September 02, 2020

Clothed with Christ

Colossians 3:1-17

As God’s chosen people . . . clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

—  Colossians 3:12

A friend told me that when she wakes up feeling down, she will put on some of her best clothes. That can help her feel like celebrating, she says, and it will often improve her day.

The Bible describes how being made new in Christ is like putting on new and special clothing. In Revelation 7:13-14 we read that God’s people are given white robes to wear, washed in the blood of the Lamb. Galatians 3:27 says that all who are baptized have been clothed with Christ.

In Colossians we are encouraged to clothe ourselves with “compassion, humility, kindness, gentleness and patience.” These qualities are like all the pieces in a matching set of clothes. Did you notice that Paul names these articles of clothing after giving us a long list of vices that need to die, such as sexual immorality, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, and filthy language? He’s saying, in effect, “Get rid of your old, dirty, smelly clothes so that Jesus can give you the clothing of life.” Then “over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

And what’s the result of this change of clothing? “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” When we’re dying to live, Jesus shines through us.

What are some things that should die in you today? And which articles of clothing will you put on, in Christ?

Jesus, thank you for clothing me with yourself. Help me to live like you. Amen.

About the author — Syd Hielema

Syd Hielema serves the Christian Reformed Church in North America as director of a ministry project called Connections II. He has also served with Faith Formation Ministries, as a professor of theology and youth ministry at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, and as a chaplain and professor at Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario. Syd has been married to Evelyn for 43 years, and they enjoy bird watching near their home in Ancaster.

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