“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. ” Romans 13:11-14; ESV
Our debt to people is love. We owe it. We should pay it, and pay it with all diligence. Why? Because love is what God’s law is all about. That’s what Paul says just before our verses here. Then, he moves on to practical examples of what it means for a Christian to live out that love in a society that had thoroughly rejected God’s way and His love.
What is love? It is a concept that brings emotions to bear, a tear to drop or perhaps a smile to the face. What is love? Feelings? The statement that many make is, “I love you because you make me feel so good.” In our modern world, love is a feeling of self-gratification. But that is not how the Bible describes love. It is absolute undeniable deniability of self focus. It is the opposite of how we define it today.
Love, from a biblical perspective is life mitigated or confirmed to a set of values or thoughts placed on others. It is their welfare hopes or needs we place before our own. It is the case with people; it is the case with God.
God demonstrated His love in many practical applications, but they all meant the same. He was thinking about your well-being. When He limits your freedom it is for your growth. He does not lessen liberty in order to limit your ability for life, but to enhance it. The love of and for God is for our good and for His glory.
Paul encourages us to love God, which enables us to fulfill the law, then encourages us not to make provision for the flesh. The examples are those which harm us or others. Sexual immorality, drunkenness, quarreling and jealousy all seek to destroy, not enhance our lives.
To make provision for these, the flesh, is to live in the blackness of depression rather than the joy of light. God’s love for us, the cross, enables the power, but the switch must be turned on in order for the light to shine. We must be willing to live in light. It is our choice.
That’s the point. We were living in darkness, but God brought us to the place where we can walk in peace. You see, darkness brings anxiety, light brings peace. So, God is not a kill-joy. He is a loving Father who deeply cares. His desire is to save you from darkness and bring you to peace. Will you come? That is the question.