” 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