Romans 13:14
But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.—A continuation of the metaphor introduced in Romans 13:12. So invest and identify yourselves with the spirit of Christ as to reproduce it in your outward walk and conduct.

Make not provision for the flesh.—Take no thought for the flesh, so as to supply a stimulus to its lusts. A life of luxury and self-indulgence is apt to excite those fleshly impulses which the Christian should try rather to mortify. He therefore warns his readers not to give their thoughts to such things.

Romans 13:14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ — A strong and beautiful expression for the most intimate union with him, and the being clothed with all the graces which were in him; including the receiving, in faith and love, every part of his doctrine; obeying his precepts, imitating his example, and adorning ourselves therewith as with a splendid robe, not to be put off; because it is the garb intended for that eternal day, which is never to be followed by night. The apostle does not say, “Put on purity and sobriety, peacefulness and benevolence;” but he says all this, and a thousand times more, at once, in saying, Put on Christ. And make not provision for the flesh — To raise foolish and sinful desires in your hearts, or, when they are raised already, to devise means to gratify them. 13:11-14 Four things are here taught, as a Christian's directory for his day's work. When to awake; Now; and to awake out of the sleep of carnal security, sloth, and negligence; out of the sleep of spiritual death, and out of the sleep of spiritual deadness. Considering the time; a busy time; a perilous time. Also the salvation nigh at hand. Let us mind our way, and mend our pace, we are nearer our journey's end. Also to make ourselves ready. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; therefore it is time to dress ourselves. Observe what we must put off; clothes worn in the night. Cast off the sinful works of darkness. Observe what we must put on; how we should dress our souls. Put on the armour of light. A Christian must reckon himself undressed, if unarmed. The graces of the Spirit are this armour, to secure the soul from Satan's temptations, and the assaults of this present evil world. Put on Christ; that includes all. Put on righteousness of Christ, for justification. Put on the Spirit and grace of Christ, for sanctification. The Lord Jesus Christ must be put on as Lord to rule you as Jesus to save you; and in both, as Christ anointed and appointed by the Father to this ruling, saving work. And how to walk. When we are up and ready, we are not to sit still, but to appear abroad; let us walk. Christianity teaches us how to walk so as to please God, who ever sees us. Walk honestly as in the day; avoiding the works of darkness. Where there are riot and drunkenness, there usually are chambering and wantonness, and strife and envy. Solomon puts these all together, Pr 23:29-35. See what provision to make. Our great care must be to provide for our souls: but must we take no care about our bodies? Yes; but two things are forbidden. Perplexing ourselves with anxious, encumbering care; and indulging ourselves in irregular desires. Natural wants are to be answered, but evil appetites must be checked and denied. To ask meat for our necessities, is our duty, we are taught to pray for daily bread; but to ask meat for our lusts, is provoking God, Ps 78:18.But put ye on - Compare Galatians 3:17. The word rendered "put ye on" is the same used in Romans 13:12, and is commonly employed in reference to "clothing" or "apparel." The phrase to "put on" a person, which seems a harsh expression in our language, was one not infrequently used by Greek writers, and means to imbibe his principles, to imitate his example, to copy his spirit, to become like him. Thus, in Dionysius Halicarnassus the expression occurs, "having put on or clothed themselves with Tarquin;" i. e., they imitated the example and morals of Tarquin. So Lucian says, "having put on Pythagoras;" having received him as a teacher and guide. So the Greek writers speak of putting on Plato, Socrates, etc. meaning to take them as instructors, to follow them as disciples. (See Schleusner.) Thus, to put on the Lord Jesus means to take him as a pattern and guide, to imitate his example, to obey his precepts, to become like him, etc. In "all" respects the Lord Jesus was unlike what had been specified in the previous verse. He was temperate, chaste, pure, peaceable, and meek; and to "put him on" was to imitate him in these respects; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; Isaiah 53:9; 1 John 3:5.

And make not provision - The word "provision" here is what is used to denote "provident care," or preparation for future needs. It means that we should not make it an object to gratify our lusts, or study to do this by laying up anything beforehand with reference to this design.

For the flesh - The word "flesh" is used here evidently to denote the corrupt propensities of the body, or those which he had specified in Romans 13:13.

To fulfil the lusts thereof - With reference to its corrupt desires. The gratification of the flesh was the main object among the Romans. Living in luxury and licentiousness, they made it their great object of study to multiply and prolong the means of licentious indulgence. In respect to this, Christians were to be a separate people, and to show that they were influenced by a higher and purer desire than this grovelling propensity to minister to sensual gratification. It is right, it is a Christian duty, to labor to make provision for all the real needs of life. But the real wants are few; and with a heart disposed to be pure and temperate, the necessary wants of life are easily satisfied; and the mind may be devoted to higher and purer purposes.

14. But—to sum up all in one word.

put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ—in such wise that Christ only may be seen in you (see 2Co 3:3; Ga 3:27; Eph 4:24).

and make no provision—"take no forethought."

for the flesh, to fulfil the lust thereof—"Direct none of your attention to the cravings of your corrupt nature, how you may provide for their gratification."

Note, (1) How gloriously adapted is Christianity for human society in all conditions! As it makes war directly against no specific forms of government, so it directly recommends none. While its holy and benign principles secure the ultimate abolition of all iniquitous government, the reverence which it teaches for magistracy, under whatever form, as a divine institution, secures the loyalty and peaceableness of its disciples, amid all the turbulence and distractions of civil society, and makes it the highest interest of all states to welcome it within their pale, as in this as well as every other sense—"the salt of the earth, the light of the world" (Ro 13:1-5). (2) Christianity is the grand specific for the purification and elevation of all the social relations; inspiring a readiness to discharge all obligations, and most of all, implanting in its disciples that love which secures all men against injury from them, inasmuch as it is the fulfilling of the law (Ro 13:6-10). (3) The rapid march of the kingdom of God, the advanced stage of it at which we have arrived, and the ever-nearing approach of the perfect day—nearer to every believer the longer he lives—should quicken all the children of light to redeem the time, and, seeing that they look for such things, to be diligent, that they may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless (2Pe 3:14). (4) In virtue of "the expulsive power of a new and more powerful affection," the great secret of persevering holiness in all manner of conversation will be found to be "Christ IN US, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27), and Christ ON US, as the character in which alone we shall be able to shine before men (2Co 3:8) (Ro 13:14).

Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ; he exhorted, Romans 13:12, to put on the armour of light; now, to put on Jesus Christ. This is necessary, for though grace may help to defend, yet it is Christ and his righteousness only that can cover us (as a garment doth our nakedness) in the sight of God. To put on Christ, is to receive him and rest upon him by faith; as also to profess and imitate him. You have the same phrase, Galatians 3:27.

Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof: by flesh, here, some understand the corrupt nature; others, the body. When he says,

make not provision for the flesh, he doth not mean, that they should not provide things necessary for the body; this is allowed, Ephesians 5:29 1 Timothy 5:23; we are no where commanded to neglect or macerate our bodies; but he means, that we should not gratify it in its sinful lusts or lustings: see 1 Corinthians 11:27. Sustain it we may, but pamper it we may not: we must not care, cater, or make projects for the flesh, to fulfil its inordinacics and cravings. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,.... As a man puts on his clothes when he rises in the morning: the righteousness of Christ is compared to a garment, it is the best robe, it is fine linen, clean and white, and change of raiment; which being put on by the Father's gracious act of imputation, covers the sins and deformities of his people, defends them from divine justice, secures them from wrath to come, and renders them beautiful and acceptable in his sight: which righteousness being revealed from faith to faith, is received by faith, and made use of as a proper dress to appear in before God; and may be daily said to be put on by the believer, as often as he makes use of it, and pleads it with God as his justifying righteousness, which should be continually: moreover, to put on Christ, and which indeed seems to be the true sense of the phrase here, is not only to exercise faith on him as the Lord our righteousness, and to make a profession of his name, but to imitate him in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty; to walk as he walked, and as we have him for an example, in love, meekness, patience, humility, and holiness:

and make not provision for the flesh; the body: not but that due care is to be taken of it, both for food and clothing; and for its health, and the continuance and preservation of it by all lawful methods; but not so as

to fulfil the lusts thereof; to indulge and gratify them, by luxury and uncleanness: it is a saying of Hillell (k), "he that increases flesh, increases worms"; the sense his commentators (l) give of it is, that

"he that increases by eating and drinking, until he becomes fat and fleshy, increases for himself worms in the grave:''

the design of the sentence is, that voluptuous men, who care for nothing else but the flesh, should consider, that ere long they will be a repast for worms: we should not provide, or be caterers for the flesh; and, by pampering it, stir up and satisfy its corrupt inclinations and desires.

(k) Pirke Abot, c. 2. sect. 7. (l) Bartenora in Pirke Abot, c. 2. sect. 7. Vid. Fagium in ib.

But {l} put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

(l) To put on Christ is to possess Christ, to have him in us, and us in him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 13:14. Ἐνδύσασθε τ. κύρ. . Χρ.] This is the specifically Christian nature of the εὐσχημόνως περιπ. But the expression is figurative, signifying the idea: Unite yourselves in the closest fellowship of life with Christ, so that you may wholly present the mind and life of Christ in your conduct. In classical Greek also ἐνδύεσθαί τινα denotes to adopt any one’s mode of sentiment and action. See Wetstein and Kypke. But the praesens efficacia Christi (see Melanchthon) is that which distinguishes the having put on Christ from the adoption of other exemplars. Comp. Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:12; and on the subject-matter, Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:17; Photius in Oecumenius: πῶς δὲ αὐτὸν ἐνδυτέον; εἰ πάντα ἡμῖν αὐτὸς εἴη, ἔσωθεν καὶ ἔξωθεν ἐν ἡμῖν φαινόμενος. Observe further, that the having put on Christ in baptism was the entrance into the sonship of God (Galatians 3:27), but that in the further development of the baptized one each new advance of his moral life (comp. on Romans 13:11) is to be a new putting on of Christ; therefore it, like the putting on of the new man, is always enjoined afresh. Comp. Lipsius, Rechtfertigungsl. p. 186 f.

καὶ τῆς σαρκὸς κ.τ.λ.] and make not care of the flesh unto lusts, i.e. take not care for the flesh to such a degree, that lusts are thereby excited. By μὴ the πρόνοιαν ποιεῖσθαι εἰς ἐπιθ. together is forbidden, not (as Luther and many) merely the εἰς ἐπιθ., according to which the whole sentence would resolve itself into the two members: τῆς ς. πρόνοιαν μὲν ποιεῖσθε, ἀλλὰ μὴ εἰς ἐπιθ. In that case μὴ must have stood after ποιεῖσθε (see Romans 14:1); for a transposition of the negation is not to be assumed in any passage of the N. T.

τῆς σαρκός] is emphatically prefixed, adding to the putting on of the Lord previously required, which is the spiritual mode of life, that which is to be done bodily. The σάρξ is here not equivalent to σῶμα (as is frequently assumed; see on the other hand Calovius and Reiche), but is that which composes the material substance of man, as the source and seat of sensuous and sinful desires, in contrast to the πνεῦμα of man with the νοῦς. Paul purposely chose the expression, because in respect of care for the body he wishes to present the point of view that this care nourishes and attends to the σάρξ, and one must therefore be on one’s guard against caring for the latter in such measure that the lusts, which have their seat in the σάρξ, are excited and strengthened. According to Fritzsche, Paul absolutely forbids the taking care for the σάρξ (he urges that σάρξ must be libidinosa caro). But to this the expression πρόνοιαν ποιεῖσθε is not at all suitable. The flesh, so understood, is to be crucified (Galatians 5:24), the body as determined by it is to be put off (Colossians 2:11), its πράξεις are to be put to death (Romans 8:13), because its φρόνημα is enmity against God and productive of death (Romans 8:6-7). The σάρξ is here rather the living matter of the σῶμα, which, as the seat of the ἐπιθυμίαι, in order to guard against the excitement of the latter, ought to experience a care that is to be restricted accordingly, and to be subordinated to the moral end (comp. on σάρξ, 1 Corinthians 7:28; 1 Corinthians 15:50; 2 Corinthians 4:10-11; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 12:7; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 4:13-14). In substance and in moral principle, the ἀφειδία σώματος (Colossians 2:23) is different from this. Chrysostom aptly observes: ὥσπερ γὰρ οὐ τὸ πίνειν ἐκώλυσεν, ἀλλὰ τὸ μεθύειν, οὐδὲ τὸ γαμεῖν, ἀλλὰ τὸ ἀσελγεῖν, οὕτως οὐδὲ τὸ προνοεῖν τῆς σαρκὸς, ἀλλὰ τὸ εἰς ἐπιθυμίας, οἷον τὸ τὴν χρείαν ὑπερβαίνειν. Moreover it is clear in itself, that Paul has added the second half of Romans 13:14 in view of what is to be handled in chap. 14, and has thereby prepared the way for a transition to the latter.Romans 13:14. ἀλλὰ ἐνδύσασθε τὸν Κ. . Χριστὸν, ἀλλὰ emphasises the contrast between the true Christian life and that which has just been described. The Christian puts on the Lord Jesus Christ, according to Paul’s teaching, in baptism (cf. Galatians 3:27), as the solemn deliberate act in which he identifies himself, by faith, with Christ in His death and resurrection (chap. Romans 6:3). But the Christian life is not exhausted in this act, which is rather the starting-point for a putting on of Christ in the ethical sense, a “clothing of the soul in the moral disposition and habits of Christ” (Gifford); or as the Apostle himself puts it in Romans 6:11, a reckoning of ourselves to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Every time we perform an ethical act of this kind we put on the Lord Jesus Christ more fully. But the principle of all such acts is the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us (chaps. 6–8), and it is the essential antagonism of the spirit to the flesh which determines the form of the last words: καὶ τῆς σαρκὸς πρόνοιαν μὴ ποιεῖσθε εἰς ἐπιθυμίας. It is to inquire too curiously if we inquire whether σάρξ here is used in the physiological sense = the body, or in the moral sense = libidinosa caro (as Fritzsche argues): the significance of the word in Paul depends on the fact that in experience these two meanings are indubitably if not inseparably related. Taking the flesh as it is, forethought or provision for it—an interest in it which consults for it, and makes it an object—can only have one end, viz., its ἐπιθυμίαι. All such interest therefore is forbidden as inconsistent with putting on the Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.14. But put ye on, &c.] For similar language see Galatians 3:27; (where Baptism is to be viewed in its ideal, as involving and sealing the acceptance and confession of Christ.) Cp. also Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10. Here again (see Romans 13:12, last note,) observe how the new effort of the life of grace is spoken of as if it were its beginning.

the Lord Jesus Christ] Here the Saviour is presented as the soul’s armour and arms. Cp. Romans 13:12. By means of Him, beheld by faith, adored, accepted, and welcomed as the Guest of the soul, sin is to be resisted and subdued. Grace is to come, above all other means, by means of personal dealings with Him.

and make not provision, &c.] Lit. make not forethought of the flesh. The clause, of course, means (under a sort of euphemism) “positively deny the flesh;” but it specially suggests the sad thought of the elaborate pains with which so often sin is planned and sought.—See the close of 1 Corinthians 9 for St Paul’s own practical comment on this precept.

to fulfil the lusts thereof] Lit., simply, unto lusts; with a view to (evil) desires.

An instructive parallel is Colossians 2:23, where probably render, “not of any value with a view to [resisting the] gratification of the flesh.” Mere ascetic rules there stand contrasted with the living grace of the personal Saviour here.

This verse is memorable as the turning-point of St Augustine’s conversion. In his Confessions (VIII. 12) he records how, at a time of great moral conflict, he was strangely impelled by a voice, perhaps the cry of children at play, (“Take and read, take and read,”) to open again the Epistles of St Paul (codicem Apostoli) which he had recently been reading. “I read in silence the first place on which my eyes fell; Not in revelling and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in its lusts. I neither cared, nor needed, to read further. At the close of the sentence, as if a ray of certainty were poured into my heart, the clouds of hesitation all fled at once.”—The following words, But him that is weak in faith receive ye, were pointed out to him just after by his friend Alypius, to whom Augustine shewed the present verse. Augustine was at the time so slightly read in the Scriptures that he was not aware (he says) of this context till Alypius, with an application to himself, drew his attention to it.Romans 13:14. Τὸν) Here is summarily contained all the light and power of the New Testament, as it is the whole of salvation [everything that is wrong being excluded.—V. g.] 1 Corinthians 6:11.—Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν, Jesus Christ) ch. Romans 6:3-4.—σαρκὸς, of the flesh) This has respect to ch. 7 and 8.—πρόνοιαν, care) The care of the flesh is neither forbidden in this passage as bad, nor praised as good, but it is reduced to order and fortified against the dangers to which it is liable, as something of a middle character [between bad and good], and yet in some respects the object of suspicion. Πρόνοια, previous [anticipatory] care of the flesh is opposed to holy hope.—ἐπιθυμίας, lusts) of pleasure and passion: with this comp. Romans 13:13 [and ch. Romans 6:7.]Provision (πρόνοιαν)

Etymologically akin to take thought for, in 13:17.

Flesh

In the moral sense: the depraved nature.

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