake up to your imminent salvation, wake up to your present responsibility, and finally, wake up to your ultimate defense. Haven't we already put on the Lord Jesus Christ? Paul wrote to the Galatians, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" Galatians We have done it, so why are we told to do it here? I think the thing here is that we need to apply to our daily practice what we did the moment we put our faith in Christ for our eternal salvation. We need to remind ourselves daily and do it all over again--not get saved all over again, but appropriate the truth of it all over again.
I like the way Ray Stedman describes it: "When I get up in the morning I put on my clothes, intending them to be part of me all day, to go where I go and do what I do. They cover me and make me presentable to others. That is the purpose of clothes. In the same way, the apostle is saying to us, 'Put on Jesus Christ when you get up in the morning.
Make him a part of your life that day. Intend that he go with you everywhere you go, and that he act through you in everything you do. Call upon his resources. That's what it means to put on Christ. It's the same thing as in John 15 when it says to "abide in Him.
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Allow Him to be part of everything in your life. Share every moment with Him. That's our ultimate defense against Satan.
And right along with it, " We all have it, even after we're saved. The word provision pronoia literally means "forethought. In other words, don't feed the values of the world into your mind, then plan and strategize how you're going to satisfy the sinful cravings of your human nature that are instigated by the thoughts and values of the world.
Don't plan for how you're going to satisfy your flesh; don't give it forethought. You know, most of us don't just fall into deep sin all of a sudden.
We see Christian leaders who fall and everybody says, "Oh, they got caught in a weak moment. There has been a pattern that leads up to that sin. The downward spiral begins when we start opening our minds to the world's ideas and values as they are presented through the world's ways such as the media.
Then it continues as we let those thoughts linger in our minds and allow ourselves to fantasize about them. Eventually we begin to plan how we're going to act out our fantasies. That's provision for the flesh. Don't do that! Give no forethought to the flesh and how to fulfill its desires. Instead, wake up to your ultimate defense.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Get to know Him more intimately. Be conscious of His presence with you through the day. Fill your mind with His Word. Spend time with Him in prayer.
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Depend consciously on the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit moment by moment. Put Him on in the morning when you wake up, just like you put on your clothes. Let that be the most important thing you do when you get out of bed every morning. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and watch the tide of the battle turn to victory. It's practically impossible to teach this passage without referring to Saint Augustine, the great fourth century theologian.
Before he became a Christian, Augustine was a brilliant young philosopher who was thoroughly caught up in this world system. For one thing, he insisted that sex drives were meant to be satisfied, and he did just that, any way he could. He had sexual liaisons with a variety of women. But there was an emptiness about his life that began to distress him. He got more and more sex and it was less and less satisfying.
He wanted to know why this was and he longed to be free from this bondage. Christian friends challenged him to consider Christ, who could meet him where he was and give him strength to overcome sin. He finally obtained a copy of Paul's epistles, and of course, in the fourth century, that was not easy to come by. He had it with him in the garden one day when he heard some children playing and singing outside the garden gate. It sounded like they were saying, "Take up and read, take up and read. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" Romans At that moment, the light dawned on his darkened soul, and Augustine trusted Christ as his Savior and began to clothe himself with the Lord Jesus, who gave him the power to resist the sinful temptations of his flesh.
One day after his salvation he met a beautiful woman with whom he had been involved before he had become a Christian. But he was wide awake and fully alert, and he began to run away from her. She ran after him calling out, "Augustine, why do you run? It is only I? And we could learn from his example. Let's wake up, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. God will begin to give us victory and joy in the Christian life. We'll live a life that brings glory to Him and attracts the world to Him.
Maybe some of you here this morning are in the same condition Augustine was in before he met Christ: You are sick of sin.
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You've been looking for something to satisfy and you've tried everything the world has to offer and you are willing to finally admit that it leaves you empty. You're in a bondage that you need more and more and it leaves you less and less satisfaction. You're ready for something real and God has it for you.
He sent His Son to Calvary's cross to die for you and pay the penalty for your sins. He offers us forgiveness of sins--past, present, and future--and the wonderful gift of everlasting life.
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