What kind of clothes buyer are you? I tend to be an in-and-out shopper at places that I have bought clothes I have enjoyed. For example, I go the Kohl’s for their men’s cargo shorts and get my shopping down quickly. I know what I need. It’s quality for me over style, at least in this case. Now and then my wife suggests I buy a little better quality of shorts, and I recently did.
What clothes do you wear when you really want to look your best?
Read Colossians 3:1-17.
The writer of this letter is the apostle Paul, from prison I might add, and he gives the Colossians quite a recipe for life, character, and action. First, take a look back at chapter 2:16-23 and see how that description contrasts with the beginning of chapter three. First century false teachers had tried to turn Christians from their trust in Jesus to a system of religious philosophy and do’s and don’ts that was worthless when compared to what Christ provided. It was a system of ideas that were man-made rather than of divine origin.
Paul starts out chapter three by describing how we are supposed to grow in our spiritual life. What two things does Paul say should happen since followers of Jesus have been “raised with Christ” in verses 1-4? How is “setting your heart and mind on Christ” connected to what Jesus has already done for us as described by Paul in verse 1?
Verses 1-10 outline the state and standing of the Christian before God. Once a person puts their faith, hope, and trust in King Jesus, His resources are made available to them. Paul states that the believer is dead (v 3), has been raised with Christ (v 1), is “with” Christ, i.e., hidden with Christ, (v 3), has taken off the old self (v 9), and has put on the new self (v 10).
As a result of setting his/her mind and heart on Christ (v 1-2), they are to put to death old practices that belong to their earthly nature (v 5), rid themselves of any behaviors that reflected or characterized their unregenerate self (v 7-9), and become in daily experience what they are now positionally in Christ (v 10-14).
Just as one takes off dirty clothes and puts on new ones on a regular basis, the Christian is called and empowered to turn away from their old ways and now live in accordance with the demands of the Kingdom of Jesus (v 12-14).
Paul is keen to affirm that while the Christian has received the gift of salvation from God by divine grace, the follower of Jesus must put forth every effort to walk with and in the Spirit in order to live a godly, Christ-honoring life.
I know how attached, or comfortable I get, with my day to day clothes. Which aspect of your old nature needs to be replaced with a piece of Christ’s wardrobe? Paul says it’s an ongoing “put off the old self” and “put on the new self” that are daily keys to walking with Christ.
Grow devotionally. Let the Word of God (verse 16) dwell in you richly as fuel for your journey. Whatever you do, do it in the name of Jesus. Be a grateful person. Allow your small group to help with your clothing selections. Those are good and wise clothing decisions!
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz