Summary: Paul speaks of the correct article of clothing for the committed follower of Jesus Christ.
I. Last week as we looked at “What is Really Important” you may recall that Paul was speaking of his desire to “lay hold” of Christ.
A. Simply stated, Paul’s desire was to be so closely identified with Christ, that when people looked at him, all they could see was Christ.
B. His past did not matter,
C. His present did not matter,
D. And in one sense, even his future did not matter, other than his desire to be like Christ.
II. What I probably did not answer in that message, at least very well was “How”.
A. How do I become more like Christ?
B. What does reaching out for Christ include.
C. I believe our passage this morning will go just a little bit farther in answering the question of “HOW”.
III. Our base verse this morning is Colossians 3:16 - “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
A. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you...”
B. The word of Christ is and agent of change, IF we allow it to change us.
C. Hebrews chapter four, verse 12 says, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
IV. For any change to take place, in any area of our lives, there are some actions on our part that must take place.
A. First, we must realize that a change needs to take place.
1. We must be honest with ourselves.
2. We must realize and admit that something or some quality is lacking.
B. Second, we must seek out the correct sources in order for the best change to occur.
C. Third, we must be willing to apply what we learn to our lives.
1. Applying what we have learned requires effort on our part.
2. We rarely see change as an endeavor we desire to undertake.
3. Over the course of our lives, we become very comfortable, or at least accustomed to the way things are.
D. We may admit we need to change, we may know correctly learn what changes needs to occur, but we often fall short because we fail to perform the effort required to make change occur.
V. I believe our passage this morning is God’s call for change.
A. If we fail to recognize God’s call for action on our part; if we fail to admit we need to continually apply the Word of Christ to our lives it’s a bit like the story of the “Emperor’s New Clothes.”
B. You know the basic’s of the story,
1. The Emperor believed he had on a magnificent new wardrobe, when really he was naked.
2. Because he was the emperor, no one dared tell him that he need to “Put some clothes on” until
3. One day, a little boy blurted out, “The emperor is naked.”
C. Colossians 3, verses 12 to 17 is that little boy, telling us, “You are naked. Go put your clothes on.”
VI. I am reading Colossians 3, beginning in verse 12 from the New American Standard bible.
Clothe Yourselves With The Attributes of Christ (vs. 12-14)
I. If you are reading from the New International Version of the Bible, verse 12 reads “clothe yourselves.”
A. The King James states “put on”
B. Regardless of the translation; the implications are the same.
II. Have you ever been walking around Oxford Valley Mall, observed some young “lady” walking around and said, “She needs to go put some clothes on.”
A. What are some implications of your saying such a thing?
1. Something is missing!
2. Perhaps, something is exposed!
3. Something that should be covered is not adequately covered!
4. She needs to “put her clothes on.”
B. Maybe you have had to say to one of your children, “your not going out like that” meaning,
1. You are a Murphy, representative of the Murphy’s.
2. You are not making a adequate representation of who you are.
III. That is somewhat the meaning of the opening of verse 12.
A. Church, person possessing eternal life through Christ,
B. You have been chosen by God; you are holy, you are beloved,
1. “Clothe yourself.”
2. You need to “Put these things on”
C. And we need to understand,
1. God through the power of Christ,
2. God through the gift of the Holy Spirit
3. God through the written Word of God.
4. God is letting us know that a change needs to take place, BUT WE are the ones that make the change.