1 Thessalonians 5:8
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
I. THE CONDITION TO BE SHUNNED. Christians must keep their natural desires and appetites after the things of this world within due bounds. "Let your moderation be known to all men" is a Divine injunction. St. Paul enjoins sobriety. Now, sobriety is usually opposed to excess in meats and drinks, and here he particularly opposes it to drunkenness. But it also extends to other temporal things. Hence the Great Teacher warned His disciples to "take heed lest their hearts were overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon them unawares." It was a most reproachful state for men to sleep away the daytime, which is specially for work, but, after all, it was not so strange that those who had the benefit of Divine revelation suffered themselves to be lulled by Satan into carnal security, and laid the reins on the neck of their appetites, and indulged themselves in all manner of riot and excess. It was night with them. They were not sensible of their danger, therefore they slept; they were not sensible of their duty, therefore they were drank. But it ill becomes Christians to do thus. What! shall Christians, who have the light of the glorious gospel shining in their faces, be careless about their deathless souls, and mindless of the world to come? They that have so many eyes upon them should carry themselves not only decently, but holily.
II. THE EQUIPMENT TO BE WORN. The whole armour of God. And this is indispensable to be put on and worn, in order to such sobriety as becomes us, and will be a preparation for the day of the Lord, because our spiritual enemies are many, and mighty, and malicious. They draw hosts to their interest, and keeping them in it, by making them careless, and secure, and presumptuous; by making them intoxicated with pride, intoxicated with passion, intoxicated with self-conceit, intoxicated with sinful gratifications; so that we have every need to arm ourselves against their attempts, by putting on the spiritual breastplate to keep the heart, and the spiritual helmet to protect the head. We must live by faith, and that will keep us watchful and sober, and be our best defence against all the assaults of our enemies. We must get a heart inflamed with love; and this also will be our defence. We must make salvation our hope; and this will hinder our being intoxicated with "the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season." Having "the hope of salvation," we must do nothing to shake our hope or render ourselves unfit for the great salvation we hope for.
Parallel VersesKJV: But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.