Summary: Christ allows us to put on new clothes of righteousness.
Colossians 3:1-17 (The Message)
A Whole New Wardrobe
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. . .
Your done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator with his label on it.
Have you ever had an intense desire to change your clothes?
I remember a few years ago, when my daughter Emily and I flew to Minneapolis, MN to attend a conference. During a down time we visited the Mall of America. They have an indoor amusement park and rode the log ride. Have you ever sat in the front seat of a log ride? Have you ever been to an indoor amusement park with hundreds of people? Have you ever walked around the amusement park with pants on that have been splashed with water in the front from the zipper to the bottom of the legs? I wanted to change clothes. I really wanted to change clothes. The only problem with the whole deal was that you had to walk through the whole mall to get to the other side where the parking garage was. . . I walked fast and kept my head down. Never made eye contact with anyone.
I wanted a change of clothes.
1. To live a new life we must (take off) the (old) clothes of our former life.
The Bible clearly teaches that a person who becomes a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ will walk a new walk.
Following Christ means we walk in His ways.
Following Christ means we live in such a way that everything we do glorifies and brings praise to his name.
There should be a difference between Christians and the rest of the people in the culture in which we live.
You should expect Christians to be honest, kind, loving, full of compassion.
Are there some frauds around? Absolutely.
Do people disappoint you sometimes? Unfortunately yes.
The passage that I read to you is followed with words that describe the whole expectations that God has.
“Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life, even though it is invisible to spectators, is with Christ in God. . . And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death:
doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it
grabbing whatever attracts your fancy.
That’s all a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God.”
You don’t think this is serious?
Maybe you don’t think that God really cares? The verses continue. . .
“It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good; bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk. Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire.”
I remember growing up in Waverly Ohio. At least that’s where I spent from third grade to ninth grade. My father pastored a church in which seventeen men became Christians during those years. They were husbands and fathers. Heads of households. What I remember most is the changed lives. When they would first come to church, they would look like the world, smell like the world, talk like the world. It would seemed like within days of accepting Christ and His way of walking through life that these men would begin to change. Literally they gained a new countenance. The habits and things of this world would begin to drop off. Do you know why so many men came to Christ? A lot of these men worked at the Mead paper plant. They worked with each other. They new each others habits and downfalls. Once they began to change, it was like a revival in the paper plant.
There is nothing that makes others hungry to know God than a changed man and woman who will walk in the newness of life that only God can give you.
It’s not about what you do in here. It’s not about how hard you worship, although that’s important. It is about how you live your life out there.