Summary: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness an
“For Goodness Sakes – Put Your Clothes On!”
Eph. 4: 17-32
OPEN: The title of the sermon today is “For goodness sake-put your clothes on” This is not talking about the clothes you wore to church this morning, I’m assuming that everyone came to church after dressing their physical body. We want to talk about taking off the clothes of the old man and putting on the clothes of the new man. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 13:14)
Clothes are important to all of us aren’t they? Every one of us spent some time thinking about what we wanted to wear this morning. Shall I wear the white shirt or the blue one? Light pants or dark? Should I wear blue jeans or khakis? What criteria did you use as you were picking out your clothes this morning? What when through your mind as you made your decision? Was it the weather? “It’s going to be a hot day. It’s going to be rainy.” Was it your weight? “This is too tight – this is too loose.” Maybe you were going for a fashion statement. “People will think of me in a certain way if I wear this.”
God has always been concerned about the clothes you wear. Did you know that? But not in the way that most of us imagine. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Gen. 3:21) They feel exposed, vulnerable, ashamed. They feel that they cannot allow God to look upon them in their failure and disobedience, and that feeling expresses itself in a need to cover their physical nakedness ... to wear clothes. so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.’ (Genesis 3:7.) There is an important lesson for us right at the beginning of the Bible. Immediately, the text makes it clear that, in God’s eyes, the coverings they have made for themselves are just not acceptable. They’re not adequate and they’re not acceptable. So, just a few verses later, we are told: ‘And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.’(Genesis 3:21). From the start, the Bible teaches that the coverings with which we try to cover ourselves so that we can stand before God fall far short of what is required and simply will not do. When man sins and hides, God comes looking for him, not in anger but in love. But in his love, in his mercy and grace he says: ‘Get rid of the fig-leaves, whatever your particular fig-leaves are. They will not do. You are right to think that in your sinfulness and disobedience you need a covering. But you are wrong to think that you can provide your own. I will provide a covering for you.’ Let me tell you: all the good news of the Bible is wrapped up in those three words: ‘God ... clothed them.’ In a way – the story of the Gospel is a story of God clothing us.
Ill. - Every once in while Missy will go through the closet and she will bring out some old clothes and ask if I want to keep it or throw it away. Now I don’t particularly like throwing old clothes away – it takes me a while to break them in and get all the stains in just the right places and the holes just where I want them to be. And just about the time I get an old shirt just right – she comes along and wants to throw it away. She’ll say, “I don’t want to be around you if you’re going to wear something like that.” Generally, I like wearing old clothes. I’ll take something out of the closet and she’ll say, “You’re not wearing that are you?” (Women can say that to men, but men can’t say that to women.) When we go somewhere, she doesn’t want to be seen with some guy dressed in old junkie clothes. She feels it’s a reflection on her – she can look beautiful, but when she’s hanging with a guy that looks like a bum, it brings her down. So when I go out with her, she wants me to put on something presentable, so that when the world looks at me when I’m with her, they don’t see her hanging around some old bum. So she’s always wanting me to throw away the old worn out junk clothes. And that’s kind of what Paul says in this passage:
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. When God recreates a person in Jesus Christ there's something new, there's something different. If you are the new creature described in chapters 1 to 3, you will live like it as described in chapters 4 to 6. He’s saying get rid of those old worn out clothes you wore in your former life. They were corrupt and filthy and dirty. Now it wasn’t wrong for you to wear those clothes before you came to Christ. Those clothes reflected the man that wore them. But that was the former person – the old person. You’re changed now – you’re the Church – the prince of The King – the princess of the King – You’re the Bride of Christ. For goodness sake – put on Christ. Gal. 3:27 says “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” You represent the King, now so wear something presentable - things that reflect true righteousness and holiness.