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작성일 : 13-02-18 13:15
The Kingdom of God (Romans 14:17), Part 2 of 5 / B: Contemplating our darkness and being clothed in light
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THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Romans 14:17), Part 2 of 5

Subpart B: Contemplating our darkness and being clothed in light


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Romans 14:17
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 13:12
The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
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Repenting is not merely about getting forgiveness for our unrighteousness. When we repent, we comprehend that even though we are so unrighteous, God clothed us with His love, with Christ, and therefore He regards us as righteous. It’s not just on the level of getting our sins pardoned; rather, we discover Him who accepts even us who are so unrighteous. That is repentance.

“The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12

When the night is darkest, that is when dawn comes. Peter also experienced the depth of night when he denied Jesus three times. Right after he denied Jesus three times, what happened? The rooster crowed. That was the most wretched moment for Peter, the moment in his life when night was the deepest. That was the moment that the self he knew all crumbled. Even if everyone else flees, I will not flee; I will follow you until the end, he said. This Peter who declared these things betrays the Lord. Clinging to his life in front of a young girl, to actively deny Jesus, he spits. That is cursing Him, insulting Him. And just then the rooster crows. The night is deep, and then the dawn comes. Without the deep night, the dawn does not come. We can’t just haphazardly receive light. It is when the night is deep that the day gets closer.

“Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” This is the difficult issue. Lay aside, and then, the harder part: put on. But thankfully, we are passive in this. We are those to whom He has become light. He has clothed us in light. We ask God, what can we do? What can we do to be filled with Your truth? What can we do to wear the mantle of Christ? If you ask me this question – God has taught me to answer this truthfully – I will answer: I don’t know. I don’t know what I can do to wear the armor of light. But there is one thing I do know: it can only happen if He clothes me. He, as Christ, has to fill us with light: that’s all we know. How nice would it be if the answer were as simple as going to the right church; if the Bible just gave us addresses and directions to get to the correct church. But putting on the armor of light can only happen if He clothes us. We have to become passive. We continue on with the knowledge of this truth, then one day, without even realizing it, we find the faith of someone who has been clothed. Let’s say I tear apart this Bible, and come up with an amazing answer to this question and share it with you; maybe some people will change, maybe I myself won’t change at all, because it is not eternal truth. If we approach this as a question of knowledge, like scholars, we’ll come up with many different possible answers. But the certain thing is that there is no method for us to achieve it; the only way is for Him to do it. All we know is that He has to make it happen, and He does. Isn’t it strange? In the scripture it sounds like commands to us: do not anger, do not covet. It’s so difficult to do. But then without my even realizing it, that scripture is working inside of me and making me one who does not anger or covet. If I tried to do it myself it would be difficult. But without our even being aware of it, as we continue listening to the Word, it is happening.

So that is how we “put on the armor of light.” How, then, do we “take off the deeds of darkness”? Let’s turn off all the lights in the room for a minute. Now, how do we get rid of this darkness? Command, “Darkness, be gone”? Maybe we make it stronger: “In the name of Jesus, be gone”? It doesn’t work, does it? Now let’s turn the lights back on – and there. When the light comes, then the darkness recedes. To be alive in God is to be dead to sin. We can’t do anything about sin. So if God is the one who shines on us, what is there to do from our standpoint? We need to contemplate constantly the deep night. I hope that we all lay a foundation in our lives of meditating on our true darkness. That is the manifestation of true faith. Faith is not to constantly take action; it is to give up. Like when their business is going to fail, people who are smart recognize that and close it up, because it’s a waste. If they kept it going they might just end up dragging other people down with them. It’s not about constantly and quickly taking action. The one who, in the midst of all the things that befall him, discovers the deep darkness of his being is the one who is wise.