Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Well-Dressed Christian

Recap:  The Colossian Message:  "Christ is Sufficient"  (for all Spiritual needs).
 ie:  to (1) gain salvation
      to (2) secure salvation
      to (3) grow in your salvation

Therefore:  no need to ADD to His work and should not REMOVE from His Person  (Col. 2:9)

The previous text said:  You were spiritually dead (disconnected, insensitive to), intimacy w/God broken by sin.
                                    God made you spiritually alive (Born Again in Christ) - His work.  He does it!!!
                     and          You were baptized into Christ (into the family, the Kingdom).  Not talking about water baptism.  That is a picture (symbol) of the spiritual baptism.

So, in light of all the above ... Col. 3:1-2 = "look to Him for all your spiritual needs"
and  Col. 3:3-4 = this is already a reality.  Even though no tangible measure in this life.
At His coming, this will = a visible reality!!

"therefore" because of what He's done, is doing, will do ...  here is an appropriate/ proper response for the believer:   Col. 3:5-14 - Put Off - Put On Concept

I.  Put off the Old 

II.  Put on the New
Col. 3:5, 9-10, 12
Using clothing analogy = "the properly dressed believer"

This implies:  (1)  Choice of clothing/ behavior.  There are 2 closets - the world's closet and God's closet
YOU decide what to wear!!

                   (2)  Action - more than just a decision = "Putting On!!" - taking up and responding

God does His part:  examples = new birth, Holy Spirit within, written instruction, etc.
YOU must do your part!!! ie:  choose and clothe self!!  - Put off & Put On.

Question:  How should a believer dress?
Answer:  like a believer!!! - Col. 3:12 - "chosen" , "holy - set apart (position), "dearly loved" - by God
Live and act in such the way God sets for the believer.

1 Cor. 6:11, Eph. 4:22-25, 28-29 - 3rd. element added here - "mind" - Rom. 12:2

These lists NOT necessarily complete!!
Therefore you must  (1) make self aware of options (scripture)
                               (2) choose your outfit - Old Testament example:  Prov. 15:1
                               (3)  Put it on!! - clothe 'self = action.  James 1:22-25

and then ....
III.  Cover all with Love
Col. 3:14 - The Agape Overcoat  (outer garment)

Agape = the unconditional, sacrificial love OF God FOR Man - John 3:16

Point:  (1)  AS God loves you/people ... so you are to love others

BUT ...(2)  "love" is NOT one of the clothing options.  Rather = the covering under which all other garments lie.
Matt.  22:36-40

Another parallel passage:  Rom. 6:11-14 (a)

So... Christian ... (1) you've been born again (anew)
therefore,            (2) put off old garments (those contrary to God's will)
                           (3)  select new wardrobe
                           (4)  Put them on!!!

unfortunately ... this is not a 1 time experience!!!  Have to re-choose, re-dress every day!!! - over and over and over.

to the Not Yet Christian - this is not a mystical, magical thing.  BUT does = a real, spiritual experience!! - something happens.
You can practice some of this without Christ, however the Born Again experience, beginning does not take years to achieve.
"Born Again" = the work of God in You.  Change of nature comes only from God.  Surrender to that!  To Him!!

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