Romans 13:12 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.

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

I Thessalonians 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

II Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

I Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

MEMORY VERSE: And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. —I Corinthians 9:25-27

CENTRAL THOUGHT: In addition to the opposition of evil powers of the devil, our warfare also involves a hand-to-hand, daily conflict with our flesh and its desires, through which our adversary seeks to entangle and distract us from our high calling as a soldier of light.


Romans 13:12 “Night”: the period of time before Christ’s second coming. “Day”: the second coming of Christ.

Romans 13:13 “Honestly”: becomingly, decorously, decently, as when others are watching. “Rioting”: drunken feast which hosted unbridled immorality; wild, furious, ecstatic party or festival; unclean or dissolute songs. “Chambering”: promiscuity. “Wantonness”: conduct shocking to public decency; wanton violence; brutality; lewdness. Unclean and sodomitical practices. “Strife”: contention. “Envying”: jealous anger.

I Thessalonians 5:6 “Sober”: to abstain from wine; be calm, vigilant, discreet. “Especially should Christians live with such vigilance and soberness as to be always prepared to meet the Son of God. What Christian can think it appropriate for him to go up to meet his Saviour from the theater, the ballroom, or the brilliant worldly party?” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible).

II Timothy 2:3 “Endure hardness”: endure hardship and affliction; take your share in suffering; endure evil. “Soldier”: from a word that means the encampment of troops; a “camper-out.” This brings to mind someone who has left the ease and comfort of civilian life and is purposefully enduring the hardships of living in the wild for a specific cause and calling.

II Timothy 2:4 “Chosen”: enlisted or enrolled.

I Peter 2:11 “Strangers”: non-citizen; temporary dweller. “Those who are in a strange house, a house not their own” (Benson Commentary). “Pilgrims”: sojourner; someone passing through; exile. “Those who are in a strange country, and among a people not their
own” (Benson Commentary). “Abstain”: keep away from; hold back. “Fleshly lusts”: pertaining to the animal nature; carnal, sensual appetites; soft pleasures.

I Corinthians 9:25 “Striveth”: enters the arena or the stage as a combatant; from a Greek root from which we get the English word “agonize.” “Is temperate”: to exercise self- control or dominion from within.


The apostle Paul used two metaphors in the scriptures we have quoted in this lesson: that of an enlisted soldier and that of a combatant in the Olympic (Grecian) games. The soldier had to avoid entanglement in civilian affairs. “The legionary soldiers among the Romans were not permitted to engage in husbandry, merchandise, mechanical employments, or anything that might be inconsistent with their calling” (Clarke’s Commentary). Contenders for the games were also under rigid discipline. “The candidate for the races was required to be ten months in training, and to practice in the gymnasium immediately before the games, under the direction of judges who had themselves been instructed for ten months in the details of the games. The training was largely dietary. Epictetus says: ‘Thou must be orderly, living on spare food; abstain from confections; make a point of exercising at the appointed time, in heat and in cold; nor drink cold water nor wine at hazard’” (Vincent’s Word Studies).

What is the chronology of the writings mentioned in the lesson today? I Thessalonians is the first epistle written by Paul, followed shortly by the second epistle, in A.D. 52. The Epistle to the Romans was written from Corinth in the winter of A. D. 56-57. He wrote to the Corinthians in A. D. 57, following with II Corinthians around a year later. The epistles to Timothy were written later, around A. D. 64 and 67. Peter wrote his epistles later in his life, probably A. D. 66.

These epistles were directed to a wide audience: Peter’s messages took in “strangers scattered” around western Asia, which included “Christian churches in Asia Minor, composed primarily of converted Jews and proselytes, but including many converts from paganism” (ATS Bible Dictionary). Paul wrote to the saints in Rome, probably “a mixed church of Jews and Gentiles, the latter perhaps being the more numerous. These Gentile converts, however, were not for the most part native Romans. All the literature of the early Roman church was written in the Greek tongue” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary). Paul sent epistles to Corinth and other cities in Greece, to Thessalonica, and to Timothy at Ephesus.

—Angela Gellenbeck


  1. The epistles to the Romans and to the Thessalonians both show the contrast between children or soldiers of the day, or ______ , and children of the night, or __________.
  2. What deeds are listed as of the night?
  3. What weapons are included as the armor of light?
  4. What disciplines are alluded to for the soldier? For the combatant?
  5. What spiritual disciplines can you list from the scriptures in today’s lesson?


The apostles’ messages, directed toward converted Jews and Gentiles alike, compose a clear picture of the contest in which we as Christians are engaged. Not only do we wrestle against the prince of the power of the air, with his evil spirits who assail with wiles and fiery darts; and deceptive powers in the religious world, but we face another daily foe—the desires of our own flesh. The calling of a soldier and the conquest for mastery each require the rigors of discipline; their crown is corruptible, but the Christian’s contest is for eternal rewards. If the secular world recognizes the necessity of physical discipline, why can’t the Christian accept it as well? Yet popular “Christian” teachers downplay self-denial as “legalism.”

The warning from Peter emphasizes the importance of bringing fleshly desires under control. They “war against the soul.” Paul clearly shows that drunkenness, spiritual lethargy, all forms of immorality and indecency, strife, envy, and entanglement (over-involvement) in worldly affairs are all part of the spiritual darkness of this world.

Last week’s lesson revealed who rules the darkness; today we are studying the many aspects of this darkness. Evil spirits use worldly allurements to our flesh as their way of entering into the citadel of our hearts and wreaking havoc. Behind every inordinate desire of the flesh is a spirit waiting to control. Perhaps if young people could remember that truth they would be twice as careful to avoid suggestive and provocative clothing, books, music and other media. They would never yield to the addictive beverage, drug, or pornographic picture the first time it is enticingly offered. They would pray more wholeheartedly against the spirits of uncleanness in alternate lifestyles. They would see the importance of keeping even the legitimate desires and appetites of the body within the Holy Spirit’s control. Most of all, they would seek to be suited with God’s full armor.

Ask yourself this question when navigating the dangerous sea of amusement, recreation, and sensual enjoyment of this world: Is this of darkness or of the light?

—Angela Gellenbeck


Thank God for His love and mercy to us! He died for us so that we could have victory in our lives.

I got saved, but struggled with a YouTube addiction. I prayed about it and tried to not watch, but couldn’t stay victorious. I got so tired of it and cried out to the Lord over and over to get delivered, but I still couldn’t get lasting victory.

I went to the international camp meeting in Monark Springs, Missouri. One night, a message was preached about movies and videos. The message really hit me, but I thought, “I don’t have to go down to the altar since I’ve been praying about that already.” I couldn’t get peace. Finally, I decided to go down and pray. Thank the Lord for His mercy! That night He delivered me from my addiction and gave me complete victory!

If I wouldn’t have yielded to God’s call then, I believe that I would have been in bondage to that addiction much longer. It is important to listen to His voice. When He calls us, the time is right!

I still have to be careful with what I do on the internet. It’s something I could easily fall back into. I set some rules for myself to keep myself out of trouble, and I’ve found that God has blessed and honored me for it. He gives me strength when I keep Him first, and I’m very grateful for that! Thank the Lord!

You can be victorious through God’s power too! God bless you!

—A Christian Soldier

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