Romans 13:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 13:14, NIV: Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Romans 13:14, ESV: But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

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

Romans 13:14, NASB: But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Romans 13:14, NLT: Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don't let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

Romans 13:14, CSB: But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires.

What does Romans 13:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is urging those of us in Christ to change the way we live. We don't belong to the darkness any longer. The sun is coming up. It's time for us to leave behind the works and darkness and live as if we're standing in the light.

In the previous verse, he described some of the nighttime activities we must leave behind. Here's what we must do, instead: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. The metaphor at work has to do with what we wear. In verse 12, Paul told us to cast off the works of darkness. Instead, we will symbolically wear Jesus. In other words, our goal as Jesus-followers is to live as Jesus would live. That would include all of Paul's commands and instructions in Romans 12 and 13. The opposite of this happens when we arrange our lives to satisfy our flesh.

When Paul uses the word "flesh," he means more than just sexual immorality. He means all the human appetites we experience to feel good, to get what we want, and to be treated well. It's not wrong to want any of those things, per se, but those cravings become sinful when we serve them above all others and are willing to harm others to gratify them. Instead, as Jesus did, we must put others first and trust God to provide for us in all other ways.