Summary: Continuing in my Colossians series, I contrast current "Christian fashion" items with the real clothes that Jesus wants us to wear.

“What clothes are you wearing?”– Colossians 3:12-17

By James Galbraith

First Baptist Church, Port Alberni

November 4, 2007


12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


(Use PowerPoint of “Christian fashion items” to make following points)

There are two ways I can use fashion to show people that I love Jesus…

(work through pictures, with commentary)

OR, as a Christian,

chosen - God was looking for me long before I was looking for him

holy - set apart for God, made holy by the love and presence

of the Holy Lord Jesus Christ

dearly loved - the love of Christ that led him to give himself for us

continues to hold true for us today and will hold for all times

I can wear my faith in such a way that people see it and are attracted to it, as Paul teaches us in the rest of this passage…


1. Clothe yourselves with…

This idea of clothing ourselves with these good virtues and actions is a complement, a completion of the “taking off” symbolism that we see in the previous passage.

Paul had told us to “Take off” and “rid yourselves” of the sinful habits and nature that plague us, and as children of God we can do that when we place our faith in his son Jesus Christ.

But he also knows that once something is removed something else must take it’s place, or a vacuum is created that will be filled one way or another.

So we are given this list of good things to take the place of the rags we were wearing before we gave our lives to Jesus.

And just as we can be rid of the bad through Jesus, we can only really cloth ourselves with the good through his love and action as well.

compassion - a care for others that extends into action

- not pity, which is just “ah, that’s too bad” sentiment

- love in action

kindness - simply doing something beneficial for someone,

without analyzing whether help is needed or not

- opening a door, giving a hug, spending time instead of money

humility - not needing to show oneself off!

- living in such a way that the needs of others take precedent in my life

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,

but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Gentleness- an approach to people that cares for the ultimate need of those involved, wants the best for others, that removes selfish intentions

- a quiet yet firm resolve to treat people the right way

patience - self restraint, a slow and steady approach in the face of provocation

- trust rather than need for immediate resolution

- long term gain over short term gratification

forgiveness- our faith is based on the forgiveness we receive from Christ, so we need, we must extend forgiveness to others!

I think that far too often we look for apologies from this person or that,

sometimes for some real trivial things,

and sometimes for very legitimate concerns

but we are the forgiven, we need to forgive as well!

Sometimes a situation arises when we want to extend forgiveness but the other does not want it,

and then we just have to know in our heart that we are ready,

just like Jesus is ready to forgive us, when we come to him and ask.

Love - the glue that holds our “Christian ware” together

Love was what brought Jesus to us, to the cross and back to the Father.

All these others things, kindness, humility, et al,

can be done without love, sort of,

but they come together in a beautiful way when they are rooted in love,

and when they are rooted in the greatest love of all, the love of Christ, they are simply incomparable and unstoppable.

So these are the garments that Christ really wants us to wear.

He doesn’t care one bit if we’re wearing, Levi’s or Alfred Sung,

nor is he too impressed when we have WWJD embroidered on our boxer shorts,

but he does care very much that we garb ourselves with kindness, compassion and love.

Fashion gurus do not tire of telling us that our garments make a statement about us,

Jesus wants our lives to make a statement and he’s ready to help us with our ensemble!

This “take off and put on” idea became so important in the early church that it was incorporated in the action of baptism:

candidates approached the ordinance wearing old clothes.

These were stripped off as they entered the waters of baptism,

and on surfacing they put on new clothes.

The old clothes represented the old life,

while the new clothes characterized the new sphere of life

and its accompanying behaviour changes (quote)

Now that the clothes are on,

2. With the garments on…

Fashion gurus will also tell us that our garments have an impact on our attitude toward life,

that if we’re wearing the right clothes in the right place and right time,

we’ll feel better about ourselves – more confident, more able, more comfortable.

There’s something to this: If we’re wearing the garments that Jesus wants us to wear and is ready to give us, we will definitely feel better about who we are and why we’re here!

When we have the garments of Christ on, it is much easier to:

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,

since as members of one body you were called to peace.”

We are being told to keep in mind that Christ wants to make us complete, to make us whole, for that is the full meaning of peace.

With Christ’s love wrapped around us,

and the other garments in their places,

we slowly become more and more complete.

Christ’s work of salvation, his entry in to our lives, guarantees our final destiny,

But it is his continued presence and place in our lives that ensures our ongoing growth towards wholeness.

Wearing the garments of Christ also help us to be thankful, since we are so aware of all that has been done for us to get us to this point!

3. And in my Christian wear I can

Fashion gurus will also tell us that wearing certain kinds of clothing will help us do certain things…

e.g. - Shorts, t-shirt and runners for a jog

- jeans, old shirt and boots for garden work

- suit and tie for court appearance..

Wearing the garments of Christ also help us to do certain things as well:

- dwell on word of God

to not just see the Bible as a rule book, but as a guide, a story, a history, a record of God’s love for this world he made

- we’re meant to live God’s word, not just read it

- teach

to help others understand our faith,

or simply help them learn lessons in life that we have learned already

Not all teachers are book and lecture types,

most of us teach with actions more than words

and most lessons are learned outside of classrooms.

Christians can teach each other all the time!

- admonish

to help correct the wrong actions or behaviour of others,

in such a way that we are not pretending to be better than them,

because we’re not,

but in a way that cares for them and stands up for the right that God wants from us!

- sing psalms, hymns, spiritual songs

Singing is an expression of our heart, and our songs tell of our cares, our loves

Psalms – Hebrew poems, stories, prayers put to music

- Book of psalms the official songbook of the temple,

there would have been thousands of others

Hymns – doctrine, beliefs put to music, to help remember

Philippians 2:5-11

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

7 but made himself nothing,

taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

8 And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

and became obedient to death—

even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

and gave him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Spiritual songs – simple praise in music

Mary and Elizabeth both sing after they learn of God’s plans for them and their coming children.

We can sing better when we’re wearing the garments that show off our saviour!

We don’t have to sound good to others, it is much more important to express our hearts love rather than hit the right note!

Bottom line : Wearing the right garments help us do whatever we do ,

as long as it can be done in the name of Christ!

They help us make both our speech and our actions become things that reflect the love that Christ has shown and continues to show for us.

So to wrap up this fashion lesson,

We can go buy our own “Christian ware”, with the hopes, however so faint, that someone might actually notice we’re wearing sandals that make a gospel imprint…

or we can put on the clothes that Christ has ready for those who want to wear them.

The clothes Christ has ready for us are of the best quality,

the finest brand and the most durable fabric.

They build our faith, they make a positive impact on others, they ultimately bring glory back to their make, Jesus Christ.

Will you put them on today?