Summary: Putting on Christ, Our Hearts vs. Our Flesh
The 3 C’s of a Healthy Church - What We Should Wear to Worship
Romans 13:14 (p. 790) January 15, 2017
From the time I was little I loved wearing a uniform. I played little league and peewee football…I would shoot for hours a day in our driveway pretending to be Jimmy Dan Connor…or Goose Givens or Kyle Macey…I even wore the same droopy socks he wore so I could pull them up at the free throw line before I would dribble 3 times and shoot.
A man named Jack Williams was my basketball coach as I grew up…I’ll never forget in 1971 he bought us new black uniforms with white stripes and shiny satin shorts (and man were they short!) But I’d lay them out the night before with my Chuck Taylor converse tennis shoes so I could be ready to play on Saturday morning…I’ve got a picture…Want to see it?
SOUTHLAND MIDGET A TEAM PICTURE
We won the championship 2 years in a row…This was the second 1972…I have the 1971 ball because they played the championship game on the day I was fighting for my life in the burn unit…after they won they all signed it and gave it to me with “Get Well Soon” written on it
I love uniforms…I wore them in High School and in College…it was easy to tell whose team you played on…all you had to do was look at the uniforms…What you wore would quickly identify if you played for Southland, Lafayette or Johnson Bible College…uniforms make identifying the players easy…That uniform connects you to the other players on your team.
So, what about the uniform we as Christians should wear that quickly identifies who we play for…what about the uniform we wear that connects us to our teammates?
What should Christians wear to worship the King of Kings and to impact the world?
This sermon is not about proper attire for Church attendance. God doesn’t care as much as we do about dress as long as it’s modest and decent. People love to judge by the outer appearance…God looks at the heart according to 1 Samuel 16:7.
This sermon is about what a Christ centered life should look like, not just on Sunday mornings but every single day.
I. GOD’S PEOPLE WEAR THE ARMOR OF LIGHT
When Romans 13:14 tells us to clothe ourselves with Christ and to not think about pleasing the flesh…it starts with the word “rather.” That word means “the opposite.” Like “I’d rather have the porterhouse than the vegetable plate. I’d rather you give me a hug than hit me in the face…I’d rather eat nails than pull for Duke basketball to win.
So what’s the opposite of wearing Christ in our daily lives? Well, Jesus is the “light of the world.” So the opposite of light is darkness…The Apostle Paul says…“put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the Armor of Light”…let us behave decently as in the daytime…and then he lists 6 characteristics of nighttime clothes: carousing, drunkenness, sexual immorality, debauchery, dissension and jealousy.
[As I drove into the office on the morning I wrote this message I listened in the news and there were 9 heroin overdoses in Jessamine County in 24 hours…Officer Grimes said, “We’ve had them in Walmart, Kroger’s parking lot, parking lots at schools… “It’s been everywhere and there’s no real common denominator.”
My heart hurts for these families and for the officers responding…but I believe there is a common denominator…and it’s Satan, the Evil One, the god of this world…the liar, the thief and the murderer.
He would tell us that the pain can be relieved with a pill, a shot, a bottle, a sexual conquest, and it does numb the pain temporarily…but sets us on a path towards death. Instead of hope we find jealousy…we find dissension and war…the connections we have to people are selfish and fragile…much like the prodigal son’s relationships. They last only so long as the money, or the party lasts…and then we find ourselves in the pig sty of despair. And folks, it’s not just the addict…it’s the business man, the housewife, the student, it’s the man or woman who tries to find the spiritual answers for emptiness in temporary things.
No wonder Paul tells us in Romans 13:11-12 “Understand the present time. The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is over; the day is almost here.”
Our world is enveloped in darkness and the Evil One tries “to blind the eyes of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor 4:4)
It is time for God’s people to wake up from their church attending slumber and put on the Armor of Light in their daily worship…Only then can the darkness be pierced…Listen to what Paul says is the answer to those blinded and in the dark…