"Let us walk properly … not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." – Romans 13:13-14 NKJV
St. Augustine became an influential leader in early Christian history, writing two important books, Confessions and The City of God (among a plethora of writings). These verses from Romans 13 revolutionized his life.
Born in 354 AD in northern Africa, Augustine learned about Christianity from his mother before straying to pursue rhetoric and other religions. Eventually he returned to Christianity but still resisted a total commitment, even living with a common-law wife for many years.
Increasingly concerned about sin, he was led to study Romans 13. He later confessed that this chapter caused him to probe “the hidden depths of my soul.” He realized that he was “still enslaved” by sins. Convicted, he asked God to change his life, and “a great storm broke within me.”
God answered his prayers: “In an instant, it was as though the light of faith flooded into my heart and all the darkness of doubt was dispelled.” He found forgiveness and freedom. Cleansed, he devoted the rest of his life to serving God.
Augustine learned that the attraction of sin can be overwhelming. But we pay a price for our sins. They grip our lives and keep us from knowing the freedom of Christ.
Realize that sin in any form can enslave you. Ask God to reveal sin, whether it is obvious or subtle. Confess those sins and accept His forgiveness. Let Him dispel any darkness and flood your life with freedom and light.
PrayerFather, show me any sin that has gripped my life. I confess these sins to You: ______. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingRomans 13