Alfred Place Baptist Church

13:12-14 The Armour of Light

Romans 13:12-14 “So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

This is the last of our studies of Romans chapters twelve and thirteen. Let me get you into our text by telling you of what I read in this summer’s Gideon News in the story of the conversion of Pastor Peter Dennett who is today the minister of Immanuel, Brighton. Twenty years ago he was in prison through the folly of a lifestyle motivated by anger (sparked initially by the sudden death of his soldier father) and alcohol. While he was in jail his mother became a Christian. It had been a long road for her; widowhood, alcoholism, herbalism and the New Age movement, four years in the Greenham Common Peace Camp, and the Ecology Party. Then in hospital she met a Christian, argued with her and agreed to go to her church where, on her first contact with people who believed in God, she was ‘blown away.’ Her son described it like this, “all those very boring people actually knew the God she had been searching for all her life. She gave her life to the Lord that night.” So Mum went off on a prison visit and told her son Peter what had happened.

He was very skeptical about his airhead mum, but softened when his sister, who had always been ‘sensible’, also became a Christian. They both sent loads of letters, books and Bibles to their 6 foot 6 inch son, 22 years of age, in his prison, and he promptly put them in a cardboard box, but God was at work. There were prison riots all over Britain in the mid-eighties and so everyone had to be locked into his cell for 24 hours for a number of days. Peter was sharing his cell with a new man, and soon he was handing over to him the cardboard box of books that his mother and sister had sent him. “This is meant for people like you,” he said. To Peter’s surprise the man devoured them, and the changes in him day by day were phenomenal. Peter could deny everything else, but the transformation of this man was too immense for him to challenge. At 3 o’clock one morning Peter sat in the darkness on his bed and prayed, “God, I don’t even know if you’re there, but if you are and if you give me the life I’ve seen in this fellow, then I give you everything.” Regeneration had begun. His biggest problem was forgiveness. How could God forgive him his sins? There were people in wheelchairs because of him. But then he came to understand the cross of Christ, that on Calvary Jesus was made sin for him, suffering condemnation in his place, and because of the life and death of the Son of God sinners can be forgiven by the heavenly Father. That day they sang in the prison chapel Charles Wesley’s hymn, “And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviour’s blood” and as he sang this verse an enormous sense of assurance exploded in Peter’s heart:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off,
My heart was free,
I woke, set forth and followed Thee.

Peter Dennett had new life. He described the change in this comment, “I can tell you that I’ve never hit anybody from that day to this.” Twenty years later he is, as I said, a pastor in Brighton; he is married to Johanna, a bank manager. They have two children.

The transformation of men and women like Peter Dennett, millions of them all over the world, very different people, is one of the proofs for the existence and activity of the living God. What more are you looking for? There is the Bible and what it tells of Jesus Christ, that his coming was prepared for by the Old Testament. There is his teaching, the Sermon on the Mount and the parables; there are his great claims; there are his works and signs, he heals every sick person without exception, he raises the dead, the winds and waves obey him. He dies as the Lamb of God and rises again, as he said he would, on the third day. What more are you looking for?

When you protest that you can’t believe then I hesitate and say to you that your problem is rather different, that you won’t believe. You refuse to believe. In other words, your problem is not one of lack of evidence but a determination to keep saying no to God. Let me illustrate it like this. On Mount Carmel a great test took place on the subject of who was the living God. Hundreds of prophets of Baal prayed and chanted and shouted and danced and cut themselves with knives as they cried to Baal to hear them and send fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice lying on the altar. After they were totally exhausted they withdrew from centre stage and Elijah the prophet of the Lord put his sacrifice on the altar, had it drenched with water three times, and then in a sentence prayed to the Lord “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again” (I Kings 18:36&37). Immediately fire fell from heaven; the sacrifice became a conflagration, the fire even licking up the water in the trench around the altar.

A few hours later we can imagine King Ahab returning to his wife Jezebel the zealous Baalist, and beginning to tell her what had happened. “The prophets of Baal prayed and danced and shouted until they were hoarse, hundreds of them. Numbers of them slashed themselves with knives and the blood flowed, but nothing at all happened and then they walked to one side, such a bedraggled bunch of men, I felt so sorry for them. The Elijah built up the old broken altar of the Lord. He put the sacrifice on the top and had men soak it with water, three times until the trench around it was full of water. Then he prayed, “Answer me O Lord, Answer me. ‘Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD–he is God! The LORD–he is God!”’” (I Kings 18:38&39). Jezebel heard all this in increasingly stony silence and then turned to her husband and said in utter scorn, “So . . .” Her problem was not lack of evidence that the Lord is God but her refusal to accept the overwhelming evidence set out before her, and so it is today.

In these verses in Romans Paul is describing the consequences of becoming a Christian, a newness of life occurs commensurate with the reality of the living God changing men and women, joining us to himself, taking up his abode in them. Things can never be the same again, once we become partakers of the divine nature. We are men and women who’re constantly presenting our bodies as living sacrifices to God. We no longer live like the world; we are totally transformed; our minds are renewed.

In our text Paul gives every Christian three admonitions, and each admonition is stated positively and negatively. “Do this,” he says and then he adds “in other words you stop doing that.” That is how we are going to look at these words.

    1.    WE PUT ON THE ARMOUR OF LIGHT.

God protects his people. He really does. He describes himself as a shield to his people. He keeps us so as never to allow enemies to slink up on us and destroy us. He keeps us from hell; he keeps us from falling back into Satan’s clutches for ever; he
keeps us from denying Jesus Christ and turning our backs completely on him. Remember the Lord Jesus telling Simon Peter that he was going to face a particularly terrible attack of Satan, “but,” he said, “I have prayed for you that your faith doesn’t fail.” That is the protection we get from Jesus Christ. He knows what lies ahead, what fearful challenges to our lives lie this week, and he is praying for us, “Father there are my disciples in Aberystwyth and they are soon really going to go through it. I want you to look after them and keep them at peace, and help them to go on trusting in you and doing your will.” That is how we are protected by Jesus Christ day by day.

Remember what is one of the most beautiful of the titles of Christ, the ‘Good Shepherd.’ He tells us that he so loves his sheep that he would lay down his own life rather than let a wolf kill one of his lambs. Don’t you want a Shepherd like that to take care of you? Don’t you need a shepherd like that? How can you get through life as a sheep living in the midst of wolves without a shepherd. Can you run faster than them? Have you a thick leathery coat? Have you great sharp teeth? Can you climb to the top of a tree and get away? No, you are a sheep, and every sheep has to have a shepherd. You cannot survive without one. Every Christian has the Son of God as his Shepherd. We all sing Toplady’s hymn with thanksgiving,

“A Sovereign Protector I have, unseen, yet for ever at hand;
Unchangeably faithful to save, almighty to rule and command.”

God protects his people; they shall never perish, not one of them. None of them will be plucked out of God’s hands. You object; “I know a Christian who gave up the faith and fell away.” Yes there are many people who are called ‘stony ground hearers’ who had an initial burst of religious enthusiasm and said, “I am going to become a Christian,” but when difficulties and trials came into their lives they said, “I didn’t know it was going to be like this,” and they fell away. They were never the true sheep of Christ because his sheep keep hearing the Master’s voice and keep following him. You then hear another objection, that you know Christians who have lost their health, and the people they love, and their jobs. One trouble after another have come into their lives. Yes for a few Christians that does happen and we don’t know why but we do know that God did protect them in the darkest times and they kept trusting in him. Or you have another objection, that you know of Christians who have had major falls into sin, who, for example, took money they were looking after for someone else, or who drove carelessly and hurt someone in a road accident, and so on. Yes that happens and it leads me to my text.

“Put on the armour of light” (v.12). Do you see what happened to those Christians? They got careless; they got into the habit of not putting on their protective armour. If you were working in the steel mills of Port Talbot and regularly had to take a sample of liquid steel on the end of an iron pole from a furnace then you wouldn’t dream of approaching that fire without covering yourself with an asbestos suit, from the top of your head to your toes. You would only dare to go into that heat if you were protected from it. You wouldn’t dream of saying, “Oh, I’ll just risk it today and pop in and pop out again in my T-shirt.” You would be horribly disfigured by the heat.

So it is that God’s way of protecting us is through the spiritual armour that he has prepared for every Christian. We are in a war, and our enemies are like wolves. They are not flesh and blood; they are the forces of spiritual wickedness that want to destroy us. Satan desired to have Simon Peter and take him to hell with him, and Jesus warned him what was going to happen, but Peter said, “Your sermon is not for me, but I am glad that the other disciples heard you give the warning. They need it, but I’m all right. If they all left you I wouldn’t.” He rejected the protection. Please don’t do that. You need the armour of light.

Let me explain to you what that means. In a number of places in the Bible the familiar picture of a soldier’s armour is used to remind us of the provision God makes for us who are the Lord’s helpless sheep to be protected, and our need to take advantage of it. Let me show you how important this is to Paul; firstly, I Thessalonians 5:8, “let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” You feel wild; you are tempted to punch someone in the teeth but you trust God to keep you – you have faith – and you love your enemy, and so you don’t hit them, and you have the great hope that these difficult situations can work together for your good. So you are self-controlled because you have put on faith and love as a breastplate and hope as a helmet. God’s grace in us keeps us in the Christian fight. Or secondly, 2 Corinthians 6:7 “in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left.” The world threatens and swears and intimidates and lies; it has the power of the flesh, but you disdain such weapons like David refused to put on Saul’s armour. What you have are weapons like these, “truthful speech and . . . the power of God” – those are in your right hand and your left hand. So when Peter Dennett was converted in that prison cell he says, “I’ve never hit anybody from that day to this.” In his hands were better weapons, the power of God and truthful speech.” Or, thirdly, in Ephesians 6:13 – 17; “Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

How do you put on this armour? Of course there’s a priority that you know what this armour is, and that it exists. So you have to come to a gospel church where the Bible is preached and where these words – truth, faith, love, righteousness, peace, salvation, and the Spirit – are commonly and frequently used and explained. If you are interested in chess you join a chess club and all the pieces of chess and the moves are talked about correctly. You will never learn chess without knowing the words. God has taken great trouble to provide for us the Bible and he has chosen special words which all the world must learn. They are the most important words in the universe. There is the shield of faith. Faith is entrusting ourselves into the safe keeping of Jesus Chrsit for ever. Faith is believing what God says. Faith is being certain of the gospel because of what is in the Bible. That is faith. Strengthen your faith; grow in your grasp of the Christian faith; go on trusting in God. That is what taking the shield of faith means.

There is the breastplate of righteousness. Righteousness is how God wants us to live; it means keeping his commandments and doing his will; it means serving and following Jesus Christ day by day; it means keeping in step with the Spirit. It means not living like the world in its unbelief and love for sin; it means living out the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7. That is the life of righteousness, and we are to live like that every day, everywhere and in every relationship. That is what having the breastplate of righteousness in place m
eans. You’re understanding my approach, aren’t you? I could go through these pieces of armour one by one and explain to you also what peace and truth and the Spirit of God is, but that is what I do twice on Sundays and again on a Tuesday night, and you come along each week and learn. What you are learning about is that thre is this armour to protect you, what it is and how you must put it on each day.

Then there is the companion exhortation to this, the warning that balances the exhortation, “put on.” It is “put aside.” Put on something and put aside something. You find that pattern throughout the Bible. Faith in God and turning from our sins. In our text it is; “Let us put aside the deeds of darkness . . .” (v.12). You were once in the dark. You didn’t know God; you didn’t know his Son; you didn’t know his Spirit; you didn’t know the Bible. You were ignorant; you were in the darkness and you loved it there, because men love darkness rather than light, but God had mercy on you and he gave you restlessness, a hunger for light; he sent people to talk to you and pray for you, he made it possible for you to go to a gospel church and so, “God’s eye diffused a quickening ray; you woke, the dungeon flamed with light.” Stay out of that old darkness. Don’t go back to living in the darkness. Put that aside. There are some acts which are so base that we would be ashamed of being seen doing them, and so we do them under the cover of darkness.

The deeds of darkness are being compared to stinking, damp, rotting clothes. Put them aside, Paul is saying and rather clothe yourself in the armour of light. There is the sweater of drunkenness, the shirt of blasphemy, the vest of lying, the trousers of adultery, the coat of violence, the hat of pride, the socks of hatred, the shoes of anger, the tie of lust, the waistcoat of greed, the belt of self. Put them all aside. Burn them in the back garden. Don’t ever wear those dark stinking clothes again, but put on the armour of light.

    2.    WE BEHAVE DECENTLY, AS IN THE DAYTIME.

That is the next exhortation (v.13). The positive exhortation is very brief, to “behave decently” (v.13). That sounds pretty flat doesn’t it? Every sensible person in the world would agree with that. Children go off to a party and their parents say, “Now behave decently.” The headmaster tells the school that Ofsted inspectors will be in the school next week and so “Children, behave decently!” People look at the antics of members of parliament and they shake their heads. They want them to “behave decently.” We look at soccer players fouling, and diving, and making such an exhibition of themselves when they’ve scored a goal and we say, “why can’t they behave decently?” There is another translation and it is “properly” and that doesn’t stir your conscience much more. The adverb seems to be amputated from Jesus Christ and his salvation. We all want to live amongst decent blokes, don’t we? Is that what the Christian message is all about? That’s what young people think is what preachers preach about, and they stay away in droves – “Boring!!” But that is not our business, to tell decent people to live even more decently.

The living God has made himself known to us. We have discovered him to be a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. He is the Triune God; the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God and these three are one God, and he is a personal loving God. He devised a plan for the redemption of fallen man. He sent his Son into the world and he lived the most proper of lives, in fact Luther called him the ‘proper man.’ He loved his neighbour as himself and he taught us how also we could. He became the sacrifice for sins propitiating the wrath of a sin-hating God. He rose from the dead and now he never leaves those who trust in him and by him they can do all he wants them to do. That is the message of the gospel, to know Christ as God and Saviour, learn of him and walk in his ways. Thus you’ll become the light of the world, a million lights shining in every corner of the world, by living ‘decently,’ that is, as Jesus himself lived.

The problem with this word ‘decently’ is that everyone gives it their own meaning and they make it become, ‘living just as I do today, as a decent person.’ But God does not allow us to define it in our own way. He defines it for us. It is spelled out for us by the apostle Paul in this section. Let’s look at what he says in the previous chapter;
“9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. [that is living decently] 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves.
[that is living decently] 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. [that is living decently] 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. [that is living decently] 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality. [that is living decently] 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. [that is living decently] 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. [that is living decently] 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. [that is living decently] 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. [that is living decently] 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. [that is living decently] 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. [that is living decently] 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." [that is living decently] 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. [that is living decently]

Do you understand after you have read that, that you need the inwelling of God the Holy Spirit in your life to energize and empower you, not to become a martyr or a missionary but to live decently? Without Jesus Christ you can do nothing; certainly you can’t live decently without him. But you must live out the life of Romans chapter 12. This commandment to live decently is as binding on your consciences as any of the ten commandments.

Then, once again, there is the accompanying negative warning, “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.” (v. 13). I love Paul’s straight talking. For eleven chapters in this letter he gives the most sublime theology, the doctrine of man and the doctrine of God and the person of Christ and his redemption and sanctification. It is mind-blowing stuff, and then he tells us how to live if we have received Christ into our lives, and he is as plain and in your face as you would want him to be. There is no pussy-footing in the apostle. You don’t need me to tell you what are orgies, or drunkenness, or sexual immorality, or debauchery. They are the very opposite of decent living; they are indecent living, and people who live like that end up in hell. But Paul doesn’t stop there; he reminds us of two other sins which we might miss, “dissension and jealousy” (v.13). You know this word ‘dissension.’ You hear it in the context of murmuring amongst a group of people with someon
e saying, “We’ve got some dissension in our ranks.” There are people who are complaining and criticizing and quarrelling.

There are church members who would never be found in an orgy or in drukenness or in sexual immorality or debauchery, but they are always stirring up quarrels and criticisms and dissension in the church and the Holy Spirit put that behaviour here, in exactly the same sinful category of conduct as those familiar vile sins he first mentions here. If we would properly be shocked hearing of a Christian being involved in an orgy we should also be shocked by a Christian who has a spirit of dissension. Then the apostle mentions jealousy or envying. What put Christ on the cross? The envy of the Jewish leadership for the love that was shown to Jesus by the common people. Their jealousy was a coal that came hissing hot from hell. The only thing more deadly than envy is being pleased at being envied. Jealousy – what a sin it is! Thomas Brooks says, “It tortures the affections, it vexes the mind, it inflames the blood, it corrupts the heart, and it wastes the spirit of a man. It is our tormenter and our executioner. It shoots at others and wounds itself.” Look at this pathetic Christian, he is jealous of the pleasures of the sinner and he is jealous of the joys of the Christian because he doesn’t have either. What a passion is envy! Isn’t it the cause of much of the dissension we see? Jealousy is the raw material of murder. There are people who are filled with it and so they stir up quarrels and criticisms. So that is the second exhortation of Paul, again both positive and negative.

    3.    WE CLOTHE OURSELVES WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Do you know why these verses are so important in the history of the church? Because they are the words that God used in the conversion of one of the giants of the past, Augustine. In the summer of the year 386, Augustine and his companions had left North Africa and had gone to Milan to hear Ambrose preach, but his friends had grown tired even of those sermons and they had gone south to Rome.  Augustine stayed on, deeply dissatisfied with his life. He had lived with a woman, and had gratified every desire of the sinful nature even though he had grown up in a Christian home. He didn’t know God.  Yet, in the mercy in God, he had a praying mother Monica, and the Lord had placed him under faithful preaching. Ambrose had been expounding the book of Genesis and Augustine was out in a garden thinking and mediating but getting nowhere. Beside him on a bench where he was praying, there was a copy of the New Testament. He wasn’t able to keep his interest in the passages that he was reading, so he threw himself on the ground next to the bench in the grass and he began to cry. Then something very strange happened, he could hear the voices of children somewhere over the courtyard wall.  He never could say if it were the voices of little boys or girls, but over and over they were repeating the Latin phrase, “Tolle, lege; tolle, lege”, take up and read, take up and read. Maybe they were skipping to that rhythm. Augustine picked up the New Testament; he opened the scroll at random and these were the words he read from the epistle to the Romans, our very text, reading these words: “not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”  His life was changed at that moment. He had been dominated by the flesh, and he was in despair. Is this all there is? Then the word leaped from the page, as it was used by the sword of the Spirit. This word drove him to Christ to seek his mercy and relief from the domination of sin and the expectation of damnation. That is the grace of God that Augustine found in that Milan garden. Peter Dennett found it in an English prison, and you may find it too if you’re under the domination of sin. God’s grace can enable you.

Clothing yourselves with Christ each day doesn’t mean wearing him as a hair-shirt or as some high clerical collar that sticks into your chin and rubs a line in your skin. Putting on Christ is not becoming religious; it is not your being uncomfortable with life; it is not an imposition, or a nuisance, or a burden. It means, for example, putting on Christ as a protection – that is, trusting him, and taking him as the supplier of all your future needs – that is, hoping in him – and dressed in him as your supreme treasure – that is, loving him.

I like the vividness of John Piper’s images; “Clothing yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ means putting him on as the parachute for dropping down behind enemy lines. It means putting him on like a high-impact protective anti-explosive suit when you disarm the bombs of the devil. It means putting him on as the asbestos fire-proof suit when you rescue sinners from the flames of hell. It means putting him on as a bullet proof vest when you confront the pistols of sin and unbelief. Putting 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 putting 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. Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ means trusting him, hoping in him, and cherishing him above everyone and everything else.” So the night is nearly over; the day is almost here. You must get rid of the pajamas of sin – let us not sleep as do others – and get ready for battle by putting on the armour of light. That is putting on faith in Jesus and hope in Jesus and love for Jesus. That is what it means to be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ.

How do you do it? We could answer this question simply from the nature of faith and hope and love themselves. Faith comes from hearing, so clothe yourselves with Christ by listening to the word of God about Christ. Hope comes from promises, so clothe yourselves with Christ by remembering the promises Jesus made. Love comes by the loveliness of Christ, so clothe yourselves with Christ by calling to mind his beauty.

Then there is the necessary negative; “Do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (v.14). Don’t dwell on how you can get sinful gratification. Don’t get eaten up by revenge. Don’t work yourself up about how you can humiliate or shame someone. Don’t hatch plots to bring disaster into anyone’s life. Of course, we all know how this works—male and female, young and old. We know that by thinking certain thoughts we can awaken certain sinful desires just like those he has mentioned in verse 13. Paul says, “Don’t think about how you gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” There is no point that I could make clearer on a Sunday in church, because you know that here we see things clearer, and we nod our heads. It is essential that our minds aren’t eaten up by such base things, but those convictions are not just for the congregation on Sundays, but at every other time, “Don’t think about how to gratify those sinful desires.” When you are bored, or lonely, or tired, or discouraged, or feeling hopeless, don’t fantasize about the relief you’d get from nicotine or alcohol or drugs. They simply put you to sleep; they stir up the sleepwalking that Paul calls the deeds of darkness. Lay them aside. What schoolteacher would go off to his school in the morning dressed in his pajamas? What Prime Minister would turn up at Question Time in the House of Commons and stand at the dispatch box in his night attire? That would be as disastrous as thinking about gratifying the desires of the sinful nature.

John Piper addresses frustrated housewives or wor
king mums, if you are “married to a man who never learned affection, never learned tenderness, never learned how to simply talk about what matters to you, don’t daydream about romantic Mr. Perfect. Don’t think about how to gratify those desires. Frustrated husband or single man, who wonders why there is no woman to embrace, or why the woman you have doesn’t want to embrace, don’t let illicit thoughts into your mind. Don’t put them there with your fantasy and don’t do it with your computer. 12% of all websites are pornographic. 25% of all search engine requests are related to pornography. Don’t be conformed to this darkness. The night is nearly over. The day is almost here. Put on the armour of light. Behave decently. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t let thoughts into your mind that waken sinful desires.” Don’t plan for sin; don’t give it a welcome; kick it out of your room; it has no place in the Christian life. Don’t give them a foothold.

Clothing yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ is not just the alternative to gratifying the flesh. It is the means we keep from gratifying the flesh. It’s the way we kill those sinful thoughts. It’s the way we keep them from even arising. When you put on the armour of light daily, or hourly, then you get fresh faith in Christ, hope in Christ and love for Christ—it is hard for the works of darkness to cling to you. They are exited by the light. If your eye is good (if you see Christ as your treasure) your whole body will be full of light.

13th September 2009          GEOFF THOMAS