Put Ye On the Lord Jesus Christ

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof (Romans 13:14 KJV)

put on the Lord Jesus Christ

What does Paul mean when he instructs the Roman Christians to put on the Lord Jesus Christ? We will see how the context of this instruction and the metaphor of clothing reveal powerful truths about spiritual warfare and our spiritual growth.

What comes to mind when you encounter the phrase “put on”? In Greek, this verb is “endyo,” meaning to dress or clothe oneself. Thus, the metaphor Paul employs invites the Romans to clothe themselves with Jesus, as if He were their very garments. In this context, what does the act of donning clothes symbolize?

Your clothes represent that which is outward and visible to everyone else. When someone looks at you, your clothes stand out. Spiritually, clothing in this sense refers to the “outward man,” that part of us which is external as opposed to the invisible spirit. The Apostle himself defines what he meant by clothing two verses prior in the same passage and says,

“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” (Romans 13:12, KJV).

Here, he uses the antithesis of casting off (putting off one’s clothes) works of darkness and putting on the armour of light. Here, clothing clearly refers to our works. Notice how he parallels “put on the armour of light” in verse 12 and putting on the Lord Jesus in verse 14. So the armour of light, the Lord Jesus Christ, and clothes in this text all refer to our works—our character, behavior, words, actions, etc.

Furthermore, notice that Paul was not asking sinners to receive Jesus but believers to put on Jesus Christ. So clothing in this case is not about accepting Jesus but acting like Him. In another verse, he uses the same metaphor of clothing to refer to the born-again experience when our spirits put on Christ as our spiritual clothes (Galatians 3:27).

As good Bible students, many of you will immediately connect this idea of putting on armor with the spiritual warfare instruction of Ephesians 6:11: “Put on the whole armour of God.”

So here is God’s command for us: change your clothes, put on Jesus Christ in the way you think, speak, and act. That outward manner of life is our armor of light to win the battles of life.


How does Romans 13:14 compare to Galatians 3:27 concerning Jesus as our clothing? What do they teach us about the different layers of clothing God puts on us?

Apply the Word

What type of clothes are you putting on now? Or what kind of armor are you wearing? God wants us to put on the armor of light, the Lord Jesus Christ, at all times to win every spiritual battle in life. So put on, therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ.


Ask the Father to help you put on the right outward clothes!

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