Clothed With Christ

We’re studying the book of Colossians in our Adult Sunday School class, and this week I’m teaching.  The theme of our lesson is “clothed with Christ” taken from these verses:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility gentleness and patience.  Bear with one another and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them together in perfect harmony.”  Colossians 3:12-14

Clothing ourselves with Christ’s nature is something we need to do every day.  Unlike the atonement, it’s not once and done (although we might wish it to be so!).  This quote from my devotional reading describes how to go about this:

“Nothing so purifies the thoughts, shuts out self, admits God, as in all things, little or great, to look to Jesus.  Look to Him, when ye can, as ye begin to act, to converse or labor;  and then desire to speak or be silent, as He would have you;  to say this word, or leave that unsaid;  to do this, or leave that undone;  to shape your words, as if He were present, and He will be present, not in body, but in spirit, not by your side, but in your soul.  Faint not, any who would love Jesus, if ye find yourselves yet far short of what He Himself who is Love saith of the love of Him  Perfect love is in heaven.  When you are perfected in love, your work on earth is done.  There is no short road to heaven or to love.  Do what in thee lies by the grace of God, and He will lead thee from strength to strength, and grace to grace and love to love.”

Edward Pusey

So, dress yourself in Christ every morning.  Let Him lead you.

For more another quote by Edward Pusey see this posts:

Victorious Faith

For more about being clothed with Christ see:

A New Suit of Clothes



Martin Luther on Baptism

After posting John Stott’s quote on baptism, I decided to see what Martin Luther had to say!

For that purpose Christ instituted holy baptism, thereby to clothe you with his righteousness. It is tantamount to his saying, My righteousness shall be your righteousness; my innocence, your innocence. Your sins indeed are great, but by baptism I bestow on you my righteousness; I strip death from you and clothe you with my life.”

Martin Luther

For more quotes by Martin Luther see these posts:

Martin Luther on Charity #2

More Advice From Martin Luther

Martin Luther on the Sabbath

Clothed in Christ

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:13-14

I just finished watching a series called Manor House.  In this program, a group of people agreed to go back in time and live as the servants and well-to-do English family in the Edwardian era would have.  They would wear the clothes, eat the food and observe the same social rituals as people of that time and place did.  Needless to say, despite their best efforts, it didn’t always work out.  Those filling the servant role were quickly upset by 16 hour workdays and no scheduled time off.  The father of the family grew tired of the rich diet and requested some healthier meals.  The tutor felt isolated a in role that left him in limbo — too high to associate with the servants and too low to be completely included in the family circle.

What I am trying to say with all this is:  clothing ourselves with Christ will not mean we no longer struggle with sin.  In fact, it will make us struggle harder, because we will become aware of how far we are from being Christlike.  Like the volunteers on Manor House we’re people of our time, and the particular prejudices of our society are deeply ingrained.  We’re individuals with certain personalities and life experiences that make us prone to particular sins.

The people in Manor House put on a new set of clothes for three months.  They learned and grew as they tried to see life from a different perspective.  Some things came easily for them, other things didn’t. In the end, however, they all went back to their old lives.  The experience may have been revealing or educational —  they may have enjoyed certain aspects–  but it really didn’t change them much.

Putting on Christ is different because it’s permanent.  Oh, we won’t immediately transform into perfect Christians — but we’ll see things in a new way, God’s way.  We’ll find ourselves part of a new kingdom, with different values.  We’ll gradually change (this is the process of sanctification) and we won’t ever go back to that old life.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17