Put Off, Put On

Romans 13:12 contain the following: “So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

There is much to pull from this text as well as the surrounding context but what I want to focus on here is the “cast off” or putting off and “put on” pattern seen here. We see this pattern in Ephesians 4 and plenty of other areas in the Scriptures as well.

I’m emphasizing this as it is a pattern we are being directed to follow. We are to put off what harms us/others, put off that which makes us steeped in sin, put off what doesn’t glorify God – this the part that so many of us see and try to do but we so often fail to see or do the put on part.

This is very easy for us to do as we all so often tend to reduce things to following rules. However, this boiling of things down to following a bunch of rules amounts to legalism and we miss the transformative aspects of the directed pattern. In addition, only following rules has a high degree of failure as we fail to meet the rules set before us.

If you have ever been addicted to anything – cigarettes, illegal drugs, soda, tobacco, etc. – you’ve likely seen that most who succeed in getting away from it did not do so cold turkey. The only people I know who were able to drop their addiction cold was because there was an intervention on their part that kept them from reaching back to that addiction. Even in this case, those who’ve had an addiction find something else to fill in the gap created by the absence of their addiction. In other words, they “put on” something else.

In Romans 13:12, we see the “armor of light”, or also the armor of God (other references/translations use “of God’ instead). Armor is defensive; it is protective. So already in a general sense, we are seeing direction given that we are to put off what is dark and put on that which will strengthen us and ultimately protect us. But it doesn’t end there. The “of light” or “of God” part makes it clear this is connected to God and His goodness. In other words, we are to put on that which strengthens us in the Lord.

How does this play out practically?

If you’re wanting to put off impure thoughts about the opposite sex or even same sex, answer these ponderings with the Word of God. In other words, memorize specific Scripture to defend yourself from wrong thinking. (I’ve provided some such passages already as part of Anti-porn for your use)

Other examples?

When I go to this place, I struggle keeping away from…  Then don’t go there and instead go where you feel stronger or can get support against the enemy you tend to find yourself facing. (ex. When I go to the beach and see the women… Then don’t go to the beach! Go to a friend’s place, go to a park, etc.)

When I go online, I find myself going to __ site. Then block it and leave the password to your blocking tool (most routers have built-in filtering functions) with a friend you trust. xxxchurch is a great resource as it will make it such that you cannot go to a particular sexual site or the like without automatically letting a person you set as your accountability person know (it also lets that person know if you try to remove the program).

There are plenty of others things that can be done and I will continue to add more to the Anti-Porn series for your use. With that, I’ll close with the following…

Just as you put off your dirty shirt such that it becomes completely dissociated from your body, do likewise with all sinful struggles and that which doesn’t glorify God. Put on the clean shirt and those actions and activities that do glorify God and that which will ultimately build you up before Him.

Put off the old. Put on the new.

Put off sin. Put on righteousness.

Put off the sinner. Put on the saint.


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