Friday, May 1, 2009

A New Wardrobe

An important thing to learn in the Christian life is how to get dressed. No one wants to walk around in filthy, ragged clothes. It would be even worse to walk around naked!

In Colossians 3, Paul reminds us that there are certain clothes we must take off and certain ones we must put on. Colossians 3:8-9 lists some of the qualities we are to "strip off". Colossians 3:12-14 tells us how to clothe ourselves.

How can we do this?

First, we must take responsibility. We are the ones who have to take off the old clothes and put the new ones on.

Second, we must use God's Word. Paul seems to connect the idea of putting negative qualities to death with putting them off (Col 3:5-8). The only way we can put things to death is to use the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph 6:17). If you want to change your clothes, you need to fill yourself with God's Word, meditate on it and apply it to your specific circumstances and temptations. Be on the lookout for things God says to get rid of (old clothes) and what He tells you to do instead (new clothes). A good place to start is Ephesians 4:17-32.

Third, we must be gospel motivated. Paul does not begin with the commands to change clothes. He begins with the truths of Colossians 3:1-3. We have died with Jesus, we have been raised with Jesus, our life is hidden in Jesus, we will be glorified when Jesus appears. He reminds us, that we change clothes because we are already chosen by God, holy and beloved (Col 3:12). We are not doing this to make God like us, but because we already belong to God. Why should we wear filthy rags in the King's palace?

In Christ
Pastor Mike

Resources: Tim Lane & Paul David Tripp, How People Change