Are you clothed with Christ?

How are we dressed?

Most people are concerned about their physical appearance. But what about our spiritual appearance? Are we properly clothed both physically and spiritually?

What about our physical clothing?

When Adam and Eve realized they were naked, they “sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (Genesis 3:7). But fig leaves were not enough. “For Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21).

We choose the clothing we wear for various reasons. We may choose clothing that is comfortable. We may choose clothing based on what we will be doing that day.

Christians also take spiritual values into consideration. We select clothing that is appropriate for someone who walks according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Romans 8:4).

Many fashion designs are intended to show off wealth, to show off the body and to arouse lust. Christians may not wear indecent, sensuous clothing that excites sexual desire. Yet, avoiding the grossly carnal is not enough.

Christians clothe themselves modestly.

Christians want to have a modest appearance that expresses their moral and spiritual values. Their spiritual attire is their main concern. They wish to “Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2).

Paul wrote: “Therefore I desire ... that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works” (1 Timothy 2:8-10).

Physically, women are to adorn themselves with restrained good taste. Spiritually, they are to beautify themselves with good works.

To women, Peter wrote: “Do not let your beauty be that outward adorning of arranging the hair, of wearing gold, or of putting on fine apparel; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves” (1 Peter 3:3- 5).

True beauty is found in the hidden person of the heart, adorned with a gentle and quiet spirit. Modesty enhances beauty.

What spiritual clothing pleases God?

Job said: “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban” (Job 29:14).

But there is a problem: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And sin is not pretty.

Before we can wear decent attire spiritually, we must be cleansed from sin. After David repented of adultery and murder, he prayed: “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. ... Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:2, 7).

We have been polluted by sin. For our cleansing, God sent His Son to die on the cross as an atonement for sin. The ones who stand before God “arrayed in white robes” will be those who “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:13, 14).

To appear before God clothed in righteousness, we must be clothed with Christ: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:26, 27).

When we become Christians we put on Christ in baptism. Clothed with Christ, we strive to be like Hem.

We put off the old man and put on the new man.

We do not put clean clothes over dirty ones. With God’s help, the old man must be replaced by the new man.

The truth in Jesus is “that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).

God tells us what to put off and what to put on: “But now you must also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:8-14).

We must put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy and filthy language before we can put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness, meekness and longsuffering. And we must put on love to bind it all together.

We must put on the armor of light.

“Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:12-14).

How can light protect us? The armor of light protects us from the power of darkness. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:11-17).

Did you look in a mirror this morning?

Some people even have a full-length mirror. Then they know how they look from head to toe. The word of God is our full-length mirror that shows us how we look to God.

What about our physical clothing? Are we modestly dressed in a way that pleases God?

What about our spiritual clothing? Are we still wearing the filthy rags of sin because we have not yet come to Christ for cleansing? Then we need to believe the gospel, repent of our sins, confess our faith, and put on Christ in baptism.

After becoming Christians, do we still look too much like the old man? Then we need to put on the new man. We must cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, put on the whole armor of God, put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise. Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive