To be sober means to be serious-minded by putting away silliness and flippancy. But basically it means not being drunken. Drunkenness does bring on silliness and flippancy; but when in I Thessalonians 5:8 Paul wrote, "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," he means that we are not spiritually drunken but sober. This is plain from the fact that in the preceding verse he had written that they that be drunken are drunken in the night. We ought to take hold of that awesome truth that our God has brought us out of spiritual drunkenness into heavenly sobriety.
The sad fact is, however, that worldly riches and pleasures do make us spiritually drunken. For our flesh enjoys forgetting God, and doing as Satan caused Adam to do. As spiritually drunken we follow thousands of ways of seeking and enjoying forbidden fruit, that is, enjoying sins of every kind. We behave as spiritually drunken members of the human race. Because Satan is attacking us every day through man and earthly riches, we must be armed with faith, hope, and love of God. For, as Paul presents it, we need faith and love as a breastplate in our spiritual battle; and we need hope as the helmet for the protection of our heads. But only as we are spiritually sober can we use this breastplate and helmet.
In His grace God has brought us spiritual sobriety. By all means do not despise this gift, but cherish it and be thankful for it. As Paul writes, let us be sober, use that breastplate and helmet, and resist all the attacks of Satan. For in the day in which we live Satan has so many more, and more subtle, means of tempting us to spiritual drunkenness. By God's grace we are soldiers in the battle of faith. Let us not be so foolish as to lay aside our breastplate of faith and love and our helmet of hope, that it will not protect us.
Quote for Reflection:
"Let us, therefore, feed others also with the milk which we received, until they, too, become strong in faith. For there are many who are otherwise in accord with us and would also gladly accept this thing, but they do not yet fully understand it--these we drive away. Therefore, let us show love to our neighbors; if we do not do this, our work will not endure. We must have patience with them for a time, and not cast out him who is weak in faith; and do and omit to do many other things, so long as love requires it and it does no harm to our faith." -- Martin Luther, The First Sermon
- Date: 18-November