TIME TO CHANGE CLOTHES
"And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel."
One morning, some time ago, as I was preparing for my day, I asked myself the question that many of us ask each day. "What will I put on today?" Seemed like a simple enough question but the answer I heard in my spirit was anything but simple. The answer I heard was, "put on Christ!" And, of course, this started me on a course of study as to what was meant by the phrase "put on Christ".
The above scripture was the first one I turned to and found it very intriguing. So, let's take a closer look at what it is saying.
"And it shall come to pass" (Strong's Hebrew 1961 coming from 1933) means "to be, to become or be accomplished" that the princes and the king's children (Strong's Hebrew 1121) "son, daughter, offspring, subject, nation, etc." and all such as are clothed (Strong's Hebrew 3847) "put on, garment, apparel, array, wear" with strange (Strong's Hebrew 5237) "foreign, adulterous, alien, outlandish or strange" apparel (Strong's Hebrew 4403) "garment, clothing, apparel, raiment or vestment".
So, as kings and priests in the earth and also as King's kids I began to look closer at what we were wearing if we were not wearing or putting on Christ. I was amazed at the number of verses I found that were directly related to what we, as Christians, children of the King, are or should be wearing. The Bible has a lot to say about what we should and should not be wearing so let's start there.
Psalm 45:13-14(a) (NKJV) states: "The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; Her clothing is woven with gold. She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; . . ."
Her clothing is woven with gold and she will be brought to the king in robes of many colors. I had to check into these robes of many colors. There are only a couple of instances where "robe of many colors" is used in scripture. This verse, of course, and also, in Genesis 37:3, we see where Jacob made Joseph a tunic or coat of many colors because he loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. I believe also because Joseph was the first born of Rachel, the wife Jacob loved. Another verse where someone is wearing a "coat" of many colors is in 2 Samuel 13:18-19 talks about Tamar, daughter of David, sister of Absalom, who had a robe of many colors.
In regards to Joseph, it was appropriate for a father to bestow upon the first born son a coat of many colors showing his position in the family and placement in line for the birthright. Of course, Joseph was not the first born of Jacob, but the first born of Jacob and Rachel. Due to his love for Joseph and the fact that Rachel was the wife he loved, Joseph was recognized as his "first born" when the coat was given to him. This is one of the things that caused strife between Joseph and his brothers. In the case of Tamar, as stated in 2 Samuel 13:18, the robe of many colors represented the King's virgin daughters. So here we see that the robe or coat of many colors represents position as well as purity.
In examining the previous scriptures, we could make the statement that, "putting on Christ" would be recognizing our position as children of the King and our position in Christ. We should reflect the holiness of Christ, as well as being seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 1:4 & 2:6) as "sons" of God (Eph. 1:5) and Gal. 3:26-27, "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus . . ." which establishes our position in Christ.
Before we can put on Christ, we have to be stripped naked of everything that is not like Him. This is, of course, a process and is not something we can do in our own strength but through the gentle guidance and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Unfortunately, Christianity has been given a bad name worldwide due to the actions of "Christians" or those who profess to be Christians but fall short of representing the God they claim to serve. So many "Christians" (and I use that term lightly) are unforgiving, mean-spirited, unloving, cruel, gossipers, liars, etc. They certainly do not represent the Jesus I know. Now, before you get upset, I know there is a process we all go through once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Nobody is born saved. The "Christians" I am referring to here are those who claim to have been saved for many years but still no more reflect the image of Christ than the man on the moon (the man in the moon may actually be more of a reflection of God's love!). Unfortunately, these are the exact Christians people who are unsaved look at and point fingers at when stating their reasons why they dislike Christians or, for that matter, Jesus. We Christians, as a whole, do a poor job of representing Jesus to a lost and dying world.
As I read Colossians 3, I can see there was much that we need to "put off" before anything can be "put on".
"But now you yourselves are to 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 . . ."
In order to determine what we should be wearing, we must start with Christ Himself. So, what does it mean to "put on Christ"? As Christians, followers, or disciples of Christ we should be imitators of Him. We should be allowing the Holy Spirit to do a work in us to help us conform into His image. This would cover thought, word and deed. We need to think as Jesus thinks (have the mind of Christ) Phil. 2:5: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus . . ."; speak as Jesus the Word speaks; Eph. 4:25, 29-31: "Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another; 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice." And, we must act as Jesus acts. Eph. 4:32: "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you." Col. 3:12-14: "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 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. 14 But above all these things put on love, . ."
Today, more than ever, it is imperative that we represent the real Jesus to the world. There are those who are out to destroy the name of Jesus and remove Him from all society. Little by little the world is removing Him from schools, courtrooms, public buildings and public meeting places, from the political arena and, in some places, those professing Christ are paying with their lives!
Below are further scriptures for study as we grow in faith, let us put on Christ and let the world see His mercy, grace and love. You never know, the only Jesus some people may ever see is through you.
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. 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 lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
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.
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. 26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints