risen with Christ? Have you
set your affections or desires upon things above, upon eternity to come,
upon your heavenly citizenship?
What does that look like if you have done so?
Paul has challenged us to recognize that we are dead to this
life, world, and mortal existence and resurrected to a new eternal life
and we ought to live in a resurrected state.
It is almost as if the apostle Paul is saying, Get Up, Wake Up,
Get Dressed, and Do Something.]
[What do all
of us have to do when we get up in the morning?
We have to get dressed for the day.
Well, I guess I can’t say all of us have to do this anymore.
It seems that there are many around us that seem to be of the
opinion their Pajamma’s are appropriate public attire.
However, I have yet to see someone wear their PJ’s to work and
keep their job. You get up
in the morning, you get cleaned up, you get dressed and you go to work
dressed appropriately for your day. Hence, it matters what you wear. ]
seems to be using the idea of getting dressed as an illustration for
living the Christian life.
In verses 1-7 Paul stated the we are resurrected with Christ, we have
gotten up in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We died with Him, we were buried with Him, and now we are
resurrected in Him. Now in
verses 8-17 Paul says, put off your graves clothes and put on your
resurrection clothes. Put
off your servant clothes and put on your royal clothes.
clothing Paul describes is not clothing as in the actual garments one
puts on from day to day, but the garments Paul refers to are the
garments that shroud your character.
Think about your clothes for a few minutes.
People spend a lot of time, money, and effort picking out and
preparing the clothes they are going to wear.
Why? Because the
clothes one wears says a lot about the person wearing them.
Well, so it is with the character that shrouds your life.
Your character reveals volumes about you.
It matters what you put on your character from day to day.]
Our Text Reveals That,
Your Clothes Are A
Choice (vs 8, 12;
Eph 4.22-24;Heb 12.1-2; Jam
1.21-22) [– But now ye also
put off all these; . . . ;
12 Put on therefore, . . .
– Aorist, Middle, Imperative]
(Gk) - Aorist, Middle,
these words merely mean to take off one thing and put on another as a
matter of fact. To simply
make it so and keep it so.
To view it as an act that has occurred and continues to occur.]
equally important to note that both of these words are in the Middle
Voice which indicates that there is a joint effort involved.
It is not active and it is not passive it is the middle voice
thus indicating that we are working on our own behalf but at the some
time another (God) is working on our behalf as well.
The point to understand here is that there is something for us to
do, but we cannot do it apart from God.]
Theological truth here is that there is a character that undeniably
clothes every born again Christian, but it is impossible for the
unredeemed, apart from God, to put this same character on.
The unredeemed may put on a character that emulates the character
of the born again child of God, but he does not have access to the same
closet as the heir to the throne and therefore cannot put on the same
shroud of glory.]
this mean for you and I? It
means that as a born again Christian God has given you access to the
closet of God’s royal kingdom and you can put on what the world cannot
possibly put on. On the
other hand though, it also means that you have a part in this clothing
process. You must now reach
into the royal closet, grab the immortal garments provided by your
heavenly father and put them on.
God will not force dress you.]
– Dressing An Unwilling Toddler – Have you ever watched a parent try to
dress an unwilling toddler.
The parent tells little Johnny that he needs to get dressed, but little
Johnny just isn’t listening, today is either diaper only day or less.
So the parent puts an article of clothing on little Johnny and no
sooner than it is on it is either off or on the wrong spot.
It is futile.]
many Christians, when it comes to putting on their glorious royal
clothes of godly character, they are no more willing than little Johnny.
But they should be.
Perhaps you are one of those here today that have been a Christian for
many years, but you still look very much, character wise, as you did the
day you were saved. You
have convinced yourself that being clothed with the character of God is
just not something God has given you.
But do you understand that while God has provided a closet full
of royal garment for you, you must be the one to take off the old graves
clothes and put on the new royal garments of grace.]
[The Bible Says,]
That ye put off concerning the
former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the
deceitful lusts; 23 And be
renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created
in righteousness and true holiness. ]
Wherefore seeing we also are
compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside
every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset
us, and let us run with
patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author
and finisher of our
faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of
Wherefore lay apart all
filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the
engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. ]
Your Character Is A
Choice (vs 8-16) [–
So just what are graves clothes and what are the garments of glory
provided by our Lord?]
Clothes (vs 8-11; Eph 4.32) [–
But now ye also put off all
these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your
mouth. 9 Lie not one to
another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new
man, which is renewed
in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11 Where there is neither Greek
nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond
nor free: but Christ
is all, and in all.]
[Under Clothes (vs 8) -
– These are your inmost
characteristics. They can
often be detected by those around us, but they can alos be hidden deep
with in us.]
[Wonder Clothes (vs 9-11) –
These are what the
world around us knows about us.
They know if we are honest and trustworthy and they also know
much about our prejudices.]
we need to understand about everything listed here is that these clothes
are graves clothes and they will not foster life, fulfillment, or
contentment. If you find
that you are angry and hateful in your heart and mind then you need to
do something about these.
Now, many who find that they are angry, malicious and bitter in their
thoughts and heart will quickly say, “It’s not my fault, but so and so
has done this too me.”
Listen to the Word of God, and God never lies.
You can put this garment off.
These will often say, “How do I do this, I can’t help how I
feel.” Listen to the
Apostle Paul, who, through inspiration is speaking for God.
YOU MUST PUT IT OFF.]
take it off like and dirty piece of clothing and don’t put it back on.
Youth are you bitter about something with your friends, parents,
or family then you must put that graves cloth off.
Church members, are you angry or prejudice toward another Church
person, for any reason, then you must put that defiled garment aside.
Just take it off and refuse to put it back on.]
[Listen carefully here. If
you have some of these defiling garments on the first thing you will do,
in many cases, is become a hypocrite.
You will harbor those hateful and divisive thoughts in your heart
and mind but outwardly you will lie to everyone around you.
You will say everything is wonderful and good, but inside you
know that there is anger, and wrath brewing.
Hence Paul writes in verse nine,]
Lie not one to another, seeing
that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; ]
[Hateful, wrathful thoughts often lead to lies and then prejudice.
They divide friendships, families, and Churches.
Our Lord wants His body unified.
And be ye kind one to another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath
forgiven you. ]
Garments (vs 12-16; Psalm 119.9,11; 1 Pet 2.1-3) [–
Put on therefore, as the elect
of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of
mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have
a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also
14 And above all these things
put on charity, which
is the bond of perfectness. 15
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye
are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell
in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts
to the Lord. – These
are the garments that our Lord has provided in our resurrection closet.
These are the grace filled garments of the immortal.
Those who willingly reach into the closet of heaven and put on
these glorious garments will find fulfillment, contentment, and
doesn’t take much thought to realize that we all want to be around
merciful, kind, humble, longsuffering people who will be forgiving,
loving, and peaceful. If we
would put on these glorious garments then we would quickly find that
many would also want to be around us.
We must also remember that the world has a form of each of these
characteristics that leaves out the beginning of this exhortation.
We must be holy in all of these characteristics.
So our kindness must be holy kindness, our love must be holy
love, our forgiveness must be holy forgiveness, our peace must be holy
[Folks, what God provides for us to put on is exactly what we all desire
in life. I think that some
people think that living the Christian life is ridiculous and weird.
But the truth is that the immortal garments found in our Lord’s
royal closet are what we all already know make for the best possible
life. There is nothing
undesirable about what our Lord wants us to put on in our relationship
with Him. The sacrificial
and radical part about our Christian life in Christ is simply that this
lost dead world has declared war upon God and the people of God, and
their war is far more radical than any Islamic Jihad.]
hardest part about putting on these garments is just knowing how to put
them on and Paul tells us directly how to discover the only workable
method for putting on these glorious garments.
Let the word of Christ dwell in
you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms
and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the
will not find yourself able to put on the wardrobe of Christ apart from
the Word of God. The Bible
Wherewithal shall a young man
cleanse his way? by taking heed
thereto according to
thy word. ]
Thy word have I hid in mine
heart, that I might not sin against thee. ]
[1 Peter 2:1-2
Wherefore laying aside all
malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil
speakings, 2 As newborn
babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: ]
Christian friends, you can cloth yourself in the glorious garments of
immortal grace by taking off the graves clothes of worldly corruption
and putting on the garments of glory provided by our Lord, if you want
to and will. My friends
this is the consecration side of your sanctification and it is in your
power and will to do. The
question is, will you?]
Your Character Must
Represent Christ (vs 17; 2 Cor 5.19-21) [–
And whatsoever ye do in word or
deed, do all in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
– This brings us to the why of your putting on the clothing of the
character of a Child of God.
Your choices and character are far more important than you may
want to admit. As a born
again Christian you are a representative of the family and
of God everywhere
you go. The world watches
you to see if you live like the prince and princess you claim to be.
The Bible says,]
[2 Corinthians 5:19-21
To wit, that God was in Christ,
reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto
them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors
for Christ, as though God did beseech
you by us: we pray
you in Christ's stead,
be ye reconciled to God. 21
For he hath made him to
be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him.]
where you go or what you are doing you are representing the Lord Jesus
Christ, your family, your Church, and your community.
The characteristics that mark your life will also reflect upon
our Lord and His kingdom, your family, your Church and your community.
If you are a thief, an adulterer, a liar, or a vile person and
those who know you know that you are a part of Crossroads Baptist
Church, then the world will look at this Church and will assume that
this Church is full of people just like you and that we endorse lives
might say, “I don’t care what someone thinks about my Church or faith.
I’m not going to live my life for anything but myself.”
What you fail to understand is that it is all connected.
If they think ill of your family, your church or your community
because of you then that is what they are thinking about you.
Hence, Paul says, put off the graves clothes of worldly
defilement and wickedness and put on the glorious garments that our Lord
has graciously provided for you.]
Church, Sunday Evening,
April 25, 2010