Summary: Paul is telling us to get rid of the garments that characterize our old life of sin - get rid of them! He wants us now to put on the new garments that speak of life
(It must be noted this is NOT an original sermon with original thoughts and ideas. It has come from various sources with my own interjection as well).
TITLE: CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES
SCRIPTURE: EPHESIANS 4:17-24
I want to lift as a thought this morning the subject – Change Your Clothes. Would you agree with me, we LIVE IN A VERY FASHION CONSCIOUS SOCIETY. Matter of fact we carry fashion to the extreme not only in our country but around the world. People are so fashion conscious. Through the television and through magazines and newspapers, we're bombarded by two photographs in particular: one is before, and the other is after. There is this comparison that is always made in relation to fashion, and various things in society, that we LOOK AT A PERSON BEFORE SOCIETY HAS GOT TO THEM before fashion has added something to them, and then we see a photograph of a new person, a new man or woman, AFTER FASHION HAS DEALT WITH THEM. The whole point of this fashion is you can have a 'NEW YOU' - you can be a new person.
You can have, as they say, a ‘makeover’ and you can be changed and begin to feel different inside, and people around you - your husband, or wife, or your family, or your work colleagues - can begin to look on you in a different perspective and light because, after all, it's a new you! Of course, people have fallen for that lie - but you know, there's little bit of truth within that idea of fashion.
• We are looking at 'clothes' this evening in the word of God, in a spiritual sense
• If I can borrow the poet William Blake's statement: 'This', that we read of in this passage of Scripture, 'is a mantle for the divine soul'
• We are not reading about clothes that we put on our physical body
• But we're reading in this passage - whether we are saved or unsaved - about clothes that cover, that mantle, the divine soul
• This is, if you like, the divine wardrobe of God
• It is what God sees on the unbeliever and, indeed, what God wants to see upon his regenerate child
There is a big difference between these garments and the garments that we see around us this morning. The garments found in our text has nothing to do with fashion. The clothes we have on today, although we think we are cute, today - tomorrow it will be out of style. You ever look at those old photos from back in the day and you know you were sharp. But you look at those photos now and they make you laugh. What is in style today will be out of style tomorrow.
We find the Apostle Paul in this text alluding to the fact that there is a style that will not pass away - it never ever changes. Just as our physical garments, with ae – time – wear old - and go out of fashion - the difference with these garments found in the text:
• The longer we have them
• The longer we wear them
• The greater they become
• And the better worth they are
WHAT ARE OUR CLOTHES AS CHILDREN OF GOD? I believe there's a lot of confusioin about this today within the church. What marks us as being the children of God? In the eyes of others how can they tell that we are the children of God –
• That we have been Changed
• That we have been Converted
• That we are Regenerated
• That we have dwelling within us the life of Almighty God?
What is it then that others should see when they look at us?
• Is it our Appearance?
• Is it the way we Dress?
• Is it the length of our Hair?
• Does it have anything to do with the outward appearance at all?
Well, God's word would tell us the outward appearance may have some bearing on the way that people look at us, but that is not the way God judges whether a man or woman walks with Him – MAN LOOKS ON THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT GOD LOOKS UPON THE HEART. Now that doesn't mean the outward appearance is unimportant, but in the divine wardrobe it is what God goes by to discern a child of His.
So what is it that those around us should see when they look at us? Should they see tradition? Tradition is a good thing when it is a good thing, but tradition as we see it in the word of God. Tradition as long as it is found in the Word of God is good. However; if we follow after the Pharisees and begin to add a lot of stuff that begins to smother the Word of God, then Tradition can get in the way. Tradition, generally speaking, if it is not the tradition of the Apostles and the Prophets that we have within the word of God, is man-made. Tradition can be a good thing, but tradition - I say it - a lot of the time is a bad thing if we are shackled with it. So, tradition is not necessarily the way that we are known as the children of God.