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Friday, November 4, 2016

AVOIDING THE DARKNESS

ROMANS 13:13-14 NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
“Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.”
            Paul is speaking of “sins of the flesh and insidious vices”[1] that mark ones involvement in a sinful lifestyle.  While sexual sin is generally a sign of an ungodly lifestyle, quarreling and jealousy was no doubt directed squarely at the church body.  Back biting, strive and divisions are sinful practices that take place in the church with regularity.  Instead of being concerned about everyone else, focus on the Lord and your own spiritual growth.  Although Paul has compared our life in Christ as a race to be run, it is certainly not a competition.  It also isn’t all about ‘us’.  It’s about the Lord, who he is and who we are in him.  With him we have eternal life and infinite value, without him we can do nothing. [2]
            The question that needs to be asked is: “How do we clothe ourselves with the presence of Christ?” Being water baptized is a place to start.  Baptism allows us to identify with our Lord symbolically with his death, burial and resurrection.  It is a public declaration that shows others we have solidarity with Christ.  Another way is it consider what Jesus would say or do in a given situation you may be facing and let the Holy Spirit guide you as you seek to emulate him.  You must also avoid circumstances that open a door to satisfying sinful desires.  Temptation is out there and if we do not use self-control, wisdom and discernment we could have a great fall from grace. 
            Avoid like the plague those things that invite immoral living and dedicate your life to pleasing the Lord in all you think, say and do.  Christianity isn’t boring and God isn’t a killjoy.  He created us, loves us with unconditional love and happens to know what will bring us the deepest contentment and the most lasting fulfillment in this life and the next.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
[1] Commentary note from The Reformation Study Bible.      

[2] John 15:5 New Living Translation “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

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