Summary: This expository message on Colossians 3:1-17 uses a popular TV show as a way to reinforce the text.

What Not to Wear”

Colossians 3:1-17

Big Idea: When Christ is at your core your “spiritual clothes” will be right.

(props.= 2 racks of clothes, one of old clothes and one with new clothes)


Most of us know how important it is to make a good first impression. We’ve all dressed up for a first date or a special occasion. We know the clothes we wear tell a lot about ourselves to those around us. We’ve heard, “Clothes make the man” and “dress for success”. But are there other things, besides our physical appearance, that speak any louder about who we are on the inside?

How many of the guys have said to your wives, “Honey, does this look all right?” I have to confess, though I’m better than I used to be, I still have to ask Rene that question at least 3-4 times every week. If you want to know a secret, Rene’ still suggests that I change what I’ve picked out at least twice a week. I guess I’m just “fashion challenged” or something. While it’s not always true, ladies do you agree, that most of us guys have that same deficiency or don’t seem to really care about what they wear. We can get ready for almost any occasion in 15 minutes or less, whether we look right or not. On the other hand, most of you women must have some kind of “fashion gene” or something. You know what to wear for every event and you take as long as necessary to look just right.

Having said all that, even the best of the ‘fashion experts’ don’t get it right 100% time. And I’m sure many of us could share a “fashion failure” of our own.

How many of us have seen or heard about the TLC series that’s been on for seven seasons called, “What Not to Wear”? In this show the two ‘make-over clothing experts’ work with someone who has been dressing totally incorrectly for their age, body type and occupation for years. But by the end of the show, they not only have changed what the person looks like on the outside, they’ve helped change how the person feels about themselves on the inside.

Now in case you’re wondering if today’s message is about fashion or the clothes on our bodies, the answer is an emphatic, NO!! Today, I want us understand that as “Christ Followers” we all have our own “spiritual fashion failures” at times. In our Scripture text, God gave the Apostle Paul a wonderful format for how and why we are to dress a certain way spiritually. If we remember and follow what God says in these verses we’ll never get it wrong. Let me remind us that today’s Big Idea is “When Christ is at your core your “spiritual clothes” will be right.”

Opening Prayer:

Paul begins by saying…

It’s all about recognizing who you are! (v1-4)

In the show… the experts always begin by asking the person why they dress the way they do. And quickly you see that they dress this way because of how feel and think about themselves.

Paul begins by saying that as a Follower of Christ, our identity is no longer in what we’ve done in our past or in our present. And while we, as His Followers, have responsibility for our actions and choices we make, our new identity is so much greater than those mistakes or accomplishments.

God wants us to know that from His perspective, though we may not fully embrace it…

A. Your identity is in Christ. (v.1,3)

At the moment of your salvation your old identity died. (see 2:20 “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world… And see Gal. 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”)

1. Your desires change. (v.1)

“Seek” can be understood as “Keep on seeking”. It really has to do with our feelings and heart.

2. Your thinking changes. (v.2)

“Set you mind” can be understood as simply “Keep on thinking”. This one refers to the head.

3. Your future changes. (v.4)

“… your life is hidden…your life appears…in glory”

This is how God sees us as His children! He sees us “in Christ”.

But maybe you’re here today, and have never accepted Christ as you Savior. You’ve never confessed your sin and asked Him to forgive you. Please don’t miss out on all that God has for you, and all that is so much better.

Maybe you’re here today, and you have received Christ’s forgiveness, but you’re still struggling in your daily walk with Him. You’re still trying to hang on to your old ways and just can’t seem to know how to fully conquer your old sinful habits. You struggle finding the joy that the Bible talks about.

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