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  BODY AND SOUL–INTEGRATED ROMANS 13:8-14: ‘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). (v14)

Did you hear that, that the only way you can keep your body whole (that is body, spirit and soul in unity without one militating against the other or not giving the other the correct function and services it ought to give) and fully integrated together whereby they will be functioning and guiding, and giving you the advantages they are designed to render to you is when you obey Romans thirteen verse fourteen by clothing yourself (with the indwelling of Christ) with Lord Jesus Christ, and forbid yourself from indulging in evil practices gratifying or pleasing your cravings or urges for evil desires, lust and the rest of them which you know. The whole aim of the teachings of the gospel is to mould and teach you how to be able to carry out Romans thirteen verse fourteen in your life on earth. Last week we mentioned that one of our desires is for the Lord God Almighty to make us whole, body, spirit and soul intact without one or any part being contaminated in us by any evil spirit posing great problems to us just as is the case with many people today. Our age is fully fascinated with psychology (psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour, or it is a multifaceted discipline and includes many sub-fields of study such areas as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behaviour and cognitive processes. On the other hand cognitive is a term referring to the mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension. Cognitive ability may be defined as a “mental capability that … involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience” These cognitive processes includes thinking, knowing, remembering, judging, and problem-solving and these are higher-level functions of the brain and encompass language, imagination, perception, and planning) and mental wellbeing. Cognitive skills, also called cognitive functions, cognitive abilities or cognitive capacities, are brain-based skills which are needed in acquisition of knowledge, manipulation of information, and reasoning. for example have to do with the eight core cognitive capacities which are:  Sustained Attention... is the basic ability to look at, listen to and think about classroom tasks over a period of time. All teaching and learning depends on it. Without attention, new learning simply does not happen, and issues of understanding and memory are of no relevance.  Response Inhibition... is the ability to inhibit one’s own response to distractions. Imagine two children paying close attention to a lesson, when there is a sudden noise in the hallway. The child who maintains attention has better response inhibition.  Speed of Information processing... refers to how quickly a learner can process incoming information. Some scientists consider speed of information processing a central aspect of IQ. Many children with attention problems often are unable to keep up with the lesson plan presented by the teacher.  Cognitive Flexibility and control... is the ability to change what you are thinking about, how you are thinking about it and even what you think about it – in other words, the ability to change your mind. Cognitive flexibility is required in multiple ways throughout the school day.  Multiple Simultaneous Attention... is the ability to multitask with success. It is the ability to move attention and effort back and forth between two or more activities when engaged in them at the same time. It makes demands on sustained attention, response inhibition and speed of information processing, and also requires planning and strategy.  Working Memory... refers to the ability to remember instructions or keep information in the mind long enough to perform tasks. We use simple working memory when we look at a phone number and keep it in mind while we dial it. Working memory is the sketch pad of the mind where we put things to think about and manipulate.  Category Formation... is the ability to organize information, concepts and skills into categories, and forms the cognitive basis for higher-level abilities like applying, analyzing, and evaluating those concepts and skills. Categories are the basis of language and organization of the world.  Pattern Recognition and Inductive thinking is a special ability of the human brain to not only find patterns, but figure out in a logical way what those patterns suggest about what will happen next. In a broad sense, pattern recognition and inductive thinking form the basis for all scientific inquiry. And other word for cognitive are: Cerebral Mental Psychological Intellectual Intrapersonal Perceptive Rational Thinking Intellective Reasoning There is however, only one true psychology –what I call the psychology of Lord Jesus. It is my firm belief that the teaching contained in the Lord’s sermon called the Beatitudes or Sermon on the Mount is the finest prescription for mental, emotional and spiritual health ever given. No psychologist can gainsay them. It is, however, helpful to keep in mind that the sermon are ‘be-attitudes’ and not ‘do–attitudes’. The doing comes out of the being; hence you have to be-attitude first before you can do-attitude. As we said last week, our attitudes have a profound influence on us –physically as well as emotionally. A missionary to the Philippines tells how, during the Second World War, he and his wife were captured by the Japanese and sent to a prison camp. Before leaving their home they were told that they could only take what they could carry. The missionary’s wife weighed just 100 Ib. yet managed to carry a 200 Ib. load, consisting mostly of tinned food, a distance of five miles –neither of them could lift it after they arrived. It is our attitude that makes us fill our homes with things needful and ones not needed. One scientist says that normally we use only about an eighth of our physical reserves, and that the additional reserves or the surplus are often brought into play by our attitudes and they have their consequences on us. In the case of the missionary’s wife, her attitude has made her not to adhere to the warning of taking only what she can carry which ended up breaking her health down at the end of the journey, if she dies of this stress of overload, where will she be enjoying the excess of her tinned food? Do you see how our attitude can be our problem? If our attitudes can help tap hidden physical reserves then it is very essential that we should think of what effect the beautiful attitudes outlined by Lord Jesus will have on us. God has so designed us that the right attitudes result in healthy outcomes in our bodies. Reserve can refer to backup supplies or resources; it can be capital reserve, revenue reserve, statutory reserve, realized reserve, unrealized reserve and health reserve. So the human system have its own reserve that we don’t have to over taxed or over use otherwise it will fail. What if the reserves produce unhealthy effects? So we have to be very conscious of the things we do that could possibly produce unhealthy effects due to these attitudes in us. Then our bodies, our spirit and our souls would or should be trained to resist these things that would make our bodies, spirit and souls to be against each other. These spiritual laws and principles are written by the same God for the same purpose–which is to have a blessed and effective living on earth.

  LOVING OTHERS FULFILLS GOD’S LAW ROMANS 13:8-14:

The summary of these verses is that when we love others, we are fulfilling God’s law and redeeming the time. God established our leaders for a purpose, and this purpose the mega evil spirit knows, this is why it actuates his human agents to keep fighting against it, so as we live our lives on earth we should make efforts to submit to Gods established plan for us as individual and to the world at large by adhering and living our lives in accordance to His laws and principles. It's also our duty as a Christian to vote for those who we see fit to be leaders based on the Christ content of the individual. A true Christian is one, an individual or a people in whom Christ dwells, who is govern by God’s word in the Bible and by inspiration of the Holy Spirit because only Christian use the Bible and Christ is the one who wrote the Bible by inspiring His servants. Every child of God on earth is meant to have the indwelling of Christ but by contamination one’s indwelling Christ can be dented or replaced by counterfeit evil spirit rendering the individual an apostate person, one in whom Christ is in the passive or spiritually dead and when that happens the victim alienate from the Lord God Almighty and become an enemy of God doing things that God abhors or forbids because the counterfeit evil spirit in him or her actuates the person to carry out his (the evil spirit) bidden which is at variance or war with the things of God. We have to make all efforts to see that this act of evil spirit contamination does not happen to us because if it happens, the person is dead spiritually and only Christ can help or deliver such a person if the person can cooperate with Christ but it is very difficult. Because of this state of being spiritually dead due to evil spirit contamination this is why you see leaders; politicians give good campaign promises but are not allowed by the evil spirit actuating them to do anything good for humanity. Someone once said in describing the act of an evil spirit that ‘’the spirit is evil and constantly wanting to do evil’’; in a home, family, people or nation there are people born spirit and people born flesh, people born flesh cannot understand the things of the Lord God Almighty because they are spiritually discerned and no matter how you explain this spiritual phenomenon to such people of flesh, they cannot follow or understand because they are bereft of or lack Christ which is what aids or teaches you to understand. A Christ filled person or people can do anything including the act of inventions except doing things that destroys God’s creation or things that does not benefit man. But you see people born flesh being actuated by the evil spirit in them doing all sorts of things any which way including those that destroys Christ creation which God abhors, this is the difference! So among a people, there this a difference in the people based on spirit content there are bound to be spirit people and fleshy carnal people (a mixture of people) and there are bound to be Christians and non-Christian in a society. Which one are you? The Scripture says by their fruit we shall know them! Let us begin by reading Romans 13:8-14: 8 Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements]. 9 The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet (have an evil desire), and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to one’s neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law. 11 Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah).12 The night is far gone and the day is almost here. Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light. 13 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. 14 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).

  INTRODUCTION:

There are three good lessons taught us in this chapter, where the apostle enlarges more upon his precepts than he had done in the foregoing chapter, finding them more needful to be fully pressed. 1. A lesson of subjection to lawful authority as seen in Romans 13:1-6 2. A lesson of justice and love to our brethren as seen in Romans 13:7-10 3. A lesson of sobriety and godliness in ourselves as seen in Romans 13:11-14 At the end of Chapter 12 we are told how we should relate to someone who is an enemy. Paul writes… Romans 12:19–21 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord. 20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. 21 Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good. On an individual basis we are to show love to our enemies. For us we must show love and mercy to our enemies. God, however, is different. He stands ready to pass judgment upon His enemies. He does so by using the government that He has set in place. We saw that God carries out His vengeance by using the government. Because government is God’s tool for order and peace; we are to submit to these laws and principles. Today, we’ll see that again God calls us to show love to others. In between the commands to show love and not vengeance Paul explains that God will take care of the vengeance so that we can show love to others. 1. The Command to Love One Another (8a): “8 Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another” Last time we were told that we should pay the taxes we owe to our government because it is God’s arm to keep peace and order in a society. Today, we are told to first not owe anyone money… Owe no one anything. In this case, this is not teaching to stay out of debt (that’s for another time). The teaching in verse 8a is that we are in debt and we are seeking to pay that debt. Romans 1:14–15: “14 Both to Greeks and to barbarians (to the cultured and to the uncultured), both to the wise and the foolish, I have an obligation to discharge and a duty to perform and a debt to pay. 15 So, for my part, I am willing and eagerly ready to preach the Gospel to you also who are in Rome.” We owe the lost people of the world the Gospel. So we are required to look out for ways to take the gospel to the lost people so that no one will say he or she did not hear or know the right Scripture and the gospel, especially those who are not of the Christian origin but those who are of the Christian origin must make sure they are not being hypocritical about our knowledge of the Scripture and the gospel. Preaching the sermon about the sermon is very essential so that certain wrong notions and wrong understanding and belief concerning the gospel and the Scripture as put forward by the scribes and the Pharisees of our time and day will be put a right. Romans 8:11–12: 11 And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. 12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh. We owe the Holy Spirit obedience! When the Holy Spirit indwells us, He is the one to direct our affairs and we are bound by God’s law and principles to obey and follow as He leads us, doing otherwise renders us disobedient and rebellious to God and His Holy Spirit which has consequences. Implicit Obedience to the Holy Spirit is very essential so that we too like the Lord Jesus shall be restored to life through His Spirit Who dwells in us as seen in verse eleven above. Romans 13:6: “6 For this same reason you pay taxes, for [the civil authorities] are official servants under God, devoting themselves to attending to this very service.” We owe the government taxes; this is why selecting godly leaders, leaders with their Christ content very much intact is very necessary so that these leaders will know their responsibilities knowing that they are working for God and for the betterment of the people and not for themselves. These taxes are meant to be used to better the standard of living of the people but today what do you see, you see leaders who covet and embezzle public funds with impunity and waste it on themselves and their family alone, too bad and such people’s act of wasting God’s useful resources meant for the people on their selfish desires instead of on the betterment of God’s people are answerable to God. Note that just as the Lord God looks upon the people through the headship of the church so God also looks upon the people of the society through the leadership of government so that He will know who to bounce on when things go wrong. Here in Romans 13:8 we owe others love. “8 Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].” This debt, beloved, we will never pay off. Every time we meet someone new we owe him or her love. This is not just a good thing God wants us to do but it is a command, an obligation He makes to all believers and wants them to carry out. So you can see that the debt of love is a continuous thing because each time or day that you meet someone, there is need for you to show love, new love different from the one you showed him or her before just as situations unfolds. Do you understand? There are a few reasons this command is to be obeyed by Christians… 1. The First Reason We Should Love One Another: It Fulfils God’s Law (8b): “for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].” Paul explains that when we love others, we have fulfilled the Law of God. We have seen in Romans that Lord Jesus has fulfilled the Law of God for us by living a perfect life, which means that He didn’t need to die for His own sins and that He did die to make the payment for our sins out of His great love for us. Now God’s Law is fulfilled in all who believe in His Son. At that point of our exhibiting our love for Christ we are declared legally Law-Keepers by the Almighty God because we believe in the Lordship of God’s Son being the Saviour. But notwithstanding the imputation of the declaration of our being legally law-keepers by believing in the Son of God; yet, we all know that we are really still Law-Breakers. As Christians we must be in the process of catching up to our legal status. In other words, while God declares us righteous now based on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ; we must make efforts to be in the process of actually becoming righteous by allowing Christ in us (the indwelling) to be our life guide and no longer following the urges of our carnal sinful desires and lust. So, God gives us a very good way to actually keep His entire Law ourselves which is…love one another. As we love one another we are fulfilling all the Law of God in one simple act of Love. To love others is in keeping with the entire Law of God. We are in debt to all people because we owe them love. We will never pay this debt off, because each day has its own love obligation that we ought and must show. We must keep fulfilling the Law by continuing to love others. We owe them this; because that is the way we fulfil God’s law according to God’s demand on us. Every time we show love to someone we have just made a payment just as Lord Jesus made payment for our sins but guess what? In spite of our making our daily payment of our debt of love, we will never get out of this debt to them because each day has a fresh debt of love to show. How does Paul show us that this is the case? How does he show us that loving our neighbour is fulfilling all of God’s Law? 2. Examples That Prove Loving Your Neighbour Fulfils God’s Law (9,10): “9 The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet (have an evil desire), and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to one’s neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law.” The proof Paul gives is to explain to us that loving your neighbour as you do love yourself is the safeguard or guarantee that all these other commandments are being obeyed. That is to say as you make efforts to see to it that you keep showing love to your neighbour daily as you love yourself means you are at the same time keeping and obeying all the other laws. Love does not replace the other Commandments; it is, however, a very strong ally with and all of them. The Commandments Paul mentions come from the second part of the Ten Commandments, the part that is about our relationship to others. Love is the pure motive to fulfil them. You shall not commit adultery- When a person commits adultery he or she does not love their neighbour the way God has intended but, in fact, loves themselves. If a person loves their husband or wife they will not commit adultery. If a person loves others like God wants, they will not commit adultery. Love demands that you do unto others as you will want them do unto you, and you would not want anyone to commit adultery with your wife or husband, would you? Godly love does not commit adultery, because such sinful defilement of a person shows disregard for another’s purity. Love highly values the virtue of others and will do nothing that is morally defiling to them. Like every other form of sexual immorality, adultery comes from impure, sinful lust, never from pure love. Can you identify when you are exhibiting an impure, sinful love from your lust? So, purely loving others keeps us from committing adultery. Love did not replace the command that you should not commit adultery but love is the command’s ally, which is love is the ally of the command ‘thou shall not commit adultery’. Ally means a state of formally cooperating with one another for mutual benefit. So love as an ally is cooperating with thou shall not commit adultery! You shall not murder- This command is pretty basic, if you love others you’re not going to kill them, will you? However, self-love may lead to murder. Again the safeguard to murder is to love others. Once again love acts as an ally! A safeguard! You shall not steal- Here a person loves what someone possesses and wants to unlawfully make it his or hers. The thief loves the victim’s stuff more than they love the person the stuff was stolen from. A person loving their neighbour gives to them to help them out; they don’t take from them in the sense of robbing them. In stealing you can see where the emphasis of love lies, on the stolen item instead of on the person that owns the item! The thief loves the item more than the person. God’s word says, Love your neighbour and not love his item! You shall not covet- Because it does not always have an outward manifestation, when we covet, the Lord may be the only one, besides ourselves, who is aware of that sin. But again, if we are loving, we will not covet, because love has no part in any unrighteousness as seen in 1 Cor. 13:6 “6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.” And also in Romans 13:10, “10 Love does no wrong to one’s neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law.” So, from all of the above Apostle Paul proves just how it is that love for others fulfils the Law of God. Next, apart from using our show of love to fulfil the rest of God’s commandments the Apostle Paul gives us another reason why we are to obey the command to love one another…drawing our attention to the fact that it is necessary because the end of the age is near and we have to be preparing for our final salvation which is now very near; by obeying the one simplified command of God which makes it easier for us to obey the rest laws: which is ‘Love one another’! 3. The Second Reason We Should Love One Another: Salvation is Nearer Now (11-12a): “11 Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah). 12 The night is far gone and the day is almost here.” We all have to realize that Time is always ticking away. We race to get somewhere on time. We set our alarm clocks to wake up at the right time. We wear watches to keep track of time. Here in these two verses Paul gives us the real time. “11 Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is… He tells us that we are fully aware of the time. What is he getting at here? He’s telling us that the reason we must show love to others is because time is running out on us to do so, since it is one of the conditions we must fulfil as commanded us by the Lord Jesus. i. How it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality)- this is the present time. The Greek here literally means this is the present moment of opportunity. Right now Christians must wake up from their slumber and face the reality. This present age was inaugurated at the first coming of our Lord Jesus. This is/was when the kingdom of God begun. This is the short time of overlap between the ages. ii. For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah). Here what the Apostle teaches is that the consummation of our salvation is nearer than it was yesterday. Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification are all in mind. They together represent the whole of salvation. He has in mind our future and final salvation. Sometimes we get tripped up when we think of salvation because most often we just think of justification but actually salvation is comprehensive from justification (I have been saved), sanctification (I am being saved), and glorification (I will be saved). In this, he also has in mind our final adoption as God’s children, and the redemption of our bodies, and our eternal inheritance that is waiting for us. Every day brings this reality closer, so we don’t have time to waste. iii. “12 The night is far gone and the day is almost here.” The old age of darkness is past and the daytime is approaching, and with its approach so many remarkable things are happening every day. It is in the morning when Christ returns. So we’re told the darkness is over and daylight is starting to lighten up the landscape; and the Lord Jesus is expected to return in the morning. Can you see the realities we are to be facing now? We’ve not yet experienced the daytime of His return but it is getting closer all the time and all the day. With all three time references in our mind-darkness, daytime and morning, we are called to wake up from our sleep because time is growing short. Love others because the time is now. Make good use of the time and try fulfilling the commandments of the Lord Jesus which He gave to occupy you at the very beginning of the age, and now the age is drawing to a close! Will He meet you sleeping like the foolish virgins when He returns having given you an assignment to occupy you before He left in the beginning of the age? 4. Application by the Power of the Lord Jesus Christ (12b-14): “Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light. 13 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. 14 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).” Now we see the transition, from darkness to daytime. Because all this is true we must begin to act accordingly. It’s not enough to know the time and the fact that the time is at hand but we must also act accordingly. Beloved, we don’t live in darkness any more so cast off all the works of darkness because we have daytime work to do as from now onwards. Note: Carousing is the activity of drinking alcohol and enjoying oneself with others in a noisy lively way. Revelling is enjoying oneself in a lively and noisy way, especially with drinking and dancing-that is parting according to us. Debauchery-is excessive indulgence in sex, alcohol and drugs. Licentiousness-is lacking willpower or moral discipline or sexing randomly. Do you see the action words…Let us? Let us start doing the thing that the Lord God has arranged for us to do before He left so that He does not return and meet us lazing out? We are required to drop off and fling away the works and deeds of darkness and put on the works of light as He is the Light! “Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light. Romans 13:12 13 Let us live and conduct ourselves honorably and becomingly as in the [open light of] day Romans 13:13 There is a time to sleep and a time to be awake. We live in the daylight so we must not sleep but need to be awake. We need to put on daytime clothing and then proceed with daytime behaviour and works. This act of putting on daytime clothing and proceeding with daytime behaviour and works should remind us of Ephesians 6 which reads in verses ten to eighteen: Ephesians 6:10–18: 10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. 11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. 14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, 15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the [a]firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness [b]produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. 16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of [c]saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit [d]wields, which is the Word of God. 18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). Despotism is the exercise of absolute power, especially in a cruel and oppressive way; it is a form of government. Today we live in a time and day of despotism under the powers that be, under the master spirit who are the world rulers of this present darkness, under the spirit forces of wickedness-the fulani and their janjaweed allies are here with all their terrorist groups, Britain and all her allies are there all of whom are benefiting from the resourceful wealth of the failed state-Nigeria. But God’s word says we should stand and hold our ground with our belt of faith in Lord Jesus around our lions and with our breastplate of integrity and good moral standing with God, and being prepared to face the enemy with firm footed stability and readiness to quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked. Here our helmet of salvation become very needful, meaning we must make sure our being cleansed is intact, our being dead in sin is in place, our being raised to a new life is intact and we are sure of our forgiveness by the Lord, so now that the enemy, the Fulani janjaweed has come, the adversary has come and is coming with all their threats here and there, watch and see how they all will be overcome by the Lord God Almighty and it shall be very very marvellous in our eyes and the world at large. But we must not forget to be prayerful all the times in spirit with all manner of prayers, being very alert and watchful with our strong purpose which is our Freedom, because we do not want to be slave any more, seeing that the Lord God did it for the Jews of Jerusalem in Egypt, He will surely do it for us. We must be suited for battle because the Sun has risen. Recall that we learnt in the beginning in so many of our messages that the Jews of Jerusalem, the Bible Nation fought battles and are still fighting battles till date being the age of the beginning in the Time Messiah Appointed (TMA) and at this last day of the daytime in the age of the ending the Jews of Africa Ndi Igbo in Biafra land, the Kingdom Nation, should arise and also be battle ready using the words of Ephesians six in preparing themselves. In our current text, the Apostle Paul tells us: “14But 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).” What does it mean to clothe oneself or put on Christ? John Stott tells us that what Paul is referring to is not only putting on Christ’s characteristics such as walking in compassion or love, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. The context, however, suggests protection rather than adornment. Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ. In any case, it’s not Christ-likeness only that we are to assume, but Christ Himself, laying hold of Him, and living under Him as Lord and commander of our life. First, we put on Christ as we submit to His Lordship. This really goes two ways and Paul explains that on the one hand we put on Christ, live under Him as Lord by submitting to His rule and command in our lives and secondly, we put off sin and sinful desires. So, we live under Christ’s Lordship by obedience to Him and we stop living under sin’s dominion or under the lordship of the master spirit of the devil and begin to disobey its leading and bidden. In our text today, obeying Christ means to love others and disobey sin’s command to love ourselves. Fulfil God’s Law by showing love to your neighbour and put to death the deeds of darkness because the morning has dawned. Hence you see our leaders thinking just for themselves and not the citizens for whom they have been elected when you now show them the way forward they turn back to that place their minds are which is themselves exposing the citizens to destruction because there is no true love. How can you show love to someone here in the local church? What will God want you to do in the local church? How can you show love to someone in your community? What will God want you to do in your community? When you do all what God will have you do in these places, then you are fulfilling God’s Law and redeeming the time amidst the two ages.

  Conclusion:

Although we are living in a time when deep darkness covers the Earth, we don’t need to be part of the darkness. We can be full of light. Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light. Light represents truth; wisdom; understanding; victory. When we know the truth and live according to the truth; it’s like putting on armour. When we put on the armour of God’s word; then we are protected. We are safe. We are victorious. We need to turn from deeds of darkness and live according to the light so that we will have all the benefits of living according to the light. The deeds of darkness. The Rabbi understood that people tend to behave worse at night because the darkness hides many of their bad behaviours. It’s usually harder to identify someone engaged in certain illicit activities in the night than if he is engaged in those activities in the day. We don’t want to be like people who do bad things during the night. We want to be like people who behave well during the day. 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. You agree with me that all of these in this verse are similar to the kind of things that happens in night activities-revelling, drunkenness, immorality of all kinds, and debauchery as sensuality and licentiousness, quarrelling and jealousy, is it not? It is very important to identify the time and periods in a people’s life that could be regarded as darkness in all the time zones. In Africa and in Nigeria particularly the time of darkness could be from or before 1914 and it spreads to 2019 and since 2020, the day time or the period of light has set in, so let us see how it is going to run, and its outcome will surely affect the world at large! All of this means: No wild partying. No excessive use of alcohol that results in drunkenness or loss of control. If drunkenness isn’t allowed, marijuana and other drugs aren’t allowed too. No sexual immorality. No sexual activity outside of marriage – male/female marriage. No fighting; no quarrelling; not being difficult to get along with. Not giving into feelings of jealousy – desiring another person’s achievement or possession; or desiring that the other person lacked an achievement or possession. These are some of the bad behaviours and bad attitudes that characterize living in the darkness, attitudes and behaviours that we need to fling away according to the Lord Jesus command. We don’t want to live according to the darkness. We want to live as people do during the day – properly with intergrity. Here’s how we do that:... Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Christ/ Yeshua the Messiah, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Clothe yourselves with the Lord Christ/ Yeshua the Messiah means to be like Him; to emulate Him: to be God-centred; to be righteous; to be holy; to love what Christ/ Yeshua loves; and hate what He hates; desire what He desires; to be concerned about what He is concerned about; to be more interested in divine spiritual things than material things; to be concerned about the salvation of souls; to be passionate to preach His Good News and build up His Community. How do we do this? By being filled with the Spirit of Christ /Yeshua. How are we filled with Messiah’s Spirit? First, we understand who Christ/ Yeshua is – that He is the Messiah and the Son of God; that He lived a perfect life; died to atone for our sins; that God the Father raised Him from the dead; that Yeshua-Jesus Christ is alive now, the ascended and risen and powerful Messiah and Lord. After we understand this truth, we give our allegiance to Him and His Father God Almighty. Then, the Father and the Son send their Spirit to live in us. The Spirit of the Messiah living in us changes us attitude wise. He gives a new nature that is like Messiah’s nature. The Spirit of the Messiah living in us transforms us more and more into what the Messiah is like as we live our daily life. He helps us value what Christ/ Yeshua values. The Spirit of Christ/ Yeshua living in us gives us power to resist temptation and not think about how to fulfil the desires of our flesh, but to fulfil the desires of the Spirit of God in us. This is why we must do everything we can to safe-guide the purity of our spirit from being dented by evil!

  

Gracious Father, I see You have made us in such a way that when our attitudes are right then our souls and bodies and spirits are in harmony. Help me Lord to build into my life all that is good, Lord build my attitude to conform to Yours. In Lord Jesus name I pray. Amen! Lord, thank You for the wisdom You gave to Rabbi Paul that is contained in this 13th chapter of his great letter to the Romans. Thank You that he wrote it; that it has been faithfully preserved over the centuries and ages so that we can benefit from it. Lord, help us fulfil our responsibility to our government: to be good citizens. Help us fulfil our responsibility to one another: to love one another. Lord, “Love your neighbour as yourself” is the commandment You said that fulfils the law. Lord, You are our neighbour. Help us love You the way we should. Lord, help us to love our neighbours in Messiah’s Community, our brothers and sisters, the way we should. Help us love our neighbours outside of Messiah’s Community the way we should – by caring for them; by telling them the truth; by proclaiming the Good News to them that will transform and save them. Lord, work in us so that we let no debt remain outstanding except the debt to love each other every day. Lord, help us fulfil our responsibility to the present time. The days until You Messiah returns are limited. There are opportunities that can only happen in the present, opportunities which can never be repeated. Help us Lord to wake up from any spiritual slumber, to be spiritually awake so we can make the most of these opportunities. Lord, help us clothe ourselves with the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, to be like Him; to be God-centered, righteous, holy; to love what Messiah loves; hate what He hates; desire what He desires; to be concerned about what He is concerned about; to be more interested in spiritual things than material things; to be concerned about the salvation of souls; to be passionate to preach His Good News and build up His Community. Lord, fill us with the Spirit of the Messiah so we can be like the Lord Yeshua the Messiah. Lord, fill us with Your Spirit so that we will not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. In Your name Lord Jesus I pray. Amen!