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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”  It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."  
Revelation 19:7-8

There is an old saying, “Clothes make the man.” The apostle Paul makes this point in Ephesians 4:22-24. Clothing matters in this world we live in.   And though we might not care to be judged by appearance, our clothes or garments make a statement about ourselves. Our clothes reflect who we are: our profession, social status, values, and beliefs.
“You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22–24 NRSVUE )


Jesus, our Lord, commands Christians to put away their former way of life, the old self. The Greek word translated as “put off” means setting aside clothing. It is used in Acts 7:58 when those stoning Stephen laid their coats down at the feet of Saul. The New Testament often translates it  as “put away.”  Christ wants us to take off our old garments and way of life.  Christians must not keep living how they used to live before they obeyed the Gospel.  We must lay the old self aside and put it away because our deceitful desires can corrupt it. Our deceitful desires lie to us. Christians must cast off their old garments and throw them away to put on the new white garments of righteousness! Putting off the old self is not just changing a few things in our life or behavior.  Putting off our old garments of sin means eliminating how we used to think and live. The first step toward hope is to leave behind the past.  

Consider the following Scriptures that exhort us about how we should clothe ourselves to honor and glorify our God and enter the gates of heaven:   
  1. Righteousness:  "Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness."   Ephesians 6:14
  2. Strength and dignity:  Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future."  Proverbs 31:25
  3. Strength and beautiful garments:  "Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments... "  Isaiah 52:1-6
  4. The armor of light:  "The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light."  Romans 13:12
  5. Our Lord Jesus Christ and Savior:  "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."   Romans 13:14.  "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."  Galatians 3:27
  6. The new man, the man of true righteousness that leads to holiness:  "and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."  Ephesians 4:24
  7. The whole armor of God:  "Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil."   Ephesians 6:11
  8. The new self is being renewed in the knowledge and image of God:  "and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him."  Colossians 3:10
  9. We must put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, lonsuffering, forbearance and forgiveness:  "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;  bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you."  Colossians 3:12-13
  10. Love:  "Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity."  Colossians 3:14
  11. The helmet of salvation and the breastplate of faith and love:  "But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation."  I Thessalonians 5:8

Ephesians 4:23 urges Christians to have a new way of thinking and attitude.  

"23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds."

We cannot put on our new garments until we renew our minds and ways of thinking.  It will be impossible to renew our thinking without removing our old garments. Renewing our minds must be a constant process.  Our culture tells us to “follow our heart.” Following our heart is obeying our desires, which is part of our former ways of living.   Our old garments feed the flesh.  The new garments lead to the righteousness and holiness of God.

Ephesians 4:24 urges Christians to put on new garments.  

"24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."

Our new thinking allows us to put on our new garments.   Our Christian garments are “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” We are to be in the image of God and show Him to the world through our thinking and actions. Paul states this in Colossians 3:2-4

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”  (Colossians 3:2–4 CSB)

“For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29 CSB)

Since our old life has died, we must reflect our new life in Christ to others.  We must grasp that our old way of life is not who we are. Our old life of sin is not who we are and was made for. We have a new life in Christ.  We have a new purpose for living.  We must put off our former way of life because that is who we have been made to be in Christ. We’re created for something greater and better.  We have a better and higher calling.  Thus, we stop our former way of life.  Why?  Because when we sin, we choose to not live up to God’s given purpose for us.  We are allowing our deceitful desires to rule us.  


Christians are urged to clothe their souls with God's righteousness and holiness.  It is the only way to enter the gates of heaven forever.  

"Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city."  Revelation 22:14

Our old clothes or garments must be removed because they are part of our former way of life.  We must put on the new white garments made in the image of God in true righteousness and holiness. Our new white garments must change our thinking, leave the past behind and move forward in hope. Let us stop wearing our old garments to leave room for the new white garments God has given us.  Let us not run back to our old and sinful garments but instead, let us put on our new white garments making changes in our lives.  The old garments of corruption take from others and speak foul words. The old garments grieve the Holy Spirit. The new white garments help others and build them up.  The new garments show that we have been sealed by the Spirit and are ready for the day of redemption. Our wrong thinking leads to wrong actions.

When we obey the Gospel, God expects us to change our way of thinking about family, work, people, and ourselves. We cannot leave our past life of sin behind and move forward in hope to what God has for us if we continue with our darkened, flawed thinking. Listen to God's words in Isaiah.

"Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:6–9 NIV)

When Christians refuse to give up their thinking and ways to exchange them for God's thoughts and ways, they have serious problems and cannot move forward in hope to newness of life.  

The apostle Paul reminds us by saying, 

"As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:27–29 NRSV)

Notice what God says we are in Christ. We are Christians who belong to Christ,  heirs of the promise. We must know who we are and live for that purpose.  We need new white garments.  We must throw away the old garments that have been given to us.  Our old garments are full of lies, emptiness, and pain.  God has better garments that give us hope, help, and healing. New garments help us leave the past behind and move forward with new purpose and hope. Since we are made in God’s image, in righteousness and holiness, let us change how we think about ourselves, others, and life.

With all these exhortations to Christians about the garments we must wear to enter the gates of heaven forever, let us put on our Christian garments the way our Lord has demanded of us.  There is no other way to heaven!  

 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city."  Revelation 22:14

May the LORD help us to clothe ourselves with white garments so that the shame of our nakedness may not be uncovered.

"I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent."  Revelation 3:18-19


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