But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. – Romans 13:14.
What a startling statement! How does a person put on another? We’ll come to that later. Let us first look at a simple example. What happens when someone puts on a dress?
- He is dressed, clothed and his nakedness is covered (hidden)!
- Being dressed decently makes him presentable to others.
- His being shabbily dressed wouldn’t make him very acceptable, would it?
In our example, being decently dressed would make a person presentable and acceptable to others; but first he has to realize that he is naked and needs to be clothed! OR he has to realize that he needs a new and better dress and that what he has on at present doesn’t quite cover his nakedness.
The same is true in the spiritual realm. Man without God is insufficiently covered and even naked.
But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away. – Isaiah 64:6.
By this we understand that our righteousness is like filthy rags in God’s sight! All the efforts we make apart from God are insufficient to please God. So, we need a proper dress, don’t we? A dress prepared by God Himself. A dress He wants us to wear so that He may be pleased with us. A dress prepared before time began. A dress so beautiful, so wonderful that it not only pleases the Maker, but also fills the wearer with joy and affects all those around him. The Bible tells us to “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” [Romans 13:14]. What does this instruction/command mean?
- We are to put on/dress/cover ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.
- We are not to make provision for the flesh to fulfill its lust [desires].
- In other words, we are to be spiritual, Christ-like and not carnal [fleshly].
So, a person has to realize his nakedness (insufficiency) in the flesh or life without God. He has to acknowledge his spiritual depravity and his need for being clothed. He has to desire to be spiritually clothed. He has to “wake up” to his being naked! He has to go to the Dress Maker and tell Him of his need! The Maker is always ready to take away the “filthy rags” and dress up such a penitent one. The divine plan for man’s salvation was drawn up before time began.
When and how does one “put on Christ”? The word of God says it this way in Romans 6:3-12:
“[D]o you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.”
This passage tells us that we identify with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in the watery grave of baptism and that when we rise up from the watery grave, we “should walk in newness of life,” the Christ-like life. We should “reckon” ourselves to be dead to sin, “but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We are not to allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies because if we do, we “obey it in the lusts thereof.” We put on the Christ-like nature at baptism. Yes, to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ “ means to put on His nature and follow His example always. In means to have His mind (1 Corinthians 2:16), to have His attitude (Philippians 2:5-15) and imitate Him (1 Peter 2:21-25).
How does being clothed with Christ affect us?
a. It molds our personality into the likeness of Jesus Christ Himself.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. “(2 Corinthians 5:17). The more we can think like Jesus—the more we will be and act like Him. Would you agree that thinking like Jesus, would help to sweeten some of our dispositions?
b. Putting on Jesus’ nature affects our Priorities.
When we have the mind of Christ, He begins to re-order our life. First things will really become first.
– Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” But the order will be reversed in your life without the mind of Christ.
» Right here is why so many Christians have such distorted priorities and you find Christian men and women:
- Sacrificing their marriages and children on the altar of career success.
- Consumed with personal debt and living in bondage to their lifestyle and creditors.
- Living lives that are busy, but spiritually barren.
» Many, maybe most of us, desperately need the Lord Jesus to re-order our priorities by renewing our minds.
» We have accepted as natural, values, ideals, and thought patterns that are imposed on us by an evil world system, and not the Lord Jesus.
c. Being clothed with the Lord affects our Praying.
– Do you know that we cannot pray effectively without having the mind & Spirit of Christ?
This is exactly why much of our praying is powerless. This is why many of our prayers go unanswered. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” – James 4:3.
- Much of our praying is not praying with the mind of Christ, but it is flesh-driven praying.
- Do you know how you can have every prayer answered exactly as you pray it? Pray with the mind of Christ, under the direction of His Spirit. (Rom.8:26,27).
When you pray with the mind of Christ, you pray:
- With God’s glory as your ultimate desire.
- From an eternal perspective, rather than temporal.
- With spiritual priorities, rather than material.
By the way, this is exactly what it means to pray in Jesus’ name.
- The name of Jesus is not just a super password to get what you want from God.
- Praying in Jesus’ name means praying in accordance with Christ’s character and perfect will.
- Praying in Jesus’ name means praying from a position of unity, love and agreement with Jesus.
- Praying in Jesus’ name means praying with the mind of Christ, as you stand still in a relationship of union, love, and harmony with Jesus Christ.
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” – John 14:13, 14.
Let us be fully clothed with Christ and so be willing wholly to serve the Lord our God, and “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:14). Let us believe in the love and power of God to keep us clothed with Christ day by day, and put “no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3).
Perhaps, being outside of Christ, you have realized your spiritual nakedness. Then you need to come to the Lord Jesus Christ, believe in His cleansing, healing power, repent of your sins, confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and be baptized [Greek: baptizo=immerse] in water for the forgiveness of sin and rise up to walk in the new Christ-like life. You will be glad to do so. Your burden will fall away; your guilt gone. God will make you His child and add you to His family, the church of Christ. [There is no power in the water; the saving power is of God. (Colossians 2:11, 12.) Our willing submission to Jesus Christ and our cry for cleansing help to Him as the Savior is what saves us through His resurrection. (1 Peter 3:21.)]
Perhaps, as a Christian, you have also realized your spiritual nakedness! Perhaps, you do not believe that God will fulfill His word. You do not believe in the possibility of unbroken fellowship with Him, and unlimited partnership. On account of that, you become disobedient, and do not live like a child doing God’s will, because you do not believe that God could give you the victory over sin. Are you willing now to leave that barren life? Sometimes you are, perhaps, enjoying fellowship with God, and sometimes you are separated from Him; sometimes you have nearness to Him, and at other times great distance from Him; sometimes you have a willingness to walk closely with Him, but sometimes there is even unwillingness. Are you now going to give up your whole life to Him? Jesus did. He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will. ” (Mark 14:36). We should be willing to abide in the perfect will of God.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.