Summary: In this message we look at the clothes that a Christian is to put on.
"GET YOUR CLOTHES ON!"
TEXT: EPHESIANS 4:22-24; COL 3:12-17
Many years ago there was an emperor who was so fond of new clothes that he spent all of his money on them. He did not give himself any concern about his army; he cared nothing about the theater or for driving about in the woods, except for the sake of showing himself off in his new clothes. he had a costume for every hour in the day, and just as they say of a King or an Emperor, "He is in his council chambers," they said of him, "The emperor is in his dressing room."
One day 2 strangers came into to down, they were con men who passed themselves off as master weavers. And they said that they knew how to make the most exquisite clothes. Not only were the colors and patterns uncommonly beautiful, but the clothes were made of stuff that had a peculiar property -- that of being invisible to every person who was unfit for the office he held or who was exceptionally stupid.
"Those must be valuable clothes" thought the emperor, "By wearing them I should be able to discover which of the men in my empire are fit for office... And I will be able to distinguish the wise from the fools. So the emperor paid the 2 scoundrels a handsome sum of money in advance, as they required.
Now the 2 men pocketed the money and pretended to be weaving.
As time passed the emperor was getting anxious about his new clothes -- but as he reflected that the clothes reveled those who were unfit or stupid, he wasn’t really sure that he wanted to go.
So he sent his top aide. Well of course when this aide went to where these men were busy about their weaving, he saw nothing, but not wanting to be judged unfit or stupid -- he said "Oh, it is most elegant and beautiful, what a fine pattern and what fine colors. I will certainly tell the emperor how pleased I am with these fine cloths.
As time passed the emperor sent more aides, all of who brought back the same reports.....
Finally the day came and the emperor with the help of his stewards after taking off his old clothes, pretended to put on and button his new outfit....
And as he marched down the streets, his attendants were behind him acting as though they were carrying his long train and everyone in the streets were shouting, "What beautiful clothes, how splendid...." though in fact they saw nothing, but they didn’t want to judged as being unfit or stupid.
Until that is, a little child said, "But he has nothing on..."
So what does this have to do with the book of Ephesians....
A couple of weeks back we studied Eph 4:17-5:16 as we talked abut the "Walk of Purity," One of the walks that we must walk if we are to walk (live our lives) in a manner worthy of our calling.
It was the message I entitled "Take of your Graveclothes!" -- We talked about how there are certain things that are incompatible with Christianity and therefore need to be removed from our lives...such as lying, anger, slander, unwholesome talk, bitterness, rage, malice, sexual immorality, greed, foolish talk and coarse joking... And it is good to do that -- the Bible tells us to do that...BUT we can’t stop there, because there are also some things that we need to put on.
Many times we like the Emperor are deceived.... We buy costly and expensive thread and cloth from the weaver of lies -- who leads us to believe that in Christianity it is enough to simply not do the don’ts... To just remove the old man without putting on the new...
And many times we walk through the center of our town, So proud, pompous and self righteous -- wanting everyone to see just how pretty we are (look at all the things, I don’t do), Not knowing that we are walking around naked and that we have been made a fool of by the great deceiver.
O’ that God would open our eyes (our spiritual eyes), at those times so that we can see our spiritual nakedness.
You see, it is not enough to just get rid of the bad… it is not enough, to just not smoke or chew, or go out with women who do......
Because if we just take off the bad, and do not put on the good >>> we are placing ourselves in a very dangerous situation. Jesus said the following in (Matthew 12:43-45)
If after removing the bad -- we leave our house unoccupied, and do not fill it up with positive things -- It won’t be long before the bad comes back in with a bunch of friends, and says, "HEY LOOKY HERE -- A NICE CLEAN SPOT, LOTS OF ROOM FOR US. and before to long we find ourselves worse off than we were before... living in a filthier pigsty.