Are You Putting Me On?
This is a phrase that I think people used to use in the 70’s to ask if someone was trying to fool you…telling you something that wasn’t really true. This doesn’t really have anything to do with my post but I thought it was a catchy title! Well, in Romans 13 Paul does use the phrase “put on” a couple of times. In verse 12 he tells us to put on the armor of light and in verse 14 to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul sometimes uses the idea of “putting on” Jesus or righteousness as a way to describe how the believer in Jesus should be “clothed”. There is another old expression that says, “the clothes make the man”. This might have some truth to it from the viewpoint of how we are perceived by others, but that is not what Paul has in mind. Rather, Paul has in mind putting on Christ by letting Christ change you from the inside. A second command Paul gives at the end of this chapter is to “make no provision for the flesh”. Paul covers both the positive and negative here. Putting on Christ is the positive…making no provision for the flesh is the negative…Both are important.
If we think about the sin that we’ve committed in the past six months, I think most of it has come about because we’ve made provision for it. We’ve put ourselves in position to yield to temptation. We’ve allowed ourselves to think about things or ponder things that have led to sin. We’ve hung out with the wrong crowd or went to the wrong place. We may not have been 100% certain we were going to sin, but we “made provision” for the sin by our thoughts or actions. As Paul gets close to wrapping up this incredible book, he is challenging us to put our theology to good use…and he’s not putting us on.