The version of man in his earthly form is ridden with sin from the moment he is born in to the world of sin. To be born again is to be born into Christ, as Christ in us and we in Christ. It means to be recreated in his likeness, which is true righteousness and holiness. But to be recreated in His likeness, we need to win the mercy of the Lord…not because we are deserving of His love, not because we chose Him, but because He chose us to shower His mercy upon, to recreate in us the new man, in us His likeness, so that we are made whole in being part of the same body that is Christ.
Romans 13.12 says, “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 armour of light”
The armour of light is the Armor of the God, that saving grace that protects you from falling into the evils of the world, and keeps you far from the clutches of Satan and sin. “I am the light of the World. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” says Jesus (John 8:12). When we have set ourselves free from the dominion of the flesh, we are free from the works of darkness too. He himself came as light into the world. The nature of Christ is light that dispels darkness. To be reborn in his likeness is to become carriers of the light of the world; true light that dispels that darkness of sin in and around us.
Living in the darkest of days, we see every day that man is enslaved to all kinds of evil. From addictive cell phone apps to virtual reality, from gambling to discos, drinking, drugs and sex, man is addicted to evil in many forms. Every where he turns, traps lay open to catch him off guard and have him enslaved in the evil of sin. The sins of man has multiplied and spread everywhere.
People toil their entire life to make some money and enjoy the pleasures of the world. Moreover banks give credit so that your entertainment is never delayed for lack of money. But it is an evil money trap that will see all your earnings drain away in a cyclic loop, month after month, year after year. Some would willingly commit evil to earn some money. Money is God, they say. Some receive from the hands of the Lord but spend it on evil pleasures. They don’t know where it comes from or to where it goes. 1Timothy 6:10 warns every money seeker thus, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” And man’s greediness takes him far from the Lord, His Words and His ways. It is far from the likeness of Christ. To be like Christ is not to hoard or crave after money but to understand the hopelessness of money & the evils it brings with it. To be like Christ is to share with the needy all that you have in excess of. To be created in the likeness of Christ is to “be holy as I am holy.” Levi 11:45. God expects us to lead a life holy in His sight so that His light can shine through us and we begin to dispel the darkness of sin around us. He wills to put in us his God like nature, His holiness and His armour. Ephes 6: 14 -16 extorts us to put on the Armour of Light to drive out the evils of darkness. Our loins should be girded with truth, truth being Christ the reality and Christ the living experience. Such a reality is the girdle that will strengthen our whole being for the spiritual warfare against the spirits of darkness.
The lord extorts us to put on the breast plate of righteousness to cover our own conscience. In fighting Satan, we need a conscience devoid of offence. Regardless of how clean we feel our conscience might be, it needs to be covered with the breast plate of the Lord’s Righteousness. To be righteous is to be right with both God and Man. If there is small holes in our conscience, our faith and confidence in God will leak out and Satan will find a way to trap us. Hence we need the Armour of Righteousness to protect us from the enemy’s accusation. (ICorin. 1:30)
We must shoe our feet to strengthen our stand in the battle. Firm foundation also be rendered readiness. Christ made peace for us on the cross and this peace has become our Gospel. (Eph. 2:13-17). This gospel of peace has been established as a firm foundation as a readiness with which our feet may shod. Being this shod, we will have a firm footing that we may stand to fight the spiritual warfare. The shield of faith is taken up to protect ourselves from the attacks of the enemy.
Having girded our loins with truth, covered our conscience with righteousness, our feet shod with the gospel of peace, we need the shield of faith to protect our entire being. If we are equipped with these four items of God’s armour, we can stand firm fighting against Satan’s temptations, doubts, proposals, questions, lies and attack. We must wear the helmet of salvation to cover & protect our mind, our mentality against the negative thoughts brought about by the evil one.Satan injects threats, worries, anxieties and weakening thoughts into our mind. God’s salvation is the covering we take up against all these.
Among all the items of God’d armour, the sword of the spirit is the only weapon used for attacking the enemy. The spirit is the Word of God – both the Spirit and the Word are Christ. (II cor. 3:17, Rev19:13) Christ as the Spirit and the Word furnishes us with a sword as an offensive weapon to defeat and slay the enemy. The Sword, the Spirit and the Word are one. When the constant word in the bible becomes the instant word, the word is the spirit as the sword kills the enemy. We need to receive the words of God by means of prayer and petition. We need to be watchful to maintain a prayer life with all perseverance and persistent care.
Paul wants us to take the whole armour of god, so that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against power, against the rulers of darkness of the age, against the spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ep6:12) So with prayers and by holding on to the words of the lord, we can sing happily and joyfully, ‘the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places. Yes, I have a good inheritance.’(Psa10:16)
We should meditate on the word of the Lord daily, pray unceasingly and be vigilant always because our adversary the Satan walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (IPt5:8) Day by day we must be strengthened in our faith, love and holiness. Is our faith in the Lord as strong as Abraham’s? Do we hold onto faith in the Lord, even when everything around us fails and goes against our expectations or do we murmur against god when answers to our prayers are delayed? That is why Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on Earth? (Luke 18:18)Do we have the faith that the woman of Cannan exhibited when she came to Jesus to heal her daughter possessed by the demon? She did not leave him til He answered and Jesus was impressed by her faith. He replied, “o woman, great is thy faith.” Mat 15:28
Do we love our neighbours? Do we pray for our enemies? Do we follow what the Lord asked us to do? When we have love and compassion in our hearts, we never blame others. We never fight over things trivial. In these times of turmoil, we see no love between members of the same family. How when you cant love your own family will you love others?
Issiah 59:17 says, “For He put on righteousness as a breast plate and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garment of vengeance for clothing and was clad with zeal as a cloak.” The lord is clad with furious divine jealousy. We must cultivate this furious divine jealousy in us. Joseph had this Divine jealousy; that is why he did not oblige to his master’s wife! Ruth, Esther, Naomi, Daniel and almost all men of god have this divine jealousy. Jesus surrendered to the will of his father due to this divine jealousy. As children of God, we too must exhibit this divine jealousy for the salvation of people around us.
We should always obey the word of God and be pure and holy. Where ever we are, at home, in the workplace, in the church, we must be possessed with divine jealousy. When we have this nature, we will be in the mighty hands of God and He will exalt us in due time. We can pull ourselves out of the darkness only when we have love, faith, holiness and salvation. We are in the days of the Lent. Self examination should be part of our daily lives. We must renew ourselves in the love of God and help each other and everyone we meet to pass on the message of peace and the love of Christ. Amen.