Tuesday, May 2, 2017
A Fresh Change of Clothes
1Pet. 2:1 Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
The author is reminding those who have been born again that there will be a dramatic transformation in their lives. The language used here in the Greek for “rid yourselves” is that of taking off a garment. The old garments of our lives are removed, and here’s the amazing part, the new garments, the fresh change of clothes are generated from within. We don’t take off the old and put on something else that the world gives us. We are born anew and our clothing is self-generating because it comes from the heart of God which is in us.
This fresh change of clothes doesn’t just magically appear, but it must be carefully and gently nurtured, woven together and formed by loving patience. Just as a newborn child has all the potential of adulthood within them, so the spiritual newborn has the potential of growing up in Christ. A fresh change of clothes will only come when we take time and care for those new children in Christ. The final product will be the result of years of gentle nourishment and development. The result will be a beautiful follower of Christ who has shed all bad attitudes toward others and will be filled with brotherly love.
This brotherly and sisterly love will be the beauty of the new garments, but if we refuse to cast off our old garb we will continue to be divisive. Then, we as followers of Christ, will be completely unprepared for the attacks of the enemy. Therefore we must encourage one another to grow spiritually, shed the old and develop the new, proudly wearing our new clothing of Christ.
Evidently having a bad attitude toward our sister or brother in means that we are allowing ourselves to be clothed by something other than Christ. Or, maybe we’ve been growing in Christ but there’s an area that we have not wanted the Lord to touch. We are putting on a fresh change of clothing and looking more and more like Jesus but suddenly we grab the dirty old shirt the we used to wear and we put it right over the work of God. It doesn’t happen intentionally but it does happen when we don’t take the time to continue to grow into Christ. Suddenly, we discover that we’re uncovered and instead of going to the Lord for help, we grab whatever is nearest to us and throw it on.
What are we throwing on instead of Christ?
The latest Facebook post that is informing our social views. We leave wearing a donkey or elephant tie, only we’ve left Jesus behind.
Conversations with our close group of friends who will only reinforce the group attire. You all leave wearing the same thing — but it’s not Jesus!
And I'm sure we can come up with many more.
We all need a fresh change of clothes. We cannot and should not live in the attitudes of the past, nor the present of this world. Throw off anything that does not reflect Jesus Christ. Then, spend the time necessary to be transformed from the inside out until the beautiful garment of Jesus Christ is made complete (brought to “perfection”) in each and every one of us. It’s time for a fresh change of clothes.
Lord, thank you for your incredible patience with us. Please help me to look at myself critically and may you help me rid myself of anything that does not reflect you. Amen.