Romans 13.11-14 And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6 that we are to put on the whole armor of God, in order that we might withstand the wiles of the devil. Putting on the whole armor of a God necessitates my believing and agreeing with God regarding things that are fleshly lusts that war against the soul. Here in Romans 13, we see that another name for the armor of God, is the armor of light. Opposed to the light are dishonesty, rioting, sexual impurity, strife and envy. For some reason, we tend to focus on the first three and skip, ignore, or explain away the fleshly lusts of strife and envy.
The word strife is elsewhere translated quarreling or contention. It is a word that carries the idea of being argumentative or divisive. It is a Greek word that is found nine times in the New Testament. It is a tragic thing to see the body of Christ implode itself because we refuse to repent of this fleshly poison. Instead, we dig in our feet that are supposed to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, and we fight, quarrel, name call, accuse, slander and so on, without a blink! Beloved, this grieves The Spirit of God, and it must stop!
In Romans 1.29, this word is translated debate, and is one of the sins of human depravity. In 1 Corinthians 1.11, it is translated contentions that existed in the congregation at Corinth due to their allegiance to their “favorite” teacher/ leader. Paul tells us that strife and contention are marks of carnality and spiritual immaturity. And yet, we turn a blind eye to this fiery dart of the enemy. Despite what James 3 tells us, we persist in our fleshly attitudes and what is called elsewhere, filthy communication. Look at the warnings regarding strife and contention in 2 Corinthians 12.20 and Galatians 5.20.
Dear ones, both writer and reader alike are no strangers to the scourge and pain of contention and strife. So what are we to do? Shall we simply “accept” it as a way of life and think that it will not effect our walk with Christ or our witness in the world? Shall we think that if we refuse to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and repent, that it will go away? Do we really think it will not effect our fellowship, prayers and worship of God? We need a fresh revelation of the cross of Jesus cause us to drop our swords of quarreling, contention and strife for His Name’s sake. The gates of hell cannot prevail against the church, but when one part of the body attacks another part, the body is divided, the unity of The Spirit is grieved, and the love of Christ is quenched.
May we submit ourselves to God’s Word afresh. Ephesians 4.29-32 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Father, forgive us for our sin and give unto us ears to hear and hearts to obey You today, Lord Jesus.