“[Take] off your old self with its practices and … put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Colossians 3:9-10
Read these verses over and over. What is the Holy Spirit whispering to you?
This morning the whisper I hear is to “put on Christ.” It is interesting. The Greek words used in our text are used to describe how you take off and put on garments. We should take off those old tattered dirty clothes we are wearing and put on the new clean clothes of Christ.
Our verse comes from the letter of Paul to the Colossians. In this part Paul is telling the Colossians how to live a holy life. Our lives should reflect our faith. He isn’t saying that we are perfect, “which is being renewed in knowledge of the image of its Creator.” He is saying that even though we are still being renewed our actions should still represent Christ. Take off anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language (vs 8). Put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (vs 12). Is it really that easy? Can we just change our clothes and be a better person?
My first response is that it can’t be that easy, but Paul says it is. Paul tells us we already know how to live; the key is choosing to live the way of Christ. We have all that we need to do so. Stop living in automatic mode in which we just react without thinking or without consideration of those around us. Put away our pride and this won’t be so hard. Live with humility and we won’t have much trouble.
Paul takes away our excuses. We live in Christ. We have no excuse for living out evil. It is time to start acting like Christians, full of love not malice. Thinking about others instead of self. Look at Jesus. He was so patient with the sinners but had little patience with the Pharisees. The Pharisees new better but choose self over love. We know better. Do we choose self over love?
The old clothes are the most comfortable at first. I don’t even notice the dirt and stains on them. That is our problem. We are too comfortable in our sin. How do you react when someone points out your stains? Do you change your clothes, or do you keep wearing them? Honestly it depends on where I am. I wear my old clothes with stains and dirt around my family and those I work with. As I think about it that is also how I tend to act. I’m on my guard out in public but with my family I tend to let my sin run free.
Life with Christ shouldn’t be one way at church and another at home or work. We should keep those new clothes on. Shine the light of Christ where ever we go. Every morning when we get up we should put on Christ and keep Christ on all day.