Romans 13:13-14 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
click chart from Charles Swindoll

Source: Dr David Cooper
Click to Enlarge
Romans 1:18-3:20 Romans 3:21-5:21 Romans 6:1-8:39 Romans 9:1-11:36 Romans 12:1-16:27
God's Holiness
God's Grace
God's Power
God's Sovereignty
Jew and Gentile
Gods Glory
Object of
of Sin
of Grace
Demonstration of Salvation
Power Given Promises Fulfilled Paths Pursued
Restored to Israel
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
Slaves to Sin Slaves to God Slaves Serving God
Doctrine Duty
Life by Faith Service by Faith

Modified from Irving L. Jensen's chart above

R      Ruin  (Romans 1:17 – 3:20) – The utter sinfulness of humanity
O      Offer  (Romans 3:21-31) – God’s offer of justification by grace
M     Model  (Romans 4:1-25) – Abraham as a model for saving faith
A      Access  (Romans 5:1-11) – The benefits of justification
N      New Adam (Romans 5:12-21) – We are children of two “Adams”
S      Struggle w/ Sin  (Romans 6:1-8:39) Struggle, sanctification, and victory

Romans 13:13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: os en hemera euschemonos peripatesomen, (1PAAS) me komois kai methais, me koitais kai aselgeiais, me eridi kai zelo;

Amplified: Let us live and conduct ourselves honorably and becomingly as in the [open light of] day, not in reveling (carousing) and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery (sensuality and licentiousness), not in quarreling and jealousy. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

GWT: "We should live decently, as people who live in the light of day. Wild parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, promiscuity, rivalry, and jealousy cannot be part of our lives."

NLT: "We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behavior. Don't participate in wild parties and getting drunk" (NLT - Tyndale House)

NIV: "Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy." (NIV - IBS)

Phillips: "Let us live cleanly, as in the daylight, not in the "delights" of getting drunk or playing with sex, nor yet in quarrelling or jealousies." (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: In the same manner as in the day let us order our behavior in a seemly fashion, not in carousals and drunkenness, not in sexual intercourse and a dissolute abandon, not in strife and jealousy.

LET US BEHAVE PROPERLY AS IN THE DAY: os en hemera euschemonos peripatesomen (1PAAS):

Let us live and conduct ourselves honorably and becomingly as in the [open light of] day… (Amplified)

Let us walk in loveliness of life, as those who walk in the day, and let us not walk in revelry or drunkenness, in immorality and in shamelessness, in contention and in strife. (Daily Study Bible Series,)

Let us - Notice how Paul includes himself in this exhortation, which should encourage all of us to keep on fighting the good fight of faith for the glory of His Name.

Behave properly - This speaks of our conduct, our day to day life, our lifestyle, what we choose to look at, to listen to, to say, to think -- all these are bound up in what it means to behave properly.

Behave (4043) (peripateo [word study] from peri = about, around + pateo = walk, tread) is literally to go here and there in walking, to tread all around and most commonly in the NT is used figuratively meaning to conduct one's life, to order one's behavior, to behave, to make one's way, to make due use of opportunities, to live or pass one’s life (with a connotation of spending some time in a place). Peripateo then refers to one's manner of life, one's habitual way or bent of life or one's life-style. Paul often uses the metaphor of walking for the steady if unspectacular progress that should characterize the Christian.

Remember that the purpose of all knowledge (eg, all the great truth in Romans 1-11) is conduct (cp Application). A Christian’s walk is a Christian’s life and should reflect a Christian's character, which is the new life now possible because Christ is our life (Col 3:4-note) and His Spirit is within us to enable us to live properly (Ro 8:9-note, Ro 8:13-note), in a manner which pleases our Father (2Co 5:9-note), a manner that brings glory to His Name (Mt 5:16-note). What is (or better "Who is") present on the inside should show forth on the outside (cp 2Co 2:14, 15, 16). Talk is cheap, but the walk is costly (death to self, denial of self, etc Mk 8:34, Gal 2:20-note). Our walk and our talk should be twins moving along on the same trail.


D. L. Moody said it this way "Every Bible should be bound in shoe-leather."

J Vernon McGee adds a practical comment on a believer's walk noting that…

Walking is not a balloon ascension. A great many people think the Christian life is some great, overwhelming experience and you take off like a rocket going out into space. That’s not where you live the Christian life. Rather, it is in your home, in your office, in the schoolroom, on the street. The way you get around in this life is to walk. You are to walk in Christ (Ed: in His power, by His Spirit - Gal 5:16-note). God grant that you and I might be joined to Him in our daily walk. (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

Comment: Because of the New Covenant in His Blood, believers are positionally, eternally "joined to Him", in perfect oneness and complete identification (cp Oneness of Covenant; Oneness Notes; Covenant-Exchanging Robes > Identification). What Dr McGee is saying is that what is now true of believers positionally, needs to be acted on volitionally [this speaks of our moment to moment choices for either self or Savior] and become the genuine [supernatural] experience of our lives. Beloved, if you say you can't live this supernatural life, then that is not a bad thing but a good thing, for God never said YOU [in our natural strength] could live this new life, but He can and He always said He would! Learning to lean on Him, letting Him live His life through us is "Sanctification 101", a class from which none us will ever graduate and none of us will achieve perfection in this life! So don't let periodic, even frequent failures frustrate you and cause you to give up. Think about an infant who is learning to walk. They stumble and fall and cry and hurt themselves, but they keep learning. It is not that different for believers, for all of us are in the process of learning how to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh. As I like to tell my students - Stop "trying"! Start dying! (SEE CAVEAT BELOW) God will give us plenty of opportunities [tests, afflictions, etc] to learn to walk in His strength, not ours. Is this a difficult truth to explain and/or to grasp and/or to live out in practice? Yes indeed. But is how we are to behave properly as in the day. So don't give up learning and practicing this great truth. It's too soon to quit!

CAVEAT - "Stop trying, start dying" DOES NOT mean that we are to "Let God and Let God" which is a false teaching (probably originating from the Keswick Movement)! It sounds good, but is not Biblical! The phrase "stop trying" means stop trying to live the supernatural life in your natural strength, but in dependence on the Spirit. So does this signify you will do nothing? Does this signify you are a "passive participant" in your progressive sanctification? Of course not! Paul was very clear that while believers are totally dependent on the Spirit of Christ to live a supernatural life, we are also totally responsible to work out our salvation -- "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out (command in the present imperative - but even obeying this necessitates the Spirit's enablement described in the next verse) your salvation with fear and trembling; 13  for (strategic "term of explanation") it is God who is at work in you, both to will (desire) and to work *power) for His good pleasure. (Php 2:12+, Php 2:13NLT+).

Ray Stedman explains that learning to walk spiritually/supernaturally is similar to learning how to walk naturally "because a walk merely consists of two simple steps, repeated over and over again. It is not a complicated thing. In the same way, the Christian life is a matter of taking two steps, one step after another. Then you are beginning to walk. Those two steps follow in this passage (Ed: Commenting on Colossians 3). Paul describes them as, "Put off the old man" (see Col 3:5-10-note) and "put on the new." (see specific attitudes and actions we are to put on in Col 3:12-4:6-notes) Then repeat them. That is all. Keep walking through every day like that. That is how Scripture exhorts us to live. (True Human Potential)

The KJV Bible Commentary has a sobering comment writing that "Those who have received the light, must walk in the light. The manner of life which spawns riotous living, drunken bouts, sexual orgies, and all forms of wanton revelry cannot be that of those who walk honestly or honorably. When a person claims to be a Christian, if he cannot change his life-style (Ed: A word of caution - don't try to "change" by keeping the law but by learning to depend on the Spirit Who gives us both the will or want to and the power to be pleasing to God - Php 2:13), he had better change his name (Ed: In other words Dobson, et al, are implying that this individual is not truly a Christian, not genuinely born again, not regenerated by the Spirit, not a new creature in Christ - cp 2Co 5:17-note. This individual may profess to be a Christian or a believer, but they have never experienced a changed lifestyle - their lifestyle is the same as it was before they made the profession! This is a dangerous, deceptive mindset. May we all be willing to honestly examine our lifestyles for evidence that Christ is in us - see 2Co 13:5-note). (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson)

Frederic Godet writes that "Christian holiness is represented here as the highest decency (euschemonos, decently), to be compared with that full attitude of dignity which the rising of the sun enjoins on the man who respects himself. Worldly conduct resembles, on the contrary, those indecencies to which men dare not give themselves up except by burying them in the shades of night. Such a mode of acting is therefore incompatible with the situation of a man who is already enlightened by the first rays of the great day. (Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans)

Wayne Barber - Paul says we are to "behave properly as in the day." The word "behave" is the word peripateo… walk circumspectly. That is why it is called "behavior" because it is in every step you take, every place you go and everything that you do… The word "properly" means that which befits your character. In other words, you behave so that your character is seen, demonstrating by your conduct what you are as a believer. It is not just on Sunday and Wednesday, folks. It is on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It is living where you are so that your behavior is proper. It fits what God has done in your life. If you have put on Christ, then there should be a behavior that is different than before Christ came into your life… You may go to lunch after church on Sunday. A lot of times you will go into one of these restaurants and order beans. They will serve you peas and they are cold. I want to tell you something. The way you respond to that waitress has a lot of say about which garment you are wearing. It has a lot to say whether you have made provision for the Spirit or you have made provision for the flesh. I have talked to some waitresses who have told me that I would not believe the way people act in those restaurants on Sundays after already having been to church. Do you know what I say back to them? "Well, they are just sound asleep. They are in a dream world. They don’t even understand what this thing is all about. They get up on Sundays because it is the thing to do. They go to church and then they are gone. They have no concept of the urgency of the hour, the seriousness of the commitment and the fact that they are to live in a manner properly, behave properly to that which befits the character." (Romans 13:11-14)

Properly (2156) (euschemonos from eu = good + schema = appearance) is an adjective which means pertaining to being proper in behavior. Becomingly, respectably, in a becoming manner, decently, with propriety. The idea is that which is proper with the implication of that which is pleasing. Synonymous ideas include decorously (marked by propriety and good taste), honestly and orderly, in a seemly manner.

Euschemonos - 3x in the NT (No uses in Lxx) - Ro 13:13 1Co 14:40 1Th 4:12-note

To behave properly ("behave decently" NIV, "walk honorably") is to live in a way that pleases God. How do we behave properly? Such a God pleasing conduct begins back in (Ro 12:1-note) with a "holistic" (all of one's self) presentation of one's self, followed by and manifests by an transformation or spiritual metamorphosis as it were (Ro 12:2-note), as evidenced by one's outward behavior in conformity with the practical exhortations found in Romans 12:3-note through Romans 13:9-note. And remember, when we speak behave properly, we are speaking of the general tenor and direction of one's life, not perfection; i.e., behave properly does not mean we will "behave perfectly." This caveat is not meant to give us an "out" or an excuse to behave licentiously, but is simply to keep us from utter frustration in those times when we do have ethical/moral failure. Remember the only Man to behave properly with perfection was the Man Christ Jesus.

R C H Lenski cautions that "this decorous conduct of the Christians is to be utterly sincere and not like that of worldly men who act respectably when they are seen but damnably when they think no one sees or will find out. (Lenski New Testament Commentary– The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans)

As an aside, in a sense the natural anti-God, selfish, self-focused behavior Paul delineated in Romans 1 (cp Ro 1:29, 30-note) is now supernaturally reversed in Romans 12-13 wherein Paul instructs "Light people" how to no longer live as "night people!"


Wuest elaborates on euschemonos that writing that - The idea of honesty (as translated by the KJV - cp Ro 13:13KJV) is seen in the fact that Paul is exhorting the saints to give an honest impression of themselves to the world. They should conduct themselves in a manner befitting their high station in life, as saints of the Most High God. Their outward expression should conform to their inner regenerated being. Be what you are! 

As in the day - Just as people walk and act during the day when everyone can see their actions. This is in contrast to those who walk in the dark, where no one sees their actions and thus they feel no restraints. In Jn 3:19, 20+ Jesus emphasized that those who perform evil deeds like the cover of darkness (and hate the exposure of light), whereas those who perform good deeds willingly come into the full light of day. Paul's point is that although believers are still living in the "night" of this present evil age, they should choose not to walk as "night walkers", but as "day walkers", those who walk as if their actions were in full light and subject to full disclosure, so to speak.

Dear Christian friend, we belong to Christ, not to the powers of darkness! As believers we are LIGHT PEOPLE, "all sons of light and sons of day… not of night nor of darkness" (1Th 5:5-note), and thus should behave accordingly, not imitating the NIGHT PEOPLE, those who do not know God or Christ and are only doing "what comes naturally" when they behave improperly.

As mentioned in previous discussions, Paul piles up time phrases in Romans 13:11-12 (the time… already the hour… now salvation is nearer… then when…the night is almost gone…and the day is at hand) which should motivate us to seek to behave properly as in the day and not in the night.

By way of application: Where have you walked today… this past week… in the light or in the darkness? If you have had what I call "darkness detours", you need to humble yourself and confess and repent and walk forth in newness of life in increasing dependence upon and surrender to God's empowering Spirit and His transforming grace.

William Newell - Men choose the night for their revels (wild parties, clamorous celebrations); but our night is past, for we are all "children of the light and of the day" (1Th 5:5-note). Let us therefore do only what is fit for the light and for the day. We belong to that "day" which our Lord's coming will usher in, and that shortly! Therefore, let us walk as those already in the daylight of that day! Not in riotings and drunkennesses-Nocturnal revels such as characterized the Roman Empire of Paul's day, and the myriad drunkennesses of modern "night parties" are in view here. How needful the warning to keep clear of these things in this hour when the time of "the iniquity of the end" (Ezekiel 21:25,29) is drawing nigh! Young people, rushing on to damnation, with "dates" beginning at 10 or 11 or even midnight, and ending perhaps at dawn, know well what "revellings and drunkennesses" are. Let the saints in horror shun them! (Romans: Verse by Verse)

Paul now presents three "negative" couplets, which give the implication that one sin leads to another and that committing sin does not bring rest to the spirit but rather dissatisfaction that betrays itself by finding fault with others, as though they are responsible (most alcoholics will end up blaming everyone -- especially those nearest them -- but never themselves!) The unsaved sinner tries hard to find a scapegoat and tragically modern psychology aids his quest for a "phantom demon" by entertaining numerous "root" causes for the problem (except for the real root cause, the sin virus we all inherited from Adam! Ro 5:12-note)

John MacArthur - The Christian who is not living a holy and obedient life is a Christian who does not comprehend the significance of the Lord’s return. On the other hand, the believer who understands the coming judgment and is daily looking for His Lord to appear is a believer whose overriding purpose is to please and honor His Lord by consistent holy living. (Ed: In other words, what one is looking for, radically impacts what he or she is living for! Are you eagerly anticipating the return of your Bridegroom at any moment?) (MacArthur, J: Romans 9-16. Moody)

Steven Cole - THE WORLD IS CHARACTERIZED BY THE DEEDS OF DARKNESS. Have you ever tried to walk in the dark? Maybe it was in the middle of the night and you got up to get something in the kitchen. You didn’t want to be startled awake by the light, so you were groping your way along when suddenly your shin whacked against a child’s chair that was not where it was supposed to be. Ouch! The Bible often describes this sinful world and those who live in it as darkness. Satan and his evil forces are described as “the world forces of this darkness” (Eph. 6:12). His territory is the “domain of darkness” (Col. 1:13). Unbelievers are “darkened in their understanding” (Eph. 4:18) because the god of this world has blinded them (2 Cor. 4:4). Jesus said that men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil (John 3:19+). He is the Light of the world. If we follow Him, we “will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12; see, also John 12:35). In contrasting believers with unbelievers, Paul asks rhetorically (2 Cor. 6:14-15), “What fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” Peter draws the contrast by saying that God has called us “out of darkness and into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). It is crucial to keep this in mind, because the world always sells itself as enlightened, bright, and progressive, whereas it portrays Christians as being in the dark. According to the world, if you believe in moral absolutes, you’re from the dark ages! Every educated person knows that moral standards vary from culture to culture. It’s ignorant and arrogant to claim that your culture’s standards are the only right ones. Or the world can’t believe that any thinking person would believe in judgment and hell. How could a God of love judge good people who try to do their best? If you believe that an ancient book about Hebrew religious customs and beliefs has any relevance for these enlightened times in which we live, you need to get an education! So the world thinks. But the Bible declares just the opposite. The world is in utter darkness concerning God. It does not know Him as He has revealed Himself in His Word (John 17:25). It is also in the dark concerning man. It assumes that men are basically good, whereas the Bible tells us that there are none righteous or good (Rom. 3:10-17). The world is in the dark concerning our purpose for living. It thinks that the goal in life is to collect all the money and stuff that you can so that you’ll be happy. But Jesus says that even when one has an abundance, his life does not consist of his possessions. He says that the person who stores up treasures on earth, but is not rich toward God, is a fool (Luke 12:15, 21). The world is also in darkness concerning death and eternity. It thinks that death will usher us into a peaceful place and that almost all people will go there. But as Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out (Romans: Life in Two Kingdoms [Banner of Truth], p. 237), “The world would not go on living as it does for a second if it knew something about the judgment to come.” Paul spells out the world’s deeds of darkness with three couplets of sinful behavior. These are not comprehensive, but representative. Also, the fact that he commands Christians to lay aside these deeds of darkness shows that we are not immune from doing them. As believers, we must be on guard so that we are not enticed by these sins. (Your Present Walk and the Coming Day)

NOT IN CAROUSING (KJV "rioting") AND DRUNKENNESS: me komois kai methais:

Although there is no adversative conjunction such as "but", note that Paul is clearly contrasting the way of life of a believer (LIGHT PEOPLE, DAY WALKERS) with the way of life that is perfectly acceptable and even expected by the unregenerate (NIGHT PEOPLE, NIGHT WALKERS). He conveys this contrast with a series of negatives arranged in three pairs, such that the members of each pair signify somewhat similar qualities.

As Lenski reasons "Three pairs of negative datives of manner throw the positive adverb "decorously" ("properly" NAS) into bold relief. The darker the background, the sharper the white image set against, it.

Wayne Barber discusses what it looks like to not behave properly "All of the phrases that Paul mentions here are just symptoms of a person being out of control. They are symptoms of a person who has made provision for his flesh. If these are in your life, it is very obvious you don’t understand Ro 12:1-note, Ro 12:2-note. No wonder! You haven’t figured out yet the message of grace. Grace is God’s (supernatural power) enabling you to do what He commands you to do. The key is that when you must learn to surrender to Him, then Christ takes over. Then it is His life in you which is now living through you and the garment of the lifestyle (Ed: Garment ~ what others see in your words, actions, attitudes) is that which is produced by His Spirit. This is not something you can do yourself. You must learn to not make provision for your flesh, but make provision for Him (Ro 13:14).

Leon Morris observes that…

All six of these vices stem from self-will; they are all the outreach of a determined selfishness that seeks only one’s own pleasure. As Barrett puts it,

All these practices constitute a failure in love, which ‘works no harm to the neighbor’ (Ro 13:10-note).

It is not without its interest that Paul is writing these words to

all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints” (Ro 1:7-note).

We should not think that first-century Christians came from the most upright and honorable sections of society (see 1Co 6:9, 10, 11 with its phrase “that is what some of you were”). Rather, the Gospel took and transformed many who were the dregs of society. Paul is mindful of this and warns against relapse. (Morris, L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)

Carousing (2970) (komos) originally referred to a band of friends who accompanied a victor in a military engagement or athletic contest on his way home, singing with rejoicing and praises to the victor. But the word "degenerated:" until it came to mean "carousal" or a noisy, nocturnal and riotous procession of half drunken revelers and frolicsome fellows who after supper paraded through the streets at night with torches and music in honor of Bacchus or some other deity, singing and playing before houses of male and female friends (and causing a major public disturbance). Hence komos generally refers to feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry.

Vine - "a revel, carousal," the concomitant and consequence of drunkenness, is used in the plural, Romans 13:13 (Revel, Reveling - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words)

F F Bruce - W. M. Ramsay (Galatians, 453) reminds us that among the Greeks ‘Komos, the Revel, was made a god, and his rites were carried on quite systematically, and yet with all the ingenuity and inventiveness of the Greek mind, which lent perpetual novelty and variety to the reveling. The Komos was the most striking feature in Greek social life.’ (Bruce, F. F. The Epistle to the Galatians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. 1982)

Komos - 3x in the NAS (not in Septuagint - Lxx) - Translated carousing all three times by the NAS. KJV translates - reveling, 2; rioting, 1.

Gal 5:21+ Envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn (warn you in advance - specifically before you die and have no opportunity to repent and believe in Christ) you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice (present tense = habitually, as their lifestyle, not referring to occasional backsliding that can occur in the life of any true believer, albeit it is never a commendable or desirable state) such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (i.e., they are not regenerated or born again by the Spirit! cp Jn 3:3+ where Jesus clearly links the new birth with entree into the Kingdom of God/Heaven)

1Pe 4:3+ For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.

Barclay writes that komos "describes the kind of revelry which lowers a man’s self and is a nuisance to others… A komos was a band of friends who accompanied a victor of the games after his victory. They danced and laughed and sang his praises. It also described the bands of the devotees of Bacchus, god of wine. It describes what in regency England would have been called a rout. It means unrestrained revelry, enjoyment that has degenerated into license. (Daily Study Bible)

Steven Cole - First, the deeds of darkness consist in carousing and drunkenness. The Greek word translated “carousing” was used generally of “feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry” (Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament [Harper and Brothers, 1887], p. 367). Many first century believers came out of backgrounds where they had “pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries” (1 Pet. 4:3). Paul lists drunkenness and carousing as deeds of the flesh (Gal. 5:21). But such things are not appropriate for believers. I’ve always had trouble understanding why people go to wild parties and get drunk. To me such parties are superficial and stupid. But venturing a guess, it helps them, at least for an evening, forget about their troubles. From hearing them brag about how wasted they got, it must give them some sense of being cool, at least with their fellow drunks. And, it often lowers inhibitions and leads to sexual encounters, which appeal to those who do not have satisfying marital relationships. But I’ve known a few who claim to be believers, but they still go out partying and drinking. But these are deeds of darkness, not fitting for children of light. (Your Present Walk and the Coming Day)

Trench's differentiation of the words methe (3178) Drunkenness, potos (4224) Drunking Party, oinophlygia (3632) Excess of Wine, kraipale (2897), komos  (2970) Revelry

Methe, potos, oinophlygia, komos, and kraipale refer from different perspectives to riotousness and excessive drinking of wine.

Methe (Luke 21:34; Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21) and potos (only in 1 Peter 4:3) may be distinguished as an abstract and a concrete. Methe means "drunkenness" ( Joel 1:5; Ezekiel 39:19); potos refers to a drinking bout, a banquet, or a symposium. Potos does not necessarily imply excessiveness, though it does provide an opportunity for excess.

Oinophlygia, which is translated as "excess of wine" in the Authorized Version, occurs in the New Testament only in 1 Peter 4:3 and never in the Septuagint, though oinophlygein is used in Deuteronomy 21:20 and Isaiah 56:12. Because oinophlygia refers to something worse than methe,Philo listed it among the "extreme lusts." Strictly speaking, oinophlygia means "insatiate desire for wine" or "insatiate desire." Commonly, however, oinophlygia is used to refer to a debauch, to an extravagant indulgence in alcoholic beverages that may permanently damage the body. According to Arrian, this type of fatal orgy was responsible for the death of Alexander the Great.

Komos is found only in the plural in the New Testament, where it is translated in the Authorized Version once as "rioting" (Ro 13:13) and twice as "revelings" (Gal 5:21; 1 Pe 4:3). Komos unites the concepts of rioting and revelry. At the same time, komos often refers to the company of revelers themselves to a festive company that is not necessarily riotous and drunken. Generally, however, komos refers to excess and is applied in a special sense to troops of drunken revelers who at the end of their revels, with garlands on their heads, with torches in their hands, and with shouting and singing pass to the harlots' houses or wander through the streets insulting everyone they meet. In the indignant words of Milton: "When night darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons of Belial, flown with insolence and wine. " Plutarch characterized the mad drunken march of Alexander and his army through Carmania on their return from their Indian expedition as a komos.

Kraipale is another word whose derivation remains obscure. In the New Testament it occurs only in Luke 21:34, where it is translated as "surfeiting," "carousing," or "dissipation." It does not occur in the Septuagint, though the verb kraipalao is used three times ( Psalm 78:65; Isaiah 24:20; Isaiah 29:9). The early sense of the English word fulsomeness would express kraipale very well, though fulsomeness refers to the disgust and loathing that arise from eating too much meat and drinking too much wine, while kraipale refers only to the latter.

Drunkenness (3178) (methe) (ISBE entry) is the Greek word most often was used of intentional and habitual intoxication. It is worth noting that in two of the three NT uses (Gal 5:21-note; 1Pe 4:3-notes) carousing and drunkenness are found side-by-side, which is not surprising to see one sin begat another.

Jesus used methe warning believers to "Be on guard (present imperative = command emphasizing the continual need to be on guard), that your hearts may not be weighted down (pressed down as if with a weight -- depressed, burdened = a mind that loses its alertness) with dissipation (unbridled indulgence in a drinking party) and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day (of Christ's return - which will come unexpectedly and therefore demands one to be watchful! Some would equate this "day" with the "rapture") come on you suddenly like a trap." (Luke 21:34)

Methe is used 3 times in the NAS (Luke 21:34; Ro 13:13; Gal 5:21) and 13 times (Pr 20:1; 31:6; Isa 28:7; Jer 51:57; Ezek 23:33; 39:19; Joel 1:5; Hag 1:6) in the Septuagint - LXX.

In the ancient world drunkenness was not a common vice. The Greeks drank more wine than they did milk and even children drank wine because the water supply was inadequate and dangerous. Breakfast even consisted of a slice of bread dipped in wine. But they drank wine in the proportion of three parts of water to one to two of wine. Anything as strong as a 1:1 ratio was called “strong wine.” Greeks and Christians alike condemned drunkenness as a thing which turned a man into a beast. The Jews had an especially keen sense of the evil of drunkenness, knowing that it disabled that very part of a man that was created most in the image of God.

The TDNT has this note on the word group (methe, methuo, methusko = to get drunk) - "In 1Thes 5:6 (note) Paul warns believers, as those who belong to the new aeon, to be vigilant and sober; drunkenness belongs to the night. In the parable in Mt 24:45ff. the bad steward, not living in eschatological tension, gives way to selfishness and hedonism, drinking with the drunkards. In 1Cor 11:21 the Corinthians disrupt the fellowship of the Lord's Supper; some are hungry while the wealthy are drunk. Unlike the feasts of Dionysus, the Lord's Supper is no place for intoxication. Intoxication is the direct opposite of spiritual drink. Thus Peter in Acts 2:15 resists strongly the accusation of drunkenness, and Paul in Eph 5:18 (note) contrasts orgiastic enthusiasm with the infilling of the Spirit that comes to expression in praise, thanksgiving, and love (vv. 19ff.). (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)

William Newell - And the next things of the text follow these, as they have always followed them: Not in chamberings and wantonness- The word translated "chamberings" occurs three other times: Lu 11:7, Ro 9:10-note, Heb 13:4-note. Its being in the plural number here, and associated with the word generally rendered "lasciviousness, " suggests its horrid meaning. Schaff and Riddle well say: "Various forms of secret vice are here indicated by the plural. These sins are closely connected with the preceding (revellings and drunkennesses), often caused by them. The word translated 'wantonness' points to an abandoned sensuality." David said: "The floods of ungodliness (Heb. Belial) made me afraid" (Ps 18:4). So earth's steadily increasing tide of Noah's-day wickedness would terrify us, did we not know that the Lord is coming, to deliver His saints and to judge this very wickedness! (Romans: Verse by Verse)

NOT IN SEXUAL PROMISCUITY and SENSUALITY: me koitais kai aselgeiais:

These two sins, sexual promiscuity and sensuality, are closely associated.

Lenski - In the old days of paganism these abominations accompanied many celebrations at temples, and Paul wrote 1Cor 6:15, 16, 17, 18, 19 20. Those who have visited the excavated ruins of Pompeii will know what is to be seen there in the way of brothels. The pagan world stank with vice, and does the modern world stink less?

Sexual promiscuity (2845) (koite) literally refers to a place for lying down and rest and thus refers to a bed or bedroom. Koite was used also of the den of an animal or the nest of a bird as well as of a box or basket.

In certain contexts it was used to refer to the marriage bed and conveyed the same idea of our English phrase "going to bed" does today. Koite is also described illicit sexual promiscuity, as in this present verse.

Barclay writes that koite "literally means a bed and has in it the meaning of the desire for the forbidden bed. This was the typical heathen sin. The word brings to mind the man who sets no value on fidelity and who takes his pleasure when and where he will. (Daily Study Bible)

Luke uses koite literally writing "and from inside he shall answer and say, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.' (Luke 11:7)

Koite is used of the honored marriage bed, the writer of Hebrews exhorting the readers to "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed (koite) be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge." (Heb 13:4-note)

Earlier Paul used koite to describe legitimate conception "And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac (Ro 9:10-note)

Comment: Here koite occurs in the expression koiten echousa, (literally = bed having) and is a euphemism for coitus, and, by expansion, conception and pregnancy.

Koite - 4x in NAS - Lk 11:7; Ro 9:10, Ro 13:13; Heb 13:4. NAS = bed, 2; conceived, 1; sexual promiscuity, 1.

Koite is found some 81 times in the Septuagint - LXX

Ge 49:4; Ex 10:23; 21:18; Lev 15:4, 5, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24, 26, 32; 18:20, 22, 23; 19:20; 20:13; 22:4; Nu 5:13, 20; 31:17-18, 35; Judges 21:11,12; 2Sa 4:5, 11; 11:2, 13; 13:5; 17:28; 1 Ki 1:47; 1 Chr 5:1; Est 4:17; Job 7:13; 33:15, 19; 36:28; 37:8; 38:40; Ps 4:4; 36:4; 41:3; 149:5; Pr 7:17; Song 3:1; Isaiah 11:8; 17:2; 56:10; 57:7; Jer 10:22; 50:6; Ezek 23:17; Dan 2:28, 29; 4:5, 8, 10, 13; 7:1, 2; Hos 7:14; Mic 2:1, 12

Steven Cole - Second, the deeds of darkness consist in sexual promiscuity and sensuality. The first word refers here to sexual intercourse outside of marriage. The second word means licentiousness and unrestrained lust. It is also a deed of the flesh (Gal. 5:19), characteristic of unbelievers, not of believers (Eph. 4:19-20). God has given the marriage relationship as the proper place for sexual relations. To engage in any sexual activity outside of marriage is to participate in the deeds of darkness (Eph. 5:3-12). Let me remind you that no one who is walking in the light suddenly and without warning falls into sexual immorality. Sexual sin always begins when we toy it in our minds. We relish lustful glances by replaying them in our thoughts. We sneak a peak at pornography, which leads to more frequent and longer looks. Eventually, the temptation to flirt with a tempting woman comes and it sucks us into the fatal act (see Proverbs 7). The key to avoiding it is to judge every sinful thought as quickly as it happens and to make no provision for the lusts of the flesh. Much of our sin can be traced to the fact that we made provision for it by toying with it. (Your Present Walk and the Coming Day)

Sensuality (766) (aselgeia from aselges = licentious <> a = negates next word + selges = continent) originally referred to any excess or lack of restraint but came to convey the idea of shameless excess and the absence of restraint, especially with sexual excess. Thus like koite, aselgeia was used almost exclusively of especially lewd sexual immorality, of uninhibited and unabashed lasciviousness. It refers to the kind of sexual debauchery and abandonment that characterizes much of modern society and that is often flaunted almost as a badge of distinction! Aselgeia refers to uninhibited sexual indulgence without shame and without concern for what others think or how they may be affected (or infected).

The Greeks defined aselgeia as “a disposition of soul that resents all discipline,” as “a spirit that acknowledges no restraints, dares whatsoever its caprice and wanton insolence may suggest.”

Aselgeia -10x in the NAS (not in Septuagint - LXX) - Mark 7:21; Ro 13:13-note; 2Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19-note; Eph 4:19-note; 1Pet 4:3-note; 2Pet 2:2-note, 2Pe 2:7-note, 2Pe 2:18-note; Jude 1:4. NAS = licentiousness, 1; sensual, 1; sensuality, 8. KJV translates it: filthy, 1; lasciviousness, 6; wantonness, 2 (KJV only has 9 uses).

Mattoon - This was the ugliest word in the Greek language. It indicates an absence of restraint, shamelessness, an 'I Don't Care What Others Think' attitude, unbridled lust, sensual dress and behavior, or a parading of perversion."

MacArthur - Aselgeia (sensuality) refers to total licentiousness, the absence of all moral restraint, especially in the area of sexual sins. One commentator says the term relates to “a disposition of the soul incapable of bearing the pain of discipline.” The idea is that of unbridled self–indulgence and undisciplined obscenity… All people initially recognize at least some standard of right and wrong and have a certain sense of shame when they act against that standard. Consequently, they usually try to hide their wrongdoing. They may continually fall back into it but still recognize it as wrong, as something they should not be doing; and conscience will not let them remain comfortable. But as they continue to overrule conscience and train themselves to do evil and to ignore guilt, they eventually reject those standards and determine to live solely by their own desires, thereby revealing an already seared conscience. Having rejected all divine guidelines and protection, they become depraved in mind and give themselves over to sensuality. Such a person cares nothing about what other people think—not to mention about what God thinks—but only about what gratifies the cravings of his own warped mind. (MacArthur, J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press)

Barclay writes that aselgeia "does not solely mean sexual uncleanness; it is sheer wanton insolence. As Basil defined it, “It is that attitude of the soul which has never borne and never will bear the pain of discipline.” It is the insolence that knows no restraint, that has no sense of the decencies of things, that will dare anything that wanton caprice demands, that is careless of public opinion and its own good name so long as it gets what it wants… It has been defined as “readiness for any pleasure.”… The great characteristic of aselgeia is this—the bad man usually tries to hide his sin (they have enough respect for common decency not to wish to be found out); but the man who has aselgeia in his soul does not care how much he shocks public opinion so long as he can gratify his desires… the man who is guilty of aselgeia is that he is lost to decency and to shame… he does not care who sees his sin. It is not that he arrogantly and proudly flaunts it; it is simply that he can publicly do the most shameless things, because he has ceased to care for decency at all… Sin can get such a grip of a man that he is lost to decency and shame. He is like a drug taker who first takes the drug in secret, but comes to a stage when he openly pleads for the drug on which he has become dependent. A man can become such a slave of liquor that he does not care who sees him drunk. A man can let his sexual desires so master him that he does not care who sees him satisfy them… It has been defined as “readiness for any pleasure.”… Jezebel was the classic instance of aselgeia when she built a heathen shrine in Jerusalem the Holy City. Josephus ascribed it to Jezebel when she built a temple to Baal in Jerusalem. The idea is that of a man who is so far gone in desire that he has ceased to care what people say or think… Aselgeia is the insolently selfish spirit, which is lost to honour, and which will take what it wants, where it wants, in shameless disregard of God and man. (Daily Study Bible)

NOT IN STRIFE AND JEALOUSY: me eridi kai zelo:

Strife and jealously - These are closely associated iniquities (1Co 3:3, 2Co 12:20, Gal 5:20-note, Phil 1:15-note, 1Ti 6:4), since the former is often the result of the latter.

Strife (2054) (eris) is translated as strife, persistent contention, bickering, petty disagreement, wrangling. Strife (eris) conveys the picture of a bitter sometimes violent conflict or dissension & emphasizes a struggle for superiority. Strife is characterized by self-indulgence and egoism. It has no place even for simple tolerance, much less for humility or love.

Contention applies to competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy AND thus is manifest by an often perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes. It reflects a spirit of antagonistic competitiveness that fights to have its own way, regardless of cost to itself or of harm to others. It is produced by a deep desire to prevail over others, to gain the highest prestige, prominence, and recognition possible. Wrangle means to dispute angrily or peevishly & so to engage in argument or controversy.

Eris - 12x in the NT - Ro 1:29-note; Ro 13:13-note; 1Co. 1:11; 3:3; 2Co. 12:20; Gal 5:20; Php 1:15-note; 1Ti 6:4; Titus 3:9-note

Jealousy (2205) (zelos from zeo = to be hot, to boil, figuratively to be "fervent" in spirit <> English zeal and zealous). Zelos is most often used in an evil or negative sense, and with the latter context signifies envy, jealousy or anger.

Zelos pictures a particularly strong feeling of resentment and jealousy against someone.

Here are all 16 NT uses (hold pointer over popup) of zelos - Jn 2:17; Acts 5:17; 13:45; Ro 10:2-note; Ro 13:13; 1Co. 3:3; 2Co. 7:7, 11; 9:2; 11:2; 12:20; Gal 5:20-note; Phil 3:6-note; Heb. 10:27-note; James 3:14, 16

Here are the 40 uses of zelos in the non-apocryphal Lxx

Num. 25:11; Deut. 29:20; 2Ki. 19:31; Job 5:2; Ps 69:9; 79:5; 119:139; Pr. 6:34; 27:4; Eccl. 4:4; 9:6; Song 8:6; Isaiah 9:7; 11:13; 26:11; Isaiah 37:32; 42:13; 63:15; Ezek. 5:13; 16:38, 42; Ezek 23:25; 36:6; 38:19; Zeph 1:18; 3:8; Zech 1:14; 8:2

According to Aristotle, zelos grieves, not because another has the good, but that he himself does not have it and seeks to supply the deficiency in himself. However, zelos may degenerate into a jealousy which makes war upon the good it sees in another, thus troubling that good and diminishing it. This is why we find zelos joined together with eris (2054), strife or contention (Ro 13:13; 2 Cor 12:20; Gal 5:20). James twice connects "jealousy" with "selfish ambition" (James 3:14, 16).

Earlier in Romans, Paul spoke of certain unsaved Jews who had an untaught and misdirected "zeal for God" (Ro 10:2-note).

Steven Cole - Third, the deeds of darkness consist in strife and jealousy. These are relational sins that we often shrug off as no big deal. But they are opposed to the second greatest commandment, which is to love others as we love ourselves. Leon Morris observes (The Epistle to the Romans [Eerdmans/Apollos], p. 473), “Both indicate a determination to have one’s own way, a self-willed readiness to quarrel. All six of these vices stem from self-will; they are all the outreach of a determined selfishness that seeks only one’s own pleasure.” (Your Present Walk and the Coming Day)

MacArthur - Strife and jealousy were the two specific fleshly sins that caused the deep, partisan divisions in the church at Corinth (1Cor 3:3). And, except for koiteµ, all of the sins mentioned in Ro 13:13 are specifically listed among the "deeds of the flesh" mentioned by Paul in Gal 5:19-note, Gal 5:20-note, Gal 5:21-note. And the basic evil connoted by koite is covered in that list by "immorality" and "impurity" (Gal 5:19).

These verses in Romans are famous because they are the instrument God used in the conversion of Augustine, (Aurelius Augustinus, 354 - 430), who was living the profligate lifestyle Paul outlines in Ro 13:13.

(Read in his own words [translated] the details of his conversion in The Confessions of Augustine page 203-204 = This record is found in "The Eighth Book" of his Confessions (Here are the contents of the "Eighth Book" = Augustine’s thirty-second year. He consults Simplicianus: from him hears the history of the conversion of Victorinus, and longs to devote himself entirely to God, but is mastered by his old habits; is still further roused by the history of St. Antony, and the conversion of two courtiers; during a severe struggle hears a voice from heaven, opens Scripture, and is converted, with his friend Alypius. His mother’s vision fulfilled.)

In Augustine's Confessions, he described himself as a serious sinner. From age 17 he had indulged in sexual immorality. And although raised in a Christian home, he had rejected Christianity by age 19. For 9 years he taught Manichaeism, a religious syncretistic dualism (originating from Persia in the 3rd century) that believed the ridiculous notion that ascetic practices could release the spirit from matter. In 383AD, at age 29, Augustine moved to Milan to open a school of rhetoric, where he fell under the influence of Ambrose, whose sermons removed his intellectual objections to Christianity.

By 386 all that remained was Augustine's sexual addiction. “Make me chaste,” he would pray, “but not yet.” (Ed comment: Clearly he was making provision for the lusts of his flesh). The “yet” came after a visitor told Augustine and his friend, Alypius, how two men had experienced dramatic conversions by reading the Life of Anthony. The story threw Augustine into turmoil. As he testified in his Confessions, he grieved and sought to break immediately with his besetting sin. Augustine wrote

Because solitude seemed more appropriate for weeping, I stole away from Alypius. He was astonished to see me choked up, so he remained where we had been sitting. I flung myself down under a fig tree and released my tears. Streams gushed from my eyes, an acceptable sacrifice to you, my God. And I poured out my heart to you, saying, “How long? How long? Why not put an end to my uncleanness right now?” Then I heard the voice of a boy or girl coming from a house nearby, chanting repeatedly.

"Take up and read! Take up and read!"
(Tolle et lege. Tolle et lege)

I knew such words were not part of any children's game, nor had I ever heard anything like it. So I interpreted it as a command from heaven to open the book and read the first chapter I should come upon. For I had heard about Anthony who was converted by hearing a gospel reading and taking it as a personal admonition. So I quickly returned to the place where Alypius was sitting and picked up the book of Paul's letters. I opened it and read silently the first paragraph that my eyes fell upon:

Not in orgies or drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh (Ro 13:13,14).

I did not need to read any further. Instantly as the sentence ended, all my gloomy doubt vanished, dispelled by a saving light infused into my heart.

And so it seems the famous Augustine was born from above as he read these verses from Romans. He went on to write the following words to the Lover of his soul…

Too late have I loved You,
O Beauty so ancient and so new,

Too late have I loved You!
You were with me, but I was not with You.

You cried out and pierced my deafness.
You enlightened my blindness.

I tasted You and I am hungry for You.

You touched me,
And I am afire with longing for Your embrace

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: alla endusasthe (2PAMM) ton kurion Iesoun Christon, kai tes sarkos pronoian me poieisthe (2PPMM) eis epithumias.

Amplified: But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Int'l Children's Bible But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. Forget about satisfying your sinful self. (ICB: Nelson)

NLT But let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you, and don't think of ways to indulge your evil desires. (NLT - Tyndale House)

NIV Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ & do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (NIV - IBS)

Phillips Let us be Christ's men from head to foot, and give no chances to the flesh to have its fling. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and stop making provision for the sinful nature with a view to a passionate craving.

BUT PUT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: all endusasthe (2PAMM) ton kurion iesoun christon:

See related resource: Covenant-Exchanging Robes > Identification - Two Become One

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ as a man puts on a garment, and stop living a life in which your first thought is to gratify the desires of Christless human nature. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press)

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t let any thought in your head that would lead to a sinful desire—not just to the gratification of the sinful desire, but even the desire itself. (John Piper's paraphrase)


This is what the world says, but in this verse Paul has a similar thought in the spiritual realm. The Greek picture is to take upon one's self the interests of Christ, entering into His views, being wholly on His side, imitating Him (enabled by His Spirit) in thoughts, words and deeds. This is not possible naturally, but only supernaturally.

But (235) (alla) is an adversative conjunction indicating contrast, difference, or limitation but, however, yet, nevertheless, at least. Paul now introduces the contrary position every believer should assume in order to facilitate a walk worthy of the calling to which we have each been called (eg, "ambassadors of Christ" whom the lost world is watching).

The Lord Jesus Christ --William Newell notes that…

The full title of our Lord Jesus Christ awaken and almost startles us here: Jesus is His personal name (Mt 1:21); as Christ, the anointed One, He does His saving work; as Lord, He is over all things.

The full title was announced by Peter at Pentecost: "God hath made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified." (Acts 2:36) All true believers have put on Christ (Gal 3:27) for He is their life (Col 3:4-note); and the Corinthians were told that-Jesus Christ was in them (2Co 13:5). It is striking that the first use of our Lord's full title is by Peter in Acts 11:17, in connection with the gift of the Holy Spirit in the upper room: "The gift God gave unto us, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ." They had before believed on Jesus, as the Jewish Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God: but evidently when He had ascended into glory, God led them to a surrendering of earthly hopes, and an appropriating of their Lord, in His now exalted and glorified character, as the Lord Jesus Christ, in a phase of faith never know before. It is this Christ Paul commands us to put on-the Lord Jesus Christ! Not as our righteousness are we to "put Him on": for He is Himself the righteousness of all believers. But it is as to our walk and warfare that we put Him on. We are to be panoplied with Christ! (Romans: Verse by Verse)

Put on (1746) (enduo from en = in + dúo = to sink, go in or under, to put on) means to put on as a garment or to cause to get into a garment. Clearly Paul's use is figurative and signifies not that which is merely external but internal, intimate identification with Christ.

All believers are progressively being sanctified by the Spirit, Who empowers us to put off the filthy, dirty flesh clothes and put on the new clothing of Christ Jesus our Lord. (cf. see Eph 4:22-note, Eph 4:23-note; Eph 4:24-note; Col 3:12-note).

There is a sense in which the putting on of Christ has already taken place in our spiritual baptism into Christ, Paul explaining…

For all of you who were baptized (baptizo ~ identified with) into Christ have clothed (enduo - in the aorist tense = past completed action = descriptive of every believer's eternal, immutable position in Christ and identification and oneness with Christ) yourselves with Christ. (Gal 3:27; cp Ro 6:3-note)

Enduo is in the aorist tense, middle voice, imperative mood (aorist imperative). A command in the aorist tense conveys the sense of "Do it now and do it effectively" and can even indicate a sense of urgency (to not do so leaves us vulnerable to the lusts of the flesh!) The middle voice is reflexive which means the subject initiates the action and participates in the results or effects of that actions. The middle voice can be translated "You yourself put Christ on!" In other words God is not going to force us, but by grace through faith He does give us this provision of which we can and should partake if we are to fight the good fight of faith (cp 1Ti 6:12+).

In the present passage Paul is speaking to believers who have already been clothed with Christ and thus in commanding them to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, he is calling for believers to daily put Christ on.

We are to clothe ourselves with Christ. Let this be a complete appropriation of all that He is, which means a total renunciation of all that we are (cp denial of self - Mk 8:34+, Lk 9:23+, cp Him increasing, us decreasing - Jn 3:30+) To deny self means refusing to follow any natural inclination, however innocent, that runs contrary to Christ’s path for us. (It is something far deeper than going without sugar in Lent, as some do.) Yet this is the only path to true spiritual life. The life of a follower (disciple) of Christ is a life of surrender. (Mk 8:35+) This paradox of finding one's life by losing it is open to the test of experience and mature Christians can attest to this truth.

The Lord Jesus Christ - Two little girls were studying a portrait of Queen Victoria. One of the little girls asked, "What is she doing?" The other gazed at the picture and then replied, "Oh, nothing. She's just reigning." May that be said of the Lord in our own lives. Let Him reign in your life and His reign will be a major deterrent against making provision for the lusts of your flesh!

John Wesley writes that in this phrase put on the Lord Jesus Christ "is contained the whole of our salvation. It is a strong and beautiful expression for the most intimate union with Him, and being clothed with all the graces which were in Him. The apostle does not say, "Put on purity and sobriety, peacefulness and benevolence"; but he says all this and a thousand times more at once, in saying, Put on Christ. (Wesley, John: Wesley's Notes)

Easy-To-Read Commentary says that putting on Christ "is more than just following His example; it is the way children grow up to become like their parents. Not only do they follow their example, but they have their genes. When we are in Christ, He enables us to live more and more like Him. (The Easy-to-Read Commentary Series – Romans: Hope of the Nations)

S Lewis Johnson explains that "The apostle's words, of course, were addressed to those who were already believers, for Christ must be in us before He can be on us. The words, "put ye on," are aorist tense and refer to a definite, positive act. And the name used of our Lord here suggests various aspects of His person and work. He is the Lord and all the faculties belong to Him, and He is Jesus, the saver and sanctifier and preserver from sin, and He is Christ, the Messiah, the prophet who teaches, the priest who has offered the offering by which we enter the veil of divine communion, and the king under whose sway is everything. The clothes of the works of darkness are to be put off, and the clothes of the Lord Himself are to be put on, and these are the clothes that really do make the man. The details are spelled out in Colossians 3:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 (see notes Colossians 3:12; 3:13; 3:14; 3:15; 3:16; 3:17). The negative action concludes the chapter. The tense of the verb here is instructive. It is a present middle, and it refers to continual action of not stirring up the remainders of the flesh that abide in all believers (cf. Ro 7:1-Ro 8:39). (Romans 13:1-14 Notes)

To be clothed with Christ conveys the thought that when others look at us (our words, actions, deeds), they see Christ in us the hope of glory (Col 1:27b-note) rather than us. Below are thoughts from a variety of sources on what it means to "put on" Christ.

Edward Mote phrased it this way in the final stanza of his famous hymn, The Solid Rock

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Calvin says the metaphor to "put on" "is commonly used in Scripture with respect to what tends to adorn or to deform man; both of which may be seen in his clothing: for a filthy and torn garment dishonors a man; but what is becoming and clean recommends him… To put on Christ means our being surrounded and protected in every part by the virtue of His Spirit, and thus rendered fit for the performance of every duty of holiness. For the image of God, which is the only ornament of the soul, is thus renewed in us.

F L Godet writes that "To lay aside what belongs to the night of worldly life, is only the first part of the preparation to which we are called by the rising of the great day. Our concern must be, besides, to put on the dispositions which are in keeping with so holy and brilliant a light. What is this new equipment which we must haste to substitute for the old? Paul indicates it in the expression: to put on Jesus Christ. He certainly speaks of Christ here not as our righteousness, but as our sanctification, 1Cor 1:30. The toilet (covering of linen, silk or tapestry spread over a table) of the believer, if one may venture so to speak, in view of the approaching salvation, consists solely in putting on Christ, in appropriating by habitual communion with Him all His sentiments and all His manner of acting. He thus becomes for His redeemed ones Himself the robe for the marriage-feast. The Christian will be unable to stand before Him except in so far as he is “found in Him” (Php 3:9-note). (Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans. Page 450)

Adam Clarke has these interesting insights:

The ancient Jews frequently use the phrase putting on the Shekinah (see Shekinah glory cloud) or Divine majesty, to signify the soul’s being clothed with immortality, and rendered fit for glory. To be clothed with a person is a Greek phrase, signifying to assume the interests of another - to enter into his views, to imitate him, and be wholly on his side (Ed: It is the idea of identification with the other person - see related study on The Oneness of Covenant).

Eusebius in his life of Constantine says the same of his sons, they put on their father - they seemed to enter into his spirit and views, and to imitate him in all things. The mode of speech itself is taken from the custom of stage players: they assumed the name and garments of the person whose character they were to act, and endeavored as closely as possible to imitate him in their spirit, words, and actions." (cf 1Cor 4:16, 11:1, 1Th 1:6-note, He 6:12-note)

Some More Thoughts About What It Means To…

As alluded to above, to put on the Lord Jesus Christ is similar to the command to be continually filled with the Spirit (of Christ) (Eph 5:18-note), walking in His Spirit (Gal 5:16-note; Gal 5:17-note), led by His Spirit (Gal 5:18-note see Ro 8:14-note). Do it every time the Spirit shows (see Ro 8:13-note, Col 3:5-note) you that are tempted to begin to ''put on'' the world's filthy garments… beginning to make provision for the deceitful lusts of your flesh which cry out "go ahead… you'll enjoy it… no one will get hurt… you can always confess it".

You need to act in obedience to the Spirit's voice and in His power. If it is a thought, you need to take it captive (2Co 10:5-note) and replace it with thoughts that are true and honorable and right, etc (see Phil 4:8-note). If it is the image of a woman you need to pluck out your eye and cut off your hand (figuratively but still clearly conveying the seriousness of this matter) (see Mt 5:28-note;Mt 5:29-note; Mt 5:30-note, cp Job 31:1+, Ps 101:3). You need to set your mind on the things above (see Col 3:1-note; Col 3:2-note).

You need to remember that the night is almost over and you will soon see Him face to face at which time you will become like Him (1Jn 2:28+, 1 Jn 3:3+, 2 Co 7:1-note) and will also give an accounting to Him to be recompensed by Him (2Co 5:9, 10, see Ro 14:10-note; Ro 14:11-note; Ro 14:12-note, Acts 10:42+, Rev 22:12-note, 1Co 4:5, Ga 6:7,8+, Ro 2:5+; Ro 2:6-note; Ro 2:7- note; Ro 2:8-note; Ro 2:9-note; Ro 2:10-note, cp just recompense - Isa 3:10,11; Jer 17:9,10, 32:19; Ps 62:12, Re 22:12-note; Mt 16:27 1Pe 1:17-note)

You need to remember that discipline for godliness is profitable for this life and for the life to come (1Ti 4:7-note;1Ti 4:8-note, see 2Pe 1:8-note; 2Pe 1:10-note).

You need to remember that you are not your own but have been bought with a price (His precious blood - 1Peter 1:18-note; 1Pe1:19-note) and for a purpose (to glorify God in your body) (1Cor 6:19, 20, 7:23 cp not your own but you belong to God - Acts 20:28, Titus 2:14-note, Ex 15:16; 19:5,6; Dt 7:6; 14:2; 26:18; 1Pe 2:9-note; Rev 5:9-note).

Hide yourself in the cleft of the Rock… He who takes refuge will be given refuge (Pr 30:5, 6) Compare parallel ideas of the Spirit clothing OT saints for empowerment for service (see Judges 6:34-note cp Jdg 3:10, 13:25, 14:19, 15:14, 1Sa 10:6, 11:6, 16:14, 1Ch 12:18, 2Ch 24:20, Ps 51:11).

Another picture of putting on Christ is that He is one's primary affection -- see discussion of this powerful truth the Expulsive Power of a New Affection

Harrison has a helpful note on how we are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ explaining that this…

amounts to appropriation—the deliberate, conscious acceptance of the lordship of the Master—so that all is under his control—motives, desires, and deeds. A slight difficulty meets us at this point, since believers have already put on Christ, according to Galatians 3:27, at conversion and baptism. But there is always room for decisive renewal, for fresh advance. To be clothed with Christ should mean that when the believer comes under scrutiny from others, he enables them to see the Savior.

If, however, this putting on of Christ is done in a spirit of complacency, as though a life of godliness and uprightness will automatically follow, disappointment will result.

The redeemed person must be attuned to the Savior. He must exercise ceaseless vigilance lest the flesh prevail. He must not give thought to how the desires of the old nature can be satisfied. Though the language differs from the teaching in chapter 6, the message is the same. If union with Christ is to be experientially successful, it must be accompanied by a constant reckoning of oneself as dead to sin (Ro 6:11) and alive to God and His holy will. (Harrison, E. F. in Expositor's Bible Commentary Volume 10 New Testament. Zondervan Publishing or computer version)


See Ro 6:11-note

Lenski feels that…

Christ is put on in two ways: once as the garment of our righteousness, which is done in the instant when faith appropriates his death and his merit (Isa 61:10; Mt. 22:12, the wedding garment); secondly, as our armor of defense and of offense (Ep 6:13), which is the act of faith when it uses Christ as the power of our sanctification and follows his example.

Ray Stedman gives this helpful illustration:

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. Live your life in Christ. (Romans 13:8-14 The Night Is Nearly Over)

We must constantly be subject to His Lordship, accepting His moral standards, living in constant fellowship with Him, and depending upon His strength.

Mattoon - Put on your uniform to identify your team and yourself. Those who watch the race will know who you are and so will your team mates who are running with you.

Cranfield explains that…

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ means here to embrace again and again, in faith and confidence, in grateful loyalty and obedience, Him to Whom we already belong, and (in Chrysostom’s words) ‘never to be forsaken of Him, and His always being seen in us through our holiness, through our gentleness’.

It means to follow Him in the way of discipleship and to strive to let our lives be molded according to the pattern of the humility of His earthly life.

It means so trusting in Him and relying wholly upon the status of righteousness before God which is ours in Him, that we cannot help but live to please Him.

It means being ‘defended on every side by the power of His Spirit, and thus rendered fit to discharge all the duties of holiness’. (Cranfield, C. E. B Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. V1: Ro 1-8.; Volume 2: Romans 9-16)

Hodge writes that put on the Lord Jesus Christ

means to be in close union with Him, so that He, and not we, may appear (cf Gal 3:27) (Hodge, Charles: Commentary on Romans. Ages Classic Commentaries)

Puritan writer William Mason (August 9, 1773) discusses how to put on the Lord Jesus Christ

A Believer in Christ exhorted to put on Christ! Why, Paul positively asserts, "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ." Gal. 3:27. As all believers are baptized into Christ by one Spirit and have all put on Christ; how is it then, that they are here exhorted again to put on Christ? True, that very moment a sinner believes on Christ, he puts on Christ as his atonement, righteousness and salvation. He is united to, and is one with Christ. His sins are pardoned in the blood of Christ; his soul is justified in the righteousness of Christ, and he has everlasting life in Christ. This, this is the most precious truth. This is the glory of faith. This is the joy and rejoicing of the believing soul.

But then, before such a soul arrives to the full enjoyment of Christ in eternal glory, he has many enemies to encounter—many trials and troubles to conflict with—a body of sin and death to be delivered from—many lusts to be mortified—many corruptions to be subdued—a legion of sins to strive against—holiness to be perfected—graces to be exercised—duties to be performed—in one word, he has to glorify Christ in the world, by his life and walk.

How is all this to be done? Only by Christ strengthening him.

Therefore he is constantly to put on Christ

—to attain a greater knowledge of Christ

—more rich and sweet experience of His grace and love

—to be more strongly rooted in His love, and confirmed in His salvation

—to have his heart, his hopes, his affections more with Christ

—and his soul more swallowed up in the ocean of God's everlasting love in Christ, that he may be more conformed to the image of Christ; and that thus, as a good soldier of Christ, he may manfully fight under his banner against the world, the flesh, and the devil, unto his life's end.

That you may do this, cheerfully and comfortably, you are exhorted to put on Christ, which clearly holds forth to us…

1. The believer's interest in Christ, and the free and constant use which he is called upon to make of Christ. O consider, Christ is given to us, to be enjoyed by us. He gave himself for us, that we might receive, possess, and put Him on, for all the blessed purposes of his life and death, his love, grace and salvation.

He is the bread of life. We are to feed upon him daily.

He is the water of life, which our souls are to drink of constantly.

He is our righteousness. We are to put him on continually.

So that we not only have precious Christ—but we are also to use him—and enjoy His preciousness.

He is not only a well of salvation—but we must draw water out of it with joy, and drink of it to the refreshing of our souls!

It was not enough that the brazen serpent was set up—but it was to be looked unto, that those who were stung might be cured.

It is not enough that we have faith by which to live—but we must live by the faith we have upon the Son of God, so as to derive a continual supply of grace, comfort, and strength from Him, as the branch does sap from the root, the members influence from the head, and the pipe waters from the fountain.

"I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me!" Galatians 2:20

Faith is given to us, for this very purpose, to claim Christ, to use Him, to put Him on, to cleave to Him, to glory of and in Him. Hence the Holy Spirit, in order to stir up and quicken our drowsy souls, calls upon us,

"Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem." Isaiah 52:1.

O soul, who is your strength but Christ? What are your beautiful garments—but the rich robe of his all-perfect and ever glorious righteousness? O awake then in this glorious gospel-day! This is a blessed time of rejoicing, cast off all sloth and drowsiness! Lay aside your sorrow and mourning! Put on your Christ, and rejoice and be glad in him!

"Put on the Lord Jesus Christ."
Put Him on as your Lord to reign in and rule over you!
Put Him on as your Jesus to save you from all your enemies!
Put Him on as your Christ, anointed of God, to bless you with grace, and to crown you with glory!
Thus put on the Lord Jesus Christ for…

2. Putting on Christ implies the renewed acts, and fresh applications of the believing soul to Christ, in the exercise of faith in him, hope towards him, delight in him, calling upon him, hearing the gospel of his grace preached, reading the Scriptures which testify of him, feeding upon his blessed body, and drinking his precious blood at his table, etc. In the use of all these means, we should aim to put on Christ afresh, as the glory of our hearts, and the joy of our souls. So that Christians are not only partakers of faith in Christ—but the exercise of their minds is described, by their continued acts of believing in Christ, hearing of Christ, coming to him, leaning on him, cleaving to him, abiding in him, living upon him, and putting him on from day to day. These participles, which are the present tense, describe the actings of believers' souls. So that quickened souls cannot look back, and be satisfied with thinking they had faith once. No, no, their souls cannot be contented, without putting on and enjoying Christ now. O this is the glory of faith. Therefore, let us consider,

3. That to put on Christ, may more particularly imply that we should daily, yes, constantly clothe our mind, memory and conscience with Christ, with the truth, as it is in him, which holds forth to us what he has done for us—what he is to us—and what he is now doing for us at the right hand of God. O believer, this is most precious work, to put on Christ, for the comfort of your mind, the refreshing of your memory, and for the peace and joy of your conscience. This should be your daily constant exercise, under a full conviction that without this inward enjoyment of Christ, you can neither be happy in your soul, comfortable in your walk, nor holy in your life. But if Christ dwells constantly in your mind, memory and conscience, all will be peaceful and happy within, all will be holiness unto him without. Let us deeply consider these points. O Spirit of all truth, holiness and comfort, bless our meditations, to the glory of Christ, and to the joy of our souls.

Happy souls, who put on Christ
By pure and living faith,
Finding Him their King and Priest,
Their God, and Guide to death.

God's own foe may plague his sons:
Sin may distress—but can't subdue.
Christ Who conquered for us once,
Will in us conquer too.

(Recommendation - Read this entire Puritan Meditation which is a lengthy discourse addressing what it means to put on Christ - putting on Christ in our minds, putting on Christ in our memory, putting on Christ in our conscience, why we should put on Christ, when we should put on Christ, the blessed effect of putting on Christ - (Believers Pocket Companion - The One Thing Needful to Make Poor Sinners Rich—and Miserable Sinners Happy)

Barton, et al asks…

So how do we clothe ourselves “with the armor of right living” (Ro 13:12)? How can we “be decent and true” (Ro 13:13)? The answer: We let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of us (Ep 4:24; Col 3:10). This is deliberate, conscious acceptance of the lordship of Christ, so all our desires and actions are under his control. Letting him have control means avoiding indulging our evil desires.

Sinful actions and sinful attitudes all start with a single thought.

Just as in violent crimes, where premeditation is a factor, premeditation is the first step toward gratifying our desires. A temptation becomes an opportunity to plan to sin. But as harmless as imagination may seem to be, it actually impels us toward our desires. If we don’t make plans, we can’t carry them out. (Barton, B. B., et al. Life Application Bible Commentary. Romans: Tyndale House Publishers )

James Denny explains that…

The Christian puts on the Lord Jesus Christ… in baptism (cp Gal 3:27), as the solemn deliberate act in which he identifies himself, by faith, with Christ in His death and resurrection (Ro 6:3). But the Christian life is not exhausted in this act, which is rather the starting-point for a putting on of Christ in the ethical sense, a "clothing of the soul in the moral disposition and habits of Christ" (Gifford); or as the Apostle himself puts it in Ro 6:11 (note), a reckoning (present imperative = command to make this our continual practice implying that it is our continual need! Why? We all tend to be forgetful and the assaults of temptations to commit sin are incessant!) of ourselves to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Every time we perform an ethical act of this kind we put on the Lord Jesus Christ more fully. But the principle (Ed: The foundation, the reason we can even accomplish putting on Jesus) of all such acts is the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us (Ro 6-8), and it is the essential antagonism of the spirit to the flesh (Gal 5:17-note) which determines the form of the last words (and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts). (The Expositor's Greek Testament)

Albert Barnes first calls our attention to Galatians 3:27 and then notes…

The word rendered "put ye on" (enduo) is the same as used in Ro 13:12, and is commonly employed in references to clothing or apparel. The phrase to put on a person, which seems a harsh expression in our language, was one not infrequently used by Greek writers and means, to imbibe his principles, to imitate his example, to copy his spirit, to become like him.

Thus in Dionysius Halicarnassus the expression occurs, "having put on or clothed themselves with Tarquin;" i.e. they imitated the example and morals of Tarquin.

So Lucian says, "having put on Pythagoras;" having received him as a teacher and guide.

So the Greek writers speak of putting on Plato, Socrates, etc., meaning to take them as instructors, to follow them as disciples.

Thus, to put on the Lord Jesus means, to take Him as a pattern and guide, to imitate His example, to obey His precepts, to become like Him, etc. In all respects the Lord Jesus was unlike what had been specified in the previous verse. He was temperate, chaste, pure, peaceable, and meek; and to put him on was to imitate him in these respects. Heb 4:15; Heb 7:26; 1Pe 2:22; Isa 53:9; 1Jn 3:5.


Putting on Christ is a strong and vivid metaphor. It means more than put on the character of the Lord Jesus Christ, signifying rather "Let Jesus Christ Himself be the armor that you wear." (Morris) Yet, we are still called to make no provision for the flesh. We have a work to do in walking properly, as in the day - it isn't as if Jesus does it for us as we sit back; instead, He does it through us as we willingly and actively partner with Him.

John Piper

Clothe yourselves with Christ. Arm yourselves with Christ. Never be without the covering of Christ. Let your friendship with Christ be as close as the shirt you wear. That is what I said last week was the key to loving and fulfilling the law. And that is the same final answer this week:

Receiving Christ daily and fully is the key to love.

Robert Haldane explains it this way…

Having given a specimen of the things that are unbecoming the Christian who walks in the day, the Apostle now shows, summarily, what the conduct is which he enjoins on us to exemplify. Believers were in themselves wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; like Joshua, clothed with filthy garments; but when they come to Christ, He says, “Take away the filthy garments from him: behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” They are then clothed with the garments of salvation, and covered with the robe of righteousness, Isaiah 61:10; and being thus justified, those whom the Apostle addressed had put on Christ.

But here (put on the Lord Jesus Christ) it is their progress in sanctification he has in view. In the Ro 13:12 he had exhorted them to put on the armor of light; now he is enjoining the duty of perfect conformity to His holy image, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; Who gave us an example that we should follow His steps, Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. Thus we are to cleave to Him with purpose of heart, and, as the Apostle elsewhere exhorts, that as we have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so we should walk in Him. (Romans 13 Commentary )

Warren Wiersbe describes what it means to put on the Lord Jesus Christ

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ means to become more like Him, to receive by faith all that He is for our daily living. We grow on the basis of the food we eat. This is why God warns us not to make provisions for the flesh. If we feed the flesh, we will fail; but if we feed the inner man the nourishing things of the Spirit, we will succeed. In other words, a Christian citizen ought to be the best citizen. Christians may not always agree on politics or parties, but they can all agree on their attitude toward human government. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

New Bible Commentary describes putting on the Lord Jesus this way: we are to surround ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ in such a way that all we do is done through Him and for Him, and we are not even to give thought to any of those sinful desires that stem from this fallen & sinful world. (New Bible Commentary. IVP)

Robert Morey - We are told to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” because His character qualities are the opposite of the deeds of darkness.

W E Vine writes that putting on the Lord Jesus Christ…

is contrasted with the conduct described in the preceding verse; it also recalls Ro 13:12. The believer is so to apprehend the true meaning of the union with Christ into which he entered when he put on Christ (Gal. 3:27, cf. Ro 6:3-note), that Christ becomes the element in which he lives, the moral raiment which displays His character. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson )

The KJV Bible Commentary writes that…

Paul urges his Christian converts to put on Christian virtues in the same manner that they would put on their clothes (Col 3:12-ntoe). When they had put on the new man (Eph 4:24-note) they had in fact been baptized into Christ and had put on Christ (Gal 3:27).

Putting on Christ means to allow Him to envelop us so that when others view us they see His righteousness. He therefore not only lives in us and through us, but on us as well.

When that is the case, we need not take thought of satisfying our bodily lusts or carnal desires, but our prime concern will be to live in honor to the Lord. When Christ is on us and in us, we will not feed our fleshly desires but will feed a soul striving to be more like Him, and much more so realizing our subjection to the timetable of God. (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson)

Hendriksen notes that…

Paul is, as it were, saying, “Having laid aside the garment of sin, now deck yourselves more and more with the robe of Christ’s righteousness, so that whenever Satan reminds you of your sinfulness, you immediately remind him and yourselves of your new standing with God.

“Become more and more spiritually united with Christ, so that He will be the Light of your light, the Life of your life, the Joy of your joy, and the Strength of your strength.”

The person who, by virtue of the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, does this is able to sing

Jesus is all the world to me…
—Will L. Thompson

Such a person must make no provision for the satisfaction of the urges of his sinful human nature. To be sure, there will be these temptations, for the believer remains a sinner even when he becomes a saint (Ro 7:14ff-note). But if he is truly a child of God he must and will learn more and more to control and subdue these enticements in the realm of Pleasure (inordinate craving for the satisfaction of physical appetites), Power (lust to shine and be dominant), and Possessions (uncontrolled yearning for material possessions and for the prestige that accompanies them). With Christ as his Sovereign Lord, the victory is assured! (Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. New Testament Commentary Set, 12 Volumes. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House)

College Press NIV Commentary says

Paul exhorts Christians to "put on Christ," implying a reference to something not yet completed. Thus it is generally agreed that he must be using this metaphor in a sense different from Gal 3:27, i.e., that here he is talking about sanctification rather than justification, which is what we would expect in this context.

Thus "putting on Christ" is here equivalent to being transformed by the renewing of our minds (see Ro 12:2-note). It is the same as putting on "the new self," which is the process of the recreation of the image of God within us (Ep 4:24;-note; see Col 3:10-note). Thus to clothe ourselves with Christ in this sense means to gird ourselves outwardly and inwardly with the same holy character exhibited by the sinless Christ during his earthly sojourn. As Lard says, "Let your whole exterior life, as seen by the world, be but a reproduction of the temper and conduct of Christ" (Cottrell, Jack: Romans - College Press NIV Commentary)

Believer's Bible Commentary says putting on the Lord Jesus:

means that we should adopt His whole lifestyle, live as He lived, accept Him as our Guide and Example…

We make provision for the flesh when we buy things that are associated with temptation, when we make it easy for ourselves to sin, when we give a higher priority to the physical than to the spiritual.

We should not indulge the flesh even a little. Rather, we should “give no chances to the flesh to have its fling” (JBP). (MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

Kistemaker writes "The lesson is: Principiis obsta: "Resist the beginnings!" Watch out for the first misstep. Every further advance into sin will be easier than the previous step." 

Lawrence Richards - We’re to slip into Jesus, and wear Him everywhere we go. We’re to look like Him. Walk like Him. Talk like Him. Act like Him. In fact, we’re to be Jesus to others. What a challenge. To wear Jesus so well that no one will notice the difference. To be in Him. And to let Him be fully in me. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)

John Murray comments that…

To put on Christ is to be identified with Him not only in His death but also in His resurrection. It is to be united to Him in the likeness of His resurrection life (cp Php 3:10-note).

The full title "the Lord Jesus Christ" underlines the inclusiveness involved in the exhortation. Nothing less than the complete negation of vice and the perfection of purity and virtue exemplified in Christ make up the habitude required of a believer. When we think of Christ as holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners (He 7:26), we see the total contrast between the vices described in Ro 13:13 and the pattern of Ro 13:14. The negative is as exclusive as the positive is inclusive. We are not to make any provision for the fulfilment of the lusts of the flesh.

The flesh is not to be equated with the body but includes all sinful propensities (cf. Ro 7:5-note; Ro 8:5, 6, 7, 8-note; Gal 5:19, 20-note, Gal 5:21-note; Gal 6:8; Ep 2:3-note). (The Epistle to the Romans – Volume II. Eerdmans Pub. 1965)

ESV Study Bible - The metaphor of putting on clothing implies not just imitating Christ’s character but also living in close personal fellowship with Him. Even though believers have new life, they still must constantly renounce the flesh and refuse to gratify its desires.

Matthew Henry:

Put on Christ, this includes all. Put on the righteousness of Christ for justification; be found in Him (Php 3:9-note) as a man is found in his clothes; put on the priestly garments of the elder brother, that in them you may obtain the blessing. Put on the spirit and grace of Christ for sanctification; put on the new man (Eph 4:24-note); get the habit of grace confirmed, the acts of it quickened.’’

Jesus Christ is the best clothing for Christians to adorn themselves with, to arm themselves with; it is decent, distinguishing, dignifying, and defending. Without Christ, we are naked, deformed; all other things are filthy rages, fig-leaves, a sorry shelter. God has provided us coats of skins—large, strong, warm, and durable. By baptism we have in profession put on Christ, Gal. 3:27. Let us do it in truth and sincerity. Put Him on as Lord to rule you, as Jesus to save you, and in both as Christ, anointed and appointed by the Father to this ruling saving work.

KJV Commentary: Paul urges his Christian converts to put on Christian virtues in the same manner that they would put on their clothes (Col 3:12-note). When they had "put on the new man" (Eph 4:24;-note) they had in fact been baptized into Christ and had "put on Christ" (Gal 3:27). Putting on Christ means to allow Him to envelop us so that when others view us they see His righteousness. He therefore not only lives in us and through us, but on us as well. When that is the case, we need not take thought of satisfying our bodily lusts or carnal desires, but our prime concern will be to live in honor to the Lord. When Christ is on us and in us, we will not feed our fleshly desires but will feed a soul striving to be more like Him, and much more so realizing our subjection to the timetable of God. (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson)

Adam Clarke: (To Put on Christ is to) "receive his doctrine, copy His example, and seek the things which belong to another life; for the Gentiles thought of little else than making provision for the flesh or body, to gratify its animal desires and propensities."

John Calvin: "Now to put on Christ, means here to be on every side fortified by the power of his Spirit, and be thereby prepared to discharge all the duties of holiness; for thus is the image of God renewed in us, which is the only true ornament of the soul."

Joseph Beet says we are to put on Christ

as men put on clothing, which, though distinct from them, yet when put on becomes almost a part of them. Paul bids us enter into union with Christ so close that He will become the close environment in which we live and move. Since union with Christ enables us to do God’s work even in face of enemies, to put on Christ is (see Romans 13:12-note) to put on the weapons of the light. (A Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans)

Evangelical Commentary: "Suitable as attire and deportment for the Christian in this inaugurated day are the armor of light (Ro 13:12), which reflects Christ who is "the light of the world" and "the light of life" (Jn 8:12; cf. Mt 5:14-note, Mt 5:15-note, Mt 5:16-note; for the image of armor cf. 2Co 6:7, 10:4-note; Ep 6:11-note, Ep 6:13-note; 1Th 5:8-note); decent behavior (v13)—behaving honorably by living a Christ-like life (compare the positive meaning here of schema with the negative in (see Ro 12:2-note) of being "schematized" to the age); clothing "yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ" (v14). Believers have already clothed themselves with Christ by being baptized into him (Gal 3:27, Ro 6:1; 2; 3-note; Ro 6:4; 5-note; Ro 6:6-note; see Col 2:12-note), which signals their new essence in Christ; but they must express this in practice (existentially) as they stand into each new moment of decision. Thus Paul commands them not to follow the uncovenanted practices of "orgies, drunkenness, sexual immorality, debauchery, dissension, jealousy," which are destructively centered on the rebellious self. Christians must choose not to follow the urgings of their old sinful nature or essence that is doomed, but to follow Christ who has given them a new nature of hope. In so doing the transformed mind proves the will of God (Ro 12:2-note)." (Evangelical Commentary on the Bible Baker)

Robert Haldane quoting Archbishop LeightonPut on the Lord Jesus — Here we have the proper beauty and ornament of Christians. Him we put on by faith and are clothed with Him as our righteousness. We come unto our Father, in our Elder Brother's perfumed garment, and so obtain the blessing, which He, in a manner, was stripped of, and did undergo the curse, and was made a curse for our sakes. So the Apostle speaks of Him. We put Him on as the Lord our righteousness, and are made the righteousness of God in Him. This investiture is first, when our persons are made acceptable, and we come into court. But there is another putting of Him on, in the conformity of holiness, which always accompanies the former, and that is it which is here meant. And this I declare unto you, that whosoever does not thus put Him on, shall find themselves deceived in the other, if they imagine it belongs to them. (Romans 13 Commentary)

Bishop Moule beautifully says:

"Put on, clothe, and arm yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, the living Sum and true Meaning of all that can arm the soul. It is by living our life in the flesh by faith in the Son of God (see Galatians 2:20-note), that is, to say, in effect, by personally making use of the crucified and living Savior, Lord, Deliverer, our Peace and Power, amidst all the dark hosts of evil can do against us.

Full in the face of the realities of sin—of Roman sin, in Nero’s day—St. Paul has written down across them all, this spell, this Name: ‘Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Take first a steady look, he seems to say, at your sore need, in the light of God; but then at once look off, look here. Take your iniquities at the worst; this can subdue them. Take your surroundings at the worst, —this can emancipate you from their power (John 8:31,32,35, 36). It is the ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ and the ‘putting on’ of Him. We can ‘put Him on’ as Lord, surrendering ourselves to His absolute, while most benignant, sovereignty and will, —deep secret of repose. (Mt 11:28, 29, 30, Acts 3:19) We can put Him on as ‘Jesus, ‘clasping the truth that He, our human Brother, yet Divine, saves His people from their sins. We can put Him on as ‘Christ’ our Head, anointed without measure by the eternal Spirit, and still sending of that same Spirit into His happy members, —so that we are indeed one with Him and receive into our whole being the resources of His life."

Marcus Dods in "Christ and Man" writes…

If, then, it is possible to assume a character different from our present or original character, how can we do so? How can we put on the Lord Jesus Christ? For experience tells us that mere imitation of Christ does not come to much. It must be an imitation rooted in conviction and prompted by love and hope.

The grand peculiarity of Christ is that He demands our personal allegiance. He does not throw out doctrine and let who will receive it; He does not utter His views of things and leave them to work in men's minds. He forms a society, He calls men to Himself, and invites their trust, their love, their service. And experience tells us that until we give Him this, we give Him too little; too little for our purposes as well as for His.

We all need to put on Christ: our own character is not sufficient; the character of Christ is sufficient. Going into the world with our natural character uncorrected, we are unjust to God, to our fellows, and to ourselves. For a better thing is possible to us. What doth it profit a man though he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? And how do you lose your own soul?—by making no effort to cleanse it. You lose your life by spending it on ends which prevent you from attaining the highest end. Other things you can afford to neglect: but be sure you are really gaining in likeness to Christ. That is the real prize of life. You do not know how much you miss by neglecting to cultivate some one grace; you do not know what new views of life you would have, what new strength for doing good, what new attachment to Christ, if only you set yourself resolutely to conform in every particular to the character of Christ (Ed Note: He is not calling for legalistic obedience but love motivated [Jn 14:15, 21, 23, 24, 2Co 5:14, Gal 5:6, 1Jn 4:19, 20, 5:2, 3] Spirit enabled obedience). Not without self-control (cp Gal 5:23-note) and self-knowledge, not without pain, not without striving (cp He 12:4-note) and sacrifice, can we make that character our own; but that character satisfies all the requirements of God and human life, and to be without it is to miss the chief end of our being.

Charles Simeon writes that…

We must guard against every thing which may impede our progress—Every man has some “besetting sin,” which he ought most carefully to put away (Heb 12:1KJV-note). He should mark what his constitutional or acquired propensities are, and exert himself to the uttermost to mortify and subdue them. Instead of providing for the gratification of them, he should abstain from every thing which tends to foster his corruption, or to give scope for its exercise (cp 1Pe 2:11-note, 1Th 5:22-note, 1Th 4:3-note, 2Ti 2:19-note). When the priests went into the tabernacle of the congregation to minister before the Lord, they were to “drink no wine nor strong drink,” (Lev 10:8, 9, 10) lest they should be in any respect unfitted for the holy service in which they were engaged. In like manner, we, who are “a holy priesthood,” (1Pe 2:5-note) should abstain even from lawful things, if by an unrestrained indulgence we are likely to be ensnared. Our blessed Lord has taught us to “watch and pray, (Note: both are commands in the present imperative calling for continual exercise in our warring against sin!) that we enter not into temptation;” (Mt 26:41) and this he has done, because in an hour of temptation it is so difficult to stand. We should be on our guard, not only against evil itself, but against, the means and occasions of evil: the places and the company that are ensnaring to our souls, we should avoid; as Solomon has well admonished us: “Enter not into the path of the wicked; and go not in the path of evil men: avoid it; pass not by it; turn from it, and pass away.” (Pr 4:14, 15) Joseph found his safety in flight (Ge 39:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, cp 1Co 6:18-note, 1Co 10:14, Pr 6:5, 2Ti 2:22-note, 1Ti 6:11): and we, in like manner, must “keep our heart with all diligence;” (Pr 4:23-note) and “make a covenant with all our senses,” (Job 31:1, cp Pr 6:25, 26, 27, 28-note, 2Sa 11:2, 3, 4, Ps 119:37-note, Pr 4:25, Mt 5:27, 28-note, Mt 5:29, 30-note, 1Jn 2:16-note) which may by any means prove inlets to temptation, and instruments for our destruction.]

It is in this way only that we can hope to be kept from the foulest sins—What is said of contention, may be said of sin in general, that “the beginnings of it are like the letting out of water.” (Pr 17:14) In the first instance, the danger seems small: but soon the breach is widened (Pr 25:28), and defies all the efforts that may be made to stop it. Of this we have an awful instance in David, who little thought, when first his eye glanced upon Bathsheba, what evils would ensue (2Sa 11:2, 3, 4).

The Apostle’s primary object in our text was, to guard the Church against gross enormous evils. But how does he teach us to avoid them? He bids us to aspire after the highest possible attainments, even the “putting on of our Lord Jesus Christ;” and to be on our guard against the very smallest occasions of sin, and in no respect to make provision for the indulgence of it. And these two things must occupy our attention from day to day. O! “let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall:” (1Co 10:12) and let him “keep under his body, and bring it into subjection, lest by any means, after having preached to others, he himself should be a cast-away" (1Cor 9:25, 26, 27). If, for the obtaining of a prize in earthly contests, a long habit of laborious and self-denying discipline is necessary, much more is it in order to the ensuring of final success in our heavenly conflicts. To all, then, would I say, If you would not fall and perish by your indwelling corruptions, you must “crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts,” (Gal 5:24-note, cp Gal 2:20-note) and must “perfect holiness in the fear of God.” (2Cor 7:1-note)

Address— 1. Those who are satisfied with their attainments—What! Have you, then, attained the perfection that was in Christ? Are you so “clothed with humility,” and all other graces, that the world may see in you the very image of Christ? Are you such “lights in a dark world,” that all who behold you may “know how they are to walk and to please God?” Never be satisfied with any thing short of this: but press forward to your dying hour, that you may, through the mighty working of the power of God upon your souls, “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

2. Those who are striving after a more perfect conformity to their Lord and Saviour—It is well that you are endeavouring to “walk even as Christ walked.” (1Jn 2:6KJV) But attempt it not in your own strength. You must be “strengthened with all might in your inward man, by the Spirit of the living God.” (cp Col 1:11-note, Ep 3:16-note) To your latest hour (Ed: The end of your life, even when you are old and gray!), as well as in the commencement of the Divine life (Ed: When you are first born into the kingdom of Christ), “your sufficiency must be of God” alone (cp 2Co 12:9-note, 2Co 12:10-note). But “He is able to make all grace abound towards you, that you, having always all-sufficiency in all things, may abound unto every good work.” (2Co 9:8, 1Co 15:10, 1Co 15:58) And “faithful is He that hath called you, who also will do it.” (1Th 5:24-note, cp Dt 7:9, Ps 36:5-note, Ps 92:1, 2-note, Ps 100:5-note, Lam 3:22, 23, Heb 10:23-note, Phil 1:6-note, 1Cor 10:13-note)

“Now, to Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen”. (Jude 1:24, 25) (Romans 13:14 Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ)

William Newell notes that…

There is an instructive passage in Colossians Three, giving light on this command to "put on." In Col (see note) there, the Holy Spirit says through Paul, "Ye died." (It is an aorist tense, asserting a fact.) The believer now shares Christ's risen life, and is told (as we have repeatedly seen) that he is "alive from the dead, " a new creation. In the ninth verse of the same chapter, we have the words, "Ye have put off the old man"; and in verse 10, "Ye have put on the new man"! Then, in 5 and 8 (Col 3:5; 3:6; 3:7; 3:8 see notes Col 3:5; 3:6; 3:7; 3:8), "put to death, "" put away, " your "members which are in the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion; anger, wrath, malice, " and all such things. It is in and by the fact that we died with Christ that we have "put off the old man": as is said in Col 2:11 (see note), also, concerning our participation in "the circumcision of Christ" (His cutting off in death), we put off "the body of the flesh."

Then, (and not until our realization by faith of this federal death with Christ), are we ready in confidence to "put away" all those things that belong to our former manner of life, the old things) and to "put on, as God's elect, holy and beloved (of Him.), a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness" (Colossians 3:12ff-see notes).

"Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ" is, therefore, our path, not only prescribed, but gloriously attainable. For we are in Him! and that federal "new man which hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth" (Eph 4:24-note) belongs now to us. Even as "the old man" belonged by natural birth to us in the First Adam, so does the "new man" belong to us who are in Christ, the Last Adam! (Romans: Verse by Verse)

Kent Hughes adds: "Paul emphasizes that it is “the Lord Jesus Christ” that we put on. We bow to his Lordship. He is King of all or he is not King at all. This is where we gain the capacity to love. Loving others as we love ourselves comes from the negative—putting off the deeds of darkness, and the positive—putting on the Lord Jesus Christ day by day. Even as clothes are a daily need, so is the putting on of Christ as we walk out the door to wherever we are bound. One other point here: our ability to love vertically and horizontally comes from God’s love to us. (1Jn 4:19) His agape love reaches down to us in Christ, it is poured out in our hearts by His Spirit (see Ro 5:5 note), and we return it back ("pay back the debt") to God and to those around us. (Hughes, R. K. Romans: Righteousness from heaven. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books)

His great love is the source and motivation of our love. This principle was dramatically illustrated on the human level in the life of Kathryn Lawes described below: When Louis Lawes became warden of Sing Sing Prison in 1920, the inmates existed in wretched conditions. This led him to introduce humanitarian reforms. He gave much of the credit to his wife, Kathryn, however, who always treated the prisoners as human beings. She would often take her three children and sit with the gangsters, the murderers, and the racketeers while they played basketball and baseball. Then in 1937, Kathryn was killed in a car accident. The next day her body lay in a casket in a house about a quarter of a mile from the institution. When the acting warden found hundreds of prisoners crowded around the main entrance, he knew what they wanted. Opening the gate, he said, “Men, I’m going to trust you. You can go to the house.”

Jamieson, Fausset, Brown - In virtue of "the expulsive power of a new and more powerful affection," the great secret of persevering holiness in all manner of conversation will be found to be "Christ IN US, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27-note), and Christ ON US, as the character in which alone we shall be able to shine before men (2Co 3:8) (Ro 13:14)

F B Meyer (Our Daily Walk, January 1) writes that…

WE CAN all start afresh! However far we have ascended, there is something higher; and however far we have fallen, it is always possible to make a fresh start. We need to take our place in the School of Christ and be taught by Him (Eph 4:20-note, Eph 4:21-note).

"The old man" which we must "put off" is clearly our former manner of life. If we have not put it entirely away, let us do so now by an immediate act of faith in the living Spirit. It does not take long for a beggar to put off his rags and take instead a new suit of clothes, and it need not take a moment longer to put away habits and thoughts, ways of speech and life which are unworthy of the children of God. Do it now, and look up to the Holy Spirit to keep renewing you in the spirit of your mind.

But more than this, let us "put on the new man," which is the life of Jesus Christ, that ideal which is in the likeness of God, and which the Lord created for us by His blessed life and death and resurrection. But to enable us to live this life we need the daily help of the Holy Spirit. He entered our hearts at the moment of regeneration, and has been with us ever since. We may not have realised His entry, but we believe it because of the assurance of 1Co 6:19-note; see Ro 8:9-note; Ep 3:16-note. For my part, I like to begin every day, before lifting my head from the pillow, by saying, "Thou art within, O Spirit of Christ, though I feel Thee not."

If the Holy Spirit be ungrieved…

He will witness to our sonship.

He will enthrone Christ as King of our life.

He will keep the self-life in the place of death.

He will give us a hunger for the things of God.

He will give power in witness-bearing.

In order to have a strong and blessed Christian experience, the one thing is to see that we do not grieve the Spirit. I do not think that we can grieve Him away, but we may greatly limit and restrain His gracious work by insincerity of speech, the nursing of an unforgiving spirit, any kind of over-reaching or fraudulent dealing, impurity of speech, or failure in love. We may be bound, so as not to be able to move our arms, by a number of cotton threads, quite as tightly as by a strong rope-thong. Let us take care not to grieve Him by such inconsistencies.

PRAYER: Fulfill in me, O God, those desires of goodness which Thou hast created in my heart, and perfect the work of faith, that Jesus Christ may be glorified in me. AMEN.

In Our Daily Homily F B Meyer writes…

This verse is ever memorable from its association with the life of Augustine, who says:

“Thus was I sick and tormented in mind, bitterly accusing myself, and rolling and turning about in my chain, till it might be wholly broken.”

At length, rushing into the garden, groaning in spirit,

“all my bones were crying out, soul-sick was I and grievously tormented. I said to myself, ‘Be it done now; be it done now.’ And a voice said, ‘Why standest thou in thyself, and so standest not? Cast thyself upon Him. Fear not; He will not withdraw Himself, to let thee fall. He will receive, and will heal thee. Stop thine ears against those unclean members of thine, which are upon the earth, that they may be mortified.’”

Then arose a mighty tempest, bringing a heavy downpour of tears.

“I cast myself under a certain fig-tree, and gave vent to my tears, and the floods of mine eyes brake forth. Why not now? Why not this hour make an end of my uncleanness? And, lo! from the neighboring house I heard a voice as of a boy or girl, I know not which, singing and oft repeating, ‘Take and read; take and read!’ Checking the torrent of my tears, I arose, interpreting it to be a Divine command to open the Book and read the first chapter I could find. I seized; I opened, and in silence read the passage on which mine eyes fell: ‘Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.’ No further would I read; nor was there need, for instantly all my heart was flooded with a light of peace, all the sadness of doubt melted away!”

No count was taken; no guards posted. Yet not one man was missing that night. Love for one who had loved them made them dependable."

AND MAKE NO PROVISION: kai tes sarkos pronoian me poieisthe (PAM) eis epithumias:

"make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires." (NET Bible)

"don't make plans" (TLB)

Make no provision - How do we make provision for the flesh? By yielding to any or all of the six sins listed above.

Make (4160) (poieo) means to do or to undertake something that brings about an event, state, or condition.

In this verse Paul uses the present imperative and the Greek negative ("me") can imply that the process is already going on. Paul is saying in essence

Stop making plans in your mind as to how you can sin and 'get away with it' (cp Nu 32:23, Pr 28:13, Pr 5:22-note).

Never forget that our hearts are more deceitful than all else and are desperately sick (Jer 17:9). While it is true every believer is a new creation (creature) in Christ (2Co 5:17), it is also true that every new creature in Christ unfortunately still possesses the "old sin nature" (Sin) which continually seeks to lure, snare, entrap, deceive, etc, etc to commit sins. Therefore as believers we must daily surrender to our Lord, yielding to and depending upon His power, His desire, His grace, to enable us to subjugate our selfish desires and live for Him (see Col 3:5-note, Col 3:6-note, Col 3:7-note, Col 3:8-note, Col 3:9-note, Col 3:10-note)

Sin cannot be pampered, cajoled or negotiated with (cf Ge 3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Ge 4:5, 6, 7, 8).

Sin corrupts and kills (see Ro 6:23-note) and so must be mortified.

Therefore consider (aorist imperative = do it now! Do it effectively!) the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. (see Col 3:5-notes) ; see related verses on how to control our thoughts and how we as men can avoid ruining our marriage and life - commentary notes on Proverbs 5:1-14; Proverbs 5:15-23; Proverbs 6:20-35; Proverbs 7:1-27; Guarding your heart - Proverbs 4:23)

There can be no compromise or there will be corruption and death. Kill Sin or it will kill you! (see 2Pe 1:4-note, Gal 6:8). Do not plan for Sin. Do not even give Sin a welcome. Don't offer Sin an opportunity. Kick Sin off your doorstep before it has a chance to enter your house, the temple of the Holy Spirit!


Any forethought we may take in providing for our bodies and their needs is never to be of such a nature that any lusts are stirred up or satisfied.


Are you tolerating "pet" sins? If you are, then you need to remember the fate of the man with the "pet boa constrictor" (Do a Google search - use the following search terms and keep the parenthesis sign as written >> "pet boa" killed). After 15 years of living with his owner, one day the "pet boa" would not let its "owner" out of its grip resulting in the owner's tragic death. Wild animals remain wild and so does Sin. Do not be deceived (Stop being deceived)!

Entanglement by the Cords of one's own Sin - Not long after a wealthy contractor had finished building the Tombs prison in New York, he was found guilty of forgery and sentenced to several years in the prison he had built! As he was escorted into a cell of his own making, the contractor said, “I never dreamed when I built this prison that I would be an inmate one day.” (cp Nu 32:23)

Sin will take you further than you ever wanted to stray!
Cost you more than you ever dreamed you would pay!
Keep you longer than you ever thought you would stay!

William Newell writes regarding make no provision for the flesh that…

The word "provision" here is literally "forethought." It denotes the attitude of mind we used to have toward the flesh, as secretly expecting to gratify it, if not immediately, yet at some time. It is the opposite of the spirit of Gal 5:24-note; it is Saul sparing Agag (Ed note: see 1Sa 15:9, 10, 11, 22, 23 where this "provision" resulted in the LORD tearing the Kingdom of Israel from Saul! A steep price to pay for making provision for his flesh!)

To fulfil its desires-The flesh has endless lusts and desires, -all clamoring for indulgence. Besides the lower lusts, and our natural self-sparing slothfulness, there are all the forms of self-pleasing: self-esteem, "sensitiveness, " love of praise, man-fearing, fleshly amiability, flattery of others for selfish ends, pride, "dignity, " impatience of non-recognition by others, sheer empty conceit, and a thousand other "desires of the flesh, " for which no provision is to be made. Often we can, if we will, see beforehand and shun circumstances that would give the flesh an advantage to indulge itself. But it is only by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ as the positive attitude of the soul, that we shall find ourselves able and willing to refuse any provision for the flesh. (Romans: Verse by Verse)

F. Webster

"Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. 'Make no provision for the flesh.' (Romans 13:14)

The flesh is there, you know. To deny or ignore the existence of an enemy is to give him a great chance against you; and the flesh is in the believer to the very end, a force of evil to be reckoned with continually, an evil force inside a man, and yet, thank God, a force which can be so dealt with by the power of God, that it shall have no power to defile the heart or deflect the will.

The flesh is in you, but your heart may be kept clean moment by moment in spite of the existence of evil in your fallen nature. Every avenue, every opening that leads into the heart, every thought and desire and purpose and imagination of your being, may be closed against the flesh, so that there shall be no opening to come in and defile the heart or deflect the will from the will of God. (cp Pr 4:23-note)

You say that is a very high standard. But it is the Word of God. There is to be no secret sympathy with sin. Although the flesh is there, you are to make it no excuse for sins.

You are not to say, I am naturally irritable, anxious, jealous, and I cannot help letting these things crop up; they come from within.

Yes, they come from within, but then there need be no provision, no opening in your heart for these things to enter. Your heart can be barricaded with an impassable barrier against these things. 'No provision for the flesh' Not merely the front door barred and bolted so that you do not invite them to come in, but the side and back door closed too. You may be so Christ possessed and Christ enclosed that you shall

positively hate everything that is of the flesh.

Make no provision for the flesh.

The only way to do so is to
put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

I spoke of the heart being so barricaded that there should be no entrance to it, that the flesh should never be able to defile it or deflect the will from the will of God. How can that be done ? By putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been such a blessing to me just to learn that one secret, just to learn the positive side of deliverance putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Puritan writer Thomas Boston exhorts us to…

Labour to starve your lusts, and to root out the love of the world. “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof,” Ro 13:14; see 1Jn 2:15-note, 1Jn 2:16-note, 1Jn 2:17-note. As long as the gust and relish of earthly things is too quick and lively, the gust of religion will be flat and dull. A heart drenched in sensuality, or any excessive love to created things, will be like wet wood, not easily fired from heaven. (Ref - The Pleasures of Real Religion)

(Put on Christ for this) is the way to rid yourselves of their trouble: for men’s lusts are like fire, that will die out if there be no fuel laid to them.

Light And Darkness - Kathleen Matson and her family have moved to Tokyo for 3 years. Because less than 1 percent of the citizens of Japan believe in Jesus Christ, she said that the nation can be considered unreached with the gospel.

"As we make our home in Tokyo," she wrote, "I am especially challenged by Romans 13:12 (note) 'The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.' I need to be a light in the midst of a great darkness. My life needs to be a shining example to those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Kathleen continued, "The task seems overwhelming… How can I possibly do it? How can I 'owe no one anything except to love one another'? (Romans 13:8-note). I can't do it alone. It is only by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ (Ro 13:14) that I can meet this urgent need."

The darkness of unbelief is not only to be found in faraway places like Irian Jaya or Tokyo or Tibet. The streets of St. Louis or Miami or New York or Toronto are darkened by unbelief as well.

Wherever we are, our witnessing becomes most effective when accompanied with godly living. May we be lights in the darkness--pointing our world to the Source of our light, the Lord Jesus Christ. --D C Egner (Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Dim not, little candle,
Show Jesus through me!
Glow brightly till others
The Light clearly see!

The smallest light is seen in the darkest night.

Leave The Dog At Home - A hunter once purchased a dog to help him hunt pheasants. But he discovered that the dog was interested only in chasing rabbits. So instead of hunting pheasants, he spent his time doing what his dog preferred. Finally the hunter decided he had better leave the dog at home.
This reminds me of the apostle Paul's words in Romans 7. He wrote,

"For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do" (see Ro 7:15-note).

Paul was speaking of the conflict between his old sinful tendencies and the new nature he received when he was born again. If we don't take temptation seriously, we'll be like the man in today's story. We'll find ourselves doing what we don't want to do and failing to do what we know we should.

The hunter solved his problem by taking decisive action. He equipped himself for pheasant hunting and went out without the distracting dog. That's what we must do in our spiritual life. As we prepare for each day, let's choose to obey the injunction, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Ro 13:14).

When we yield to Christ, rely on His strength, and put Him first, we'll be able to reject the evil impulses that arise within us. That's how we "leave the dog at home." --R W De Haan (Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

For Further Study - Why is it so hard to do what is right? According to Romans 8:1-17 (see notes beginning with Romans 8:1), where do we get the help we need to live in a way that pleases Christ?

If your Christian life is a drag, <
Worldly weights may be keeping you down.

J Vernon McGee writes: Oh, how many believers are making every PROVISION for the flesh but are making NO PROVISION to go into His PRESENCE. My friend, I beg you to put Christ first in your life and to get out the Word of God. This is all-important. (Ps 119:2 ,9, 10, 11, 38, 133 - see topic Memorizing His Word, Ps 1:1, 2, 3-see notes; see topics Discussion of Biblical Meditation and Primer of Biblical Meditation) (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

Bible Knowledge Commentary adds: For a Christian to plan out specific ways to gratify his sinful nature is wrong and out of bounds. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible knowledge commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books).

John Calvin on making "no provision for the flesh"… "As long as we carry about us our flesh, we cannot cast away every care for it; for though our conversation is in heaven, we yet sojourn on earth. The things then which belong to the body must be taken care of, but not otherwise than as they are helps to us in our pilgrimage (see 1 Pe 2:11-note), and not that they may make us to forget our (heavenly) country (Hebrews 11:16-note). Even heathens have said, that a few things suffice nature, but that the appetites of men are insatiable. Every one then who wishes to satisfy the desires of the flesh, must necessarily not only fall into, but be immerged in a vast and deep gulf. Paul, setting a bridle on our desires, reminds us, that the cause of all intemperance is, that no one is content with a moderate or lawful use of things: he has therefore laid down this rule, — that we are to provide for the wants of our flesh, but not to indulge its lusts. It is in this way that we shall use this world without abusing it."

Thomas Watson - If sin is a soul-sickness — then do not FEED this disease. He who is wise will avoid those things which will increase his disease: If he is feverish, he will avoid wine which would inflame the disease. He will forbear a dish he loves, because it is bad for his disease. Why should men not be as wise for their souls? You who have a drunken lust, do not feed it with wine; you who have a malicious lust, do not feed it with revenge; you who have an unclean lust, make no provision for the flesh (Ro 13:14). He who feeds a disease — feeds an enemy. Some diseases are starved; starve your sins by fasting and humiliation. Either kill your sin — or your sin will kill you! (The Souls Malady and Cure)

Provision (4307) (pronoia from pronoeo = observe in advance, to know or perceive ahead or beforehand, to foresee derived from pro = before + noeo = to perceive with the mind, know, comprehend) literally means "a thought one has beforehand", a planning ahead, a "premeditation".

Pronoia conveys the basic idea of planning something out ahead of time, giving it forethought or carrying out thoughtful planning to meet a need. The idea is to think about something ahead of time, with the implication that one can then respond appropriately (eg think about committing a sin and even being so deceived that you think that you can get away with it!)

Don’t make any plans that open the door for sin’s entry. Don't say I'll have some pornography laying around my house to prove I can withstand the temptation. Note the ways you subtly make provision for these hindrances (Romans 13:14): the computer games, the hidden alcohol or candy, the television, the videos, the stop on the way home, the magazines, the novels. There must be no provision for either gross appetites or refined carnal attitudes; all must be denied if we would behave properly as in the day!

Martin Luther said "You can't keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.

And so we may need to look away (from something, someone that might stimulate lust), discard a book, change a TV channel, move the computer into the family room, etc in order to keep a "foul fowl", so to speak, from nesting in our hair.

Rod Mattoon Illustration - On the old TV show "Hee Haw," Doc Campbell was confronted by a patient who said he broke his arm in two places. The doc replied, "Well then, stay out of them places!" He may have something there. We cannot regularly put ourselves in the face of temptation and not be affected. When faced with the problem of temptation, we need to take the good doctor's advice and "stay out of them places." Don't put yourself on a path where you know you will be tempted. (Treasures from Luke)

We "must, as it were, go on tiptoe, and be exercised with extreme caution, so as not to waken in us those slumbering dogs of lust which, if aroused, will tear our spiritual life to pieces."

Luke records the only other NT use of pronoia in Acts…

Acts 24:2 (ESV) And when he (Paul) had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: "Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, most excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation

Pronoia is a name for the Delphic Athene (Latin Athena = Greek goddess of wisdom) as the goddess of clever forethought!

The English word "provision" is from the Latin word providere which means literally to "see ahead". Provision then refers to "measures taken beforehand, either for security, defense or attack, or for the supply of wants… [provision is the] act of making previous preparation"). Provision refers to a measure taken beforehand to meet a need (or a greed, specifically a lust to gratify the old fallen flesh!).

NIDNTT has the following note on this word group…

The verb pronoeo (from pro and noeo, observe, notice) means initially to observe in advance, notice beforehand, foresee (e.g. Hom. Il. 18, 526, of a deception). But in most cases it has the meaning of to care, to see to it that, make provision for, attend to (e.g. Xen. Cyr. 8, 1, 1, caring for children). With the noun pronoia, attested since Aeschylus (Ag. 648), much as with the verb, the temporal meaning of foresight or foreknowledge is rare. The predominant meaning is foresight in the sense of forethought, intention, care, providence… The noun pronoia (Ro 13:14) also means concern, solicitude, provision. In this case it refers to the body (flesh). In Acts 24:3 (Ed note: the only other NT use of pronoia) the advocate Tertullus praises the provisions of Felix. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

Most sinful behavior results from wrong ideas and lustful desires we allow to linger in our minds (Jas 1:14, 15). The longer one allows these wrong ideas and lustful desires to linger, the more forethought (provision) we are making for the insidious, deceptive fallen flesh nature to bring them into fruition!

Don't fill your mind with plans for your sin. Instead, fill your mind with " [Philippians 4:8-note] thoughts" (see note), thoughts of Christ in Whom are hidden all the riches of wisdom and knowledge (see Col 2:3-note) and in Whom we are complete (see Colossians 2:10-note)… possessing all His precious and magnificent promises.

Ron Mattoon

Don't stare, study, or flirt with temptation, for you will be mesmerized by its lure. One three-year old's explanation for being in the kitchen on top of a chair, eating cookies: "I just climbed up to smell them, and my tooth got caught." Beloved, we fall into sin many times because we position ourselves in the path of temptation just like this little boy. Do not put yourself in a deliberate position where you know you are going to be tempted. Sometimes this is not possible, but in many cases we have a choice about whom we are spending time, where we are going, and what we are doing. Guard what God has done for you by avoiding temptation.

A little boy scraped a chair across the kitchen floor and climbed on it to reach the cookie jar on the top shelf. His mother heard the noise and called out, "What are you doing in there son?" With his hand in the cookie jar, the boy replied, "I'm fighting temptation!" Beloved, we tend to lose our battles with temptation because our hands are in the cookie jar. We lose because we make provisions for the flesh. We make provisions for failure and defeat.

If you make it easy for yourself to fall into sin, you most likely will. If you look down the barrel of Satan's double-barrel shotgun, he is going to pull the trigger.

Toying with temptation is not an act of dedication to Christ or of a person who has died to self. Godly Christians desire to stay as far away as possible from sinful living. They do not get as close as they can to Satan's trap and play with it. If you play with fire, sooner or later you are going to get burned.

We are to be alert to those things that will enter and corrupt our thought life and stir up lustful desires or hate within us. We are to be careful about what we view, what we hear, what we touch and feel. It is vital that we not willingly put ourselves into situations that will tempt us to do wrong or have the wrong kinds of thoughts.

Many Christians behave like the Red Barron of WWI. According to one report, the end of Germany's famous "Red Baron," Manfred von Richthofen, came because he pursued an Allied airplane "too long, too far, and too low into enemy territory." On April 21, 1918, von Richthofen, the celebrated World War I pilot, who was responsible for shooting down 80 enemy aircraft, began chasing a British plane that was trying to escape the battle. As the Red Baron pursued his quarry behind Allied lines, gunfire from either machine-gun nests on the ground or another British pilot who had come to help, killed von Richthofen. Some Christians make the same mistake as the Red Barron. They go out of bounds when it comes to temptation and they feel they are invincible and that nothing can hurt them. This is right where Satan wants them. Is this the place where Satan has you? Dying to self involves control of yourself, especially when it comes to lustful living. In our own power, self control is extremely difficult. Perhaps this is why Solomon equated such a person, who had self-control, as a mighty man or powerful conqueror.

The prayer of our life should be, "Lord, lead me not into temptation or testing that will cause me to fall."

We are not to make provision for sinful failure. This is what many do and they wonder why they can't get victory in their lives. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

John Calvin - As long as we carry about us our flesh, we cannot cast away every care for it; for though our conversation is in heaven, we yet sojourn on earth. The things then which belong to the body must be taken care of, but not otherwise than as they are helps to us in our pilgrimage, and not that they may make us to forget our country. Even heathens have said, that a few things suffice nature, but that the appetites of men are insatiable. Every one then who wishes to satisfy the desires of the flesh, must necessarily not only fall into, but be immerged in a vast and deep gulf. Paul, setting a bridle on our desires, reminds us, that the cause of all intemperance is, that no one is content with a moderate or lawful use of things: he has therefore laid down this rule, — that we are to provide for the wants of our flesh, but not to indulge its lusts. It is in this way that we shall use this world without abusing it.

A W Pink writes…

but not only must the new nature be fed. It is equally necessary for our spiritual well-being, that the old nature should be starved. This is what the Apostle had in mind when he said, "Make no provision for the flesh—to fulfill the lusts thereof" (Ro 13:14). To starve the old nature—to make not provision for the flesh—means that we abstain from everything that would stimulate our carnality—that we avoid, as we would a plague—all that is calculated to prove injurious to our spiritual welfare. Not only must we deny ourselves the "pleasures of sin," shun such things as the saloon, theater, dance, card table, etc.—but we must separate ourselves from worldly companions, cease to read worldly literature,

abstain from everything
upon which we cannot ask God's blessing.

Our affections are to be set upon things above—and not upon things on the earth (Col 3:2-note). Does this seem a high standard and sound impractical? Holiness in all things is that at which we are to aim—and

failure so to do explains
the leanness of so many Christians

Let the young believer realize that whatever does not help his spiritual life—hinders it. (A Fourfold Salvation)

Thomas Watson

The wicked are caterers for their lusts. (Making provision for our flesh) is a metaphor taken from such as make provision for a family—to feed them. The Greek word here signifies a projecting and planning in the mind, how to bring a thing about. This is to make provision for the flesh—when one studies to satisfy the flesh and provide fuel for lust. Thus Amnon made provision for the flesh (2Sa 13:5). He pretends himself to be sick, and his sister, Tamar, must be his nurse. She must cook and serve his food to him. By which means he defiled her virginity. It is sad when men's concern is not to be holy—but to satisfy lust. (Beatitudes)

Thomas Brooks

When men ordinarily, habitually, commonly are very careful, studious, and laborious to make provision for sin, then sin reigns: Ro 13:14, "Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof;" or, as the Greek has it, "Make no projects for the flesh," or "cater not for the flesh." When a man's head and heart is full of projects how to gratify this lust, and how to satisfy that lust, and how to fulfill the other lust, then sin reigns, then it is in its throne. James 4:3, "You ask and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts." [David, in an hour of temptation, once made provision for his lusts, 2Sa 11:14, 15. But this was not his course, his trade, etc.]

Both the law of God and nature requires me to make provision of shelter, food, clothing, and health for my body, and for theirs who are under my charge. But it may cost me my life, my estate, yes, my very soul, to make provision for my lusts. Such as ask amiss shall be sure to ask and miss. He who would make God a servant to his lusts, may ask long enough before God will answer. Of all affronts there is none to this—of making God a servant to our lusts. And where this frame of spirit is, there sin is in dominion, Hos 2:8. He who abuses mercies to serve his lusts, fights against God with his own weapons, as David did against Goliath, and as Ben-hadad did against Ahab, with that very life that he had newly given him. (A Cabinet of Choice Jewels)

The Amplified Version says

"make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts)"

Newell commenting on making no provision for the flesh

The word "provision" here is literally "forethought." It denotes the attitude of mind we used to have toward the flesh, as secretly expecting to gratify it, if not immediately, yet at some time. It is the opposite of the spirit of Galatians 5:24-note; it is Saul sparing Agag. (Romans 13)

Paul's command to make no provision is another reason Scripture memorization is so valuable… His Word hidden in our hearts will keep young men (and old men and women) from sin (Ps 119:9-, Ps 119:10-, Ps 119:11-). One of the most effective ways for a Christian to oppose the desires of the FLESH ("flesh" is used several different ways in Scripture - see word study.) is NOT to starve his body to bring it into subjection (asceticism cf see Colossians 2:23-note) but to starve the flesh making “no provision”. The surest way to fall into a sin is to allow oneself to be in situations where there temptation rears its seductive head (James 1:14-note; James 1:15-note) On the other hand, the safest way to avoid a sin is to avoid situations that are likely to pose temptations to it.

Arthur Pink

The honest soul will at once ask,

If I really hate sin—then why do I so often yield to it?

If I have been delivered from the love of sin, why can Satan's temptations still appeal to me?

The answer is, because the "flesh" is still left in you, and it remains unholy to the end of its history.

Our responsibility is

to "make no provision for the flesh" (Ro 13:14),

to "mortify" its members (Col 3:5-note),

to unsparingly judge it, root and branch (1Co 11:31, 32),

to confess its evil works (1John 1:9).

The fact that the believer resists sin, prays and strives against it, mourns and groans over it, loathes himself for it—are so many proofs that he no longer loves it as he once did. (Experimental Preaching)

I asked the Lord that I might grow,

In faith and love and every grace,

Might more of His salvation know,

And seek more earnestly His face.


It was He who taught me thus to pray,

And He I trust has answered prayer.

But it has been in such a way,

As almost drove me to despair!


I hoped that in some favored hour,

At once He'd answer my request.

And by His love's constraining power,

Subdue my sins and give me rest!


Instead of this, He made me feel,

The hidden evils of my heart.

And let the angry powers of hell,

Assault my soul in every part!


Yes, more with His own hand, He seemed,

Intent to aggravate my woe.

Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,

Blasted my gourds, and laid me low!


"Lord, why is this?" I trembling cried.

Will You pursue Your worm to death?"

"This is the way" the Lord replied,

"I answer prayer for grace and strength."


"These inward trials I employ,

From self, and pride, to set you free;

And break your schemes of earthly joy,

That you may find your all in Me!"

--John Newton

Dr Charles Ryrie (The Ryrie Study Bible: 1995. Moody) writes that…

"an illustration of obedience to this command (to make no provision for the flesh) is the book burning in Acts 19:19."

And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. (The value of these books in today's dollar would be more than a million dollars which underscores the prevalence of pagan occultism in Ephesus and also to the wonderful power of the gospel light to overcome the darkness)

Don't be like the man who was delivered from his smoking habit and took all of his smoking paraphernalia (pipes, tobacco, etc) and buried it in his back yard and then put a stone over the spot so that he would know where to dig in case he couldn't hold out. He was making provision for his old flesh nature to gratify the desires of that nature! And I'll bet he didn't hold out.


We fail to grasp the latent power inherent in our old nature (Ro 6:12-note, Ro 7:5-note). We may even think our old nature has been redeemed. Perish that thought. It is still the old nature (Gal 5:16-note, Gal 5:17-note). We have died to it's power but it's power is still it's power and we give it an inch it will take a yard. Do not be deceived beloved brethren.

FOR THE FLESH IN REGARD TO ITS LUSTS: kai tes sarkos pronoian me poieisthe (PAM) eis epithumias:

For the flesh - Literally the Greek reads "and for the flesh take no forethought -- for desires."

In regard to (1519) (eis) means into or in the direction of your lusts. The idea is -- Don't be planning ahead in the direction of your evil desires. Don't preoccupy yourselves with a view to satisfying lusts.

David understood that

"transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes…He plans wickedness upon his bed; he sets himself on a path that is not good; he does not despise evil" (Ps 36:1, 4).

If you are really honest with yourself, you know that to one degree or another, most wickedness which one commits is "pre-meditated" or planned! The ungodly person does not just "accidentally" stumble into sin but "plans to do evil".

Solomon recorded that…

He who plans to do evil, men will call him a schemer. (Pr 24:8).

The devout Puritan preacher Thomas Manton (click for biographical sketch written by J. C. Ryle) wrote, "Every corruption has a voice," meaning that every sort of sin finds a way to bring itself to man's mind and heart.

To feel the desire to sin is evidence of the PRESENCE of sin in us (Ro 7:18-note).

To fulfill that desire is evidence of the POWER of sin over us.

As long as we are in our mortal bodies we will experience the PRESENCE of sin within us.

But at NO time does a Christian have to yield to sin's POWER (Ro 6:11-note; Ro 6:12-note, Ro 6:13-note, Ro 6:14-note).

Because we have the PROVISION of Christ's own nature, His rich grace & His Holy Spirit within us, we do not have to make PROVISION for the flesh by fulfilling its lusts (see Col 1:27-note, Gal 5:16-note, Gal-note, Ro 7:24-note, Ro 7:25-note, Ro 8:1-note, Ro 8:2-note, Ro 8:13-note; Ro 8:26-note; Ro 8:27-note)

Ron Mattoon - Near Watsonville, California, there is a creek that has a strange name: Salsipuedes Creek. Salsi puedes is Spanish for "Get out of it, if you can." The creek is lined with quicksand, and the story is that many years ago, in the early days of California, a Mexican laborer fell into the quicksand. A Spaniard, riding by on a horse, saw him and yelled out to him, "Salsi puedes!" which was not very helpful to the man in distress. The creek has been so named ever since. That is what the flesh is like. We struggle to correct our fleshly tendencies, to get out of the effects of our sinful nature, but without the help of the Lord or a desire for spiritual victory, we cannot do it. Stay away from the creeks of corruption and carnality.

Flesh (4561) (sarx) (Click in depth study of flesh) is a word that is used with several different meanings in the NT, the specific meaning being determined by the contextual use. In the present context the meaning of sarx is the moral and spiritual weakness and helplessness of human nature still present even in redeemed souls. Even though the old man (flesh) indeed has been hanged upon the tree of Calvary with Christ, he still has the ability to influence you, distract you, tempt you, and even defeat you. There will be times when you will allow the flesh to control you, but it is always your choice. The flesh cannot control us anymore on it’s own, as Paul explains in Romans 6:1-11 (see notes Ro 6:1-3; 6:4-5; 6:6-7; 6:8-10; 6:11).The answer to flesh is not to try to repress these influences by your will power. We must realize that our defense against the intrusion of the flesh into our thinking is not our will power or our determination not to permit these things, but it is rather a quiet resting back upon the power of the Holy Spirit to meet the flesh whenever it appears and a dependence upon the Spirit to do so.

Paul uses sarx 22 times (out of a total of 147 NT uses) in the single book of Romans (click uses) but not always with the same meaning. Study the verses in context to determine Paul's intended meaning because as alluded to in the notes above on "provision", the meaning of "flesh" is critically dependent on the context. For the various meanings of sarx in the NT, see study of "flesh" in believers. Also see chart contrasting in the flesh versus in the Spirit

Ron Mattoon

Beloved, our flesh will always oppose us, but need not oppress us.

It will ever conflict, but need not conquer.

It will constantly harass and hassle, but need not hinder or harness us because of the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer. Through the Holy Spirit we can get victory over our flesh.

John Piper describes flesh as used here in the context of Ro 13:14 as

the old ego that is self-reliant and does not delight to yield to any authority or depend on any mercy. Flesh craves the sensation of self-generated power and loves the praise of men… in its conservative form it produces legalism -- keeping rules by its own power for its own glory… (in its more liberal form) produces grossly immoral attitudes and acts (Gal 5:19ff-note) The Flesh is the proud and unsubmissive root of depravity in every human heart which exalts itself subtly through proud, self-reliant morality, or flaunts itself blatantly through self-assertive, authority-despising immorality." (see sermon Walk by the Spirit)

Flesh (still referring to its ethical/moral aspect) is that part of man's nature which is centered upon self (remove the "h" and spell flesh backwards… what do you have?) and is in total opposition to God. Flesh is the ugly complex of human sinful desires inherited from Adam (see Romans 5:12-note, Ps 51:5) that includes the ungodly motives, affections, principles, purposes, words, and actions that SIN (the "sin principle" inherited from Adam) generates through the instruments or members of our bodies (Ro 6:13-note). The flesh then is the old, corrupt nature which incessantly cries out to be pampered with comfort, luxury, illicit sexual indulgence, empty amusements, worldly pleasures, dissipation, materialism, etc. To live according to the flesh is to be ruled and controlled by ("filled with") that evil nature (notes Ro 8:4-note; Ro 8:5-note; Ro 8:6-note, Ro 8:7-note, Ro 8:8-note; Ro 8:9-note; Ro 8:10-note, Ro 8:11-note; Ro 8:12-note). But because of Christ’s saving work on our behalf, the sinful flesh no longer reigns as "master" over us (see Ro 6:6-note, Ro 6:11-note, Ro 6:12-note, Ro 6:13-note, Ro 6:14-note), to debilitate us and drag us back into the pit of depravity into which we were all born.

Barnes - The gratification of the flesh was the main object among the Romans. Living in luxury and licentiousness, they made it their great object of study to multiply and prolong the means of licentious indulgence. In respect to this, Christians were to be a separate people (i.e., "holy"), and to show that they were influenced by a higher and purer desire than this groveling propensity to minister to sensual gratification. It is right, it is a Christian duty, to labour to make provision for all the real wants of life. But the real wants are few and, with a heart disposed to be pure and temperate, the necessary wants of life are easily satisfied, and the mind may be devoted to higher and purer purposes.

Ron Mattoon on the fall of man

Eve sees that this tree is good for food, appealing to her flesh. Eve positioned herself to fall. She should have steered clear of that tree. Our problem is the same. We struggle with sin because we make provision for it to fulfill our lust and desires (Ro 13:14). Paul admonishes us to walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). If we sow to the flesh we reap corruption (Gal. 6:8).

Lusts (1939) (epithumia from epí = upon, used intensively + thumos = "passion, ardor" so literally is either "intensified" passion or ardor.) (Click for in depth word study of epithumia)

W. E. Vine summarizes epithumia as follows:

epithumia denotes "strong desire" of any kind, the various kinds being frequently specified by some adjective (see below). The word is used of a good desire only in Lu 22:15; Phil 1:23 [note]; 1Thes 2:17 [note]. Everywhere else it has a bad sense. In Ro 6:12 [note] the injunction against letting sin reign in our mortal body to obey the "lust" thereof, refers to those evil desires which are ready to express themselves in bodily activity. They are equally the "lusts" of the flesh, Ro 13:14 [note]; Gal 5:16 [note], Gal 5:24 [note] Eph 2:3 [note]; 2Pe 2:18 [note]; 1Jn 2:16, a phrase which describes the emotions of the soul, the natural tendency towards things evil. Such "lusts" are not necessarily base and immoral, they may be refined in character, but are evil if inconsistent with the will of God.

Other descriptions besides those already mentioned are: "of the mind," Ephesians 2:3 [note]; "evil (desire)," Colossians 3:5 [note]; "the passion of," 1Thessalonians 4:5 [note], RV; "foolish and hurtful," 1Ti 6:9; "youthful," 2Ti 2:22 [note]; "divers," 2Ti 3:6 [note]; Titus 3:3 [note]; "their own," 2Ti 4:3 [note]; 2Pe 3:3 [note]; Jude 1:16; "worldly," Titus 2:12 [note]; "his own," Jas 1:14 [note]; "your former," 1P 1:14 [note], RV; "fleshly," 1Pe 2:11 [note]; "of men," 1Pe 4:2 [note]; "of defilement," 2Pe 2:10 [note]; "of the eyes," 1Jn 2:16; of the world ("thereof"), 1Jn 2:17; "their own ungodly," Jude 1:18. In Re 18:14 [note] "(the fruits) which thy soul lusted after" is, lit., "of thy soul's lust." (Vine, W E: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. 1996. Nelson)

Newell elaborates on "lusts":

"The flesh has endless lusts and desires, —all clamoring for indulgence. Besides the lower lusts, and our natural self-sparing slothfulness, there are all the forms of self-pleasing: self-esteem, "sensitiveness, " love of praise, man-fearing, fleshly amiability, flattery of others for selfish ends, pride, "dignity, " impatience of non-recognition by others, sheer empty conceit, and a thousand other "desires of the flesh, " for which no provision is to be made. Often we can, if we will, see beforehand and shun circumstances that would give the flesh an advantage to indulge itself. But it is only by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ as the positive attitude of the soul, that we shall find ourselves able and willing to refuse any provision for the flesh." (Romans 13) (Comment: Don't miss what Newell is saying -- first put on Jesus, then you are empowered to fight off the "desires of the flesh". Don't reverse the order and attempt to take on the enemy in your power for the battle has always been and will always be the Lord's!)

A survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:

1. Materialism

2. Pride

3. Self-centeredness

4. Laziness

5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness

6. (Tie) Sexual lust

7. Envy

8. Gluttony

9. Lying

Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81%) and when they were physically tired (57%). Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84%), avoiding compromising situations (76%), Bible study (66%), and being accountable to someone (52%).

Easy-to-Read Commentary Series

The final paragraph (Ro 13:11, 12, 13, 14) is the high point of chapters twelve and thirteen. It is as if life were a great football or soccer field with Ro 12:1, Ro 12:2 representing one goal and 13:11-14 the other goal. All of the scoring is done at these goals while the game is played on the field. How we play the game on the field in everyday challenges will determine the final outcome. In order to compete in the game, we need both a strong offense and a tough defense. We must not underestimate our opponents—the world, the flesh, and the devil—but more importantly, we must not underestimate God's power that enables us to achieve final victory. "Thank God that he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 15:57). These final four verses are a wakeup call for Christians everywhere. We are in a real-life struggle against evil within and without, but God has fully equipped and prepared us for each encounter. May the words of this passage call many from darkness to light and stir God's people to a firm resolution to engage in spiritual conflict in accordance with His commands. (Easy-to-Read Commentary Series – Romans: Hope of the Nations)

Godet puts it this way…

We may now be convinced that the practical treatise, which serves as a complement to the doctrinal, is not less systematically arranged than the latter was. The four parts of which it is composed: faith in the mercies of God as the basis of Christian life (Ro 12:1, 2); the realization of this life in the two spheres, religious and civil, under the supreme law of love (Ro 12:3-21 and Ro 13:1-10); finally, the eye of hope constantly fixed on the coming of Christ as the spring of progress in sanctification (Ro 13:11-14);—these four parts, we say, which may be reduced to three, bring us without straining to Paul’s ordinary triad: faith, love, and hope (1Th. 1:3; 1Co 13:13, etc.). (Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans. Page 450)

J. H. Jowett speaking against evil desires, warns us that…

An entire army of unclean forces are antagonistic to the exalted realm of the spirit.

Ray Stedman has an excellent summary of this section writing…

"You say,

"Because I died with Christ, I see that I no longer need to permit this hot temper to rule my life, and I will appropriate Him. I will count on Him for continual victory in the hour of temptation -- except when someone does me dirt! If they go too far, I think that is justification to loose my temper."

Well, that is making provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires, you see. You rest on the flood tide of His indwelling life (of Christ in you, of His Spirit enabling you) to keep you free from lust and passion -- but occasionally you read a sex magazine just to see if you can resist it. That is making provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

I had a friend who was a printer, and one day a man brought to him a pornographic card to be printed, one of those filthy, lewd things, which he wanted printed for his personal use. He handed it to my friend, the printer, and he said, "I would like you to print this for me. I will pay you extra well for it." The man looked at the card, saw the nature of it, and handed it back, and said, "No, thank you. I don't print this kind of stuff." The other fellow said, "Oh, come on now. Don't try to pull this pious stuff with me. You know that you really enjoy this kind of thing. Just be honest." And the printer looked at him, and said, "You're right. I do. I have a nature which likes to feed upon this kind of thing, but I don't feed it!" That is what Paul is saying here.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, take His life, take all that He is and all the fullness of His being to be all that you need, but, along with it, be sure that you are not making some subtle little provision for the flesh to gratify its desire, because you can have all of His life, all that you need, but you can't have it for your program.

That is what he reminds us of here. "No," he says, "clothe yourself with His life." Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, but remember it is never "Christ AND I" -- it is "not I, BUT Christ." (Gal 2:20-note)

This is what the world is waiting to see. Some of you have read the little booklet entitled The Need of the Hour (read the 8 page booklet) that Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators, wrote. He delivered this message shortly before he died, and it has been printed and circulated around the world. In that message, Trotman comes to this conclusion:

I believe that the need of the hour is an army of soldiers dedicated to Jesus Christ who believe not only that He is God but that He can fulfill every promise that He has ever made and that there isn't anything too hard for Him."

I think he is right. I like Phillips' rendering of this fourteenth verse:

Let us be Christ's men from head to foot, give no chances to the flesh to have its fling. {Ro 13:14 Phillips Translation}

Do you know what will happen if you begin to do that? All around you people will begin to see Jesus Christ in you, and their lives will be changed. They will begin to feel His love and His concern for them burning out through your heart to touch them, to help them, to pray with them, to weep with them, to rejoice with them, to love them! You'll always be finding yourself, somehow, at the right place, at the right time, with the right people, saying the right thing. You will discover, as you look back, that your life has become what God asks us to be: A light in the midst of a dark and perverse generation." (Php 2:14-note)

Our Father, as we look at the world around us, we are so aware of the truth of these words. How desperately the world needs to see this kind of life lived; and the only place, Lord, that this kind of life can be seen by other people around us is in the lives of men and women like us where your life dwells. We pray, then, that these words may come home to us with increasing meaning.

May we see that the secret is not the struggle of our own life to do something, not some effort to approach men through some knowledge of psychological principles, but rather the simple effect of a life and a heart that is filled with the presence and the Person and the glory of Jesus Christ.

May we feast upon Him, thank Him, dwell with Him, live with Him, put Him on, and appropriate the fact that He indwells us and is ours. Then, Paul tells us, our own life will be changed from glory to glory into the same image (2Co 3:18), and people will begin to see Jesus Christ walking in the midst of this twentieth century. Lord, we pray for this in Jesus' Name. Amen. (Bolding added) (The Demand of the Hour)

Jerry Bridges on Make No Provision - We should also study our sinful desires and how they rise up against us. John Owen said, “To labor to be acquainted with the ways, wiles, methods, advantages, and occasions of the success of sin, is the beginning to this warfare.” Consider beforehand. It is amazing how often we walk into known areas of temptation without any plan or resolution as to how we will react. If you have a weakness for sweets as I have, and you must go to the church pie social, plan beforehand what you will do. A number of years ago, a friend who was a new Christian was invited to a roller skating party with a Christian youth group. He decided not to go because, before becoming a Christian, he had frequently made “pick-ups” at roller rinks. He felt that at that time in his growth, to return to that environment would tend to stimulate his old lustful desires. So he decided to “flee,” (1 Cor 6:18) to “make no provision for the flesh.” He was able to do this because he considered beforehand the possible consequences of going to a seemingly innocent roller skating party. God expects us to assume our responsibilities (OUR PART) for keeping the sinful desires of the body under control. It is true we cannot do this in our own strength. Our sinful desires, stimulated by all the temptations around us, are too strong for us. But though we cannot do it by ourselves, we can do it. As we set ourselves to the task in dependence upon the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:13), we will see Him at work in us (Php 2:13NLT+)(GOD'S PART). We will fail many times, but as we persevere, we will be able to say with Paul, “I can do everything (MY PART) through Him who gives me strength (GOD'S PART - ENABLING US WITH POWER BY HIS SPIRIT)” (Philippians 4:13+). (Pursuit of Holiness, page 112-113 - I highly recommend new and old Christians read this "bibliocentric" book slowly and meditatively at least once in their life) - See related resource - "Paradoxical Principle of 100% Dependent and 100% Responsible" (100/100)


Steven Cole

Rather than calling it the deeds of light, Paul refers to the armor of light, which calls attention to the reality of the spiritual conflict that we face every day. As Paul points out in Ephesians 6:12-13, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

It’s easy to forget this as we go about our daily routines, because it is an unseen battle. If our eyes were open to see the demonic forces that are trying to bring us down, we’d probably die of fright! But even though these hideous enemies are unseen, they are very real and dangerous. The fact that Paul gives this command to believers implies that we are not immune to the sins he has just listed. The lusts of the flesh still war in our hearts, even after we have walked with Christ for many years. And so we need to be aware of the enemy’s schemes (2 Cor. 2:11) and put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:14-17; 1 Thess. 5:8).

By calling it the armor of light, Paul is calling attention to holiness or righteousness. It is important to remember that the command to love one another (Ro 13:8-10) is not just an amorphous feeling. Love means obedience to Christ’s commandments. He said (John 14:15), “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” It is not legalism to obey the commandments of the New Testament. Putting on the armor of light means that we walk in obedience or holiness. We turn from temptation and sin and we follow the teaching and example of our Lord Jesus Christ. If there is not a significant behavioral difference between you and the world, you need to engage in some sober self-examination. The difference between how the world lives and how Christians live should be as stark as the difference between night and day.

2. The motivation for walking in holiness is that we know the time and we are looking for the culmination of our salvation at the return of Jesus Christ.


The motivational factor is brought out by the therefore that begins verse 12. Note the flow of thought (Rom. 13:11-12): “Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Paul’s word for time denotes the present age, the time between the first and second comings of Jesus Christ. He came the first time to bring salvation for all who will believe. He will come again in power and glory for judgment on unbelievers and to consummate final salvation for us who believe. Thus “salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.” The time in which we live is still dark, but the night (this present evil age; Gal. 1:4) is almost gone and the day (of the Lord) is near. The possibility that Christ could come at any time and the certainty that He will come at some time should motivate us to holy living right now.

Some have questioned the validity of Paul’s view of the end times by saying that he mistakenly thought that Christ would come during his lifetime or shortly thereafter. It is probably correct to say that Paul did not expect the Lord’s return to be delayed for 2,000 years. But neither did he teach that it would happen in his lifetime, but rather that it could happen in his lifetime (1 Thess. 4:17). Thomas Schreiner explains (Romans [Baker], p. 698), “He argued in light of the certainty of the end, and the possibility that it could come soon, that believers should always be morally ready.” Henry Alford put it (cited by Douglas Moo, The Epistle to the Romans [Eerdmans], p. 822, italics his), “On the certainty of the event, our faith is grounded: by the uncertainty of the time, our hope is stimulated and our watchfulness aroused.”

When I was in seminary, Marla and I used to baby sit for some wealthy Dallas families while the parents went away for several days. We knew approximately when the parents would return, but we didn’t know exactly when they would return. So as the time drew closer, we made sure that the house was in decent order. As believers, we know that Christ could come (or we could die) at any time, although we don’t know exactly when. But knowing that we will be with Him when He comes should motivate us to clean up our lives so that we are ready for that certain day.


If you have believed in Christ, you have been saved in the past; you are being saved in the present; and you will be completely saved in the future when you meet the Lord. It is that third aspect of salvation that Paul refers to here when he says, “Now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.”

But to walk in holiness, we have to shake off spiritual drowsiness. Last week, Marla and I left our daughter Joy’s apartment in central Asia at 4:30 a.m. Monday (3:30 p.m. Sunday in Arizona). Neither of us sleep well on airplanes, so when we arrived at our house at 10 p.m. Monday (it was then 11 a.m. Tuesday in Asia), we were exhausted. On the drive home from the Phoenix airport, I was beginning to swerve on the road and I couldn’t keep my eyes focused, so I finally pulled over and let Marla drive, since she wasn’t quite as groggy as I was. But we both were very drowsy!

Paul implies that his readers are prone to spiritual drowsiness. I confess that I’m often spiritually drowsy. I’m not alert when opportunities to share the gospel come up and so I miss them. I’m half asleep when temptation hits and don’t flee or resist as I should. Or I waste time on trivial matters because I’m not alert to the shortness of time. But as Jesus said (John 9:4), “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.”

In verse 12, Paul tells us to put on the armor of light. But in verse 14 he says, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” The way that we put on the armor of light is, positively to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and negatively to make no provision for the lusts of the flesh. In one sense, we already put on Christ at the moment of salvation when we were identified or clothed with Him (Rom. 6:3-6; Gal. 3:27). But in another sense, we need to put on Christ moment by moment by yielding to His lordship. This means “that we are consciously to embrace Christ in such a way that his character is manifested in all that we do and say” (Moo, pp. 825-826).

Conclusion - Although this text is not directly evangelistic, it is the text that God used to save Augustine. He had been a promiscuous young man and had lived for some years with a mistress. He had come under conviction of sin and wanted to be saved, but he had not yet gained assurance of God’s forgiveness. He was weeping over his spiritual condition as he sat in the garden of a friend when he heard a child singing, “Take up and read! Take up and read!” He picked up a scroll that lay nearby and his eyes fell on the words, “Not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” At that point, he said (Confessions, 8.12), “Instantly, as the sentence ended—by a light, as it were, of security infused into my heart—all the gloom of doubt vanished away.”

May the reality of the approaching day of the Lord weigh upon us every day, so that we trust in Him as Savior and walk in holiness before Him as Lord!

Application Questions

1 Many polls have shown that there is virtually no difference between the morals of evangelicals and the rest of the population. What conclusions can we draw from this?

2 How can believers be more cognizant on a daily basis of the reality and certainty of Christ’s coming?

3 Does it strike you as odd that Paul would list strife and jealousy alongside carousing, drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, and sensuality? What can we conclude from this?

4 Practically, how does a person put on the Lord Jesus Christ when temptation hits? What does it entail? (Your Present Walk and the Coming Day)