Putting on Christ
We wear clothes both to cover our inadequacies and to try to become the person we are dressed as.
One verse in the Bible suggests a garment, if you will, that is the penultimate covering possible.
Rom. 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
We should put on the Lord Jesus Christ, wearing him like a garment, and the second part, to make no provisions in the flesh in regard to its lusts.
So while we cannot actually put on another human being, then what does it mean to put on the Lord Jesus?
Ex. 28:2 You shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.
Lev. 8:7 He put the tunic on him and girded him with the sash, and clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him; and he girded him with the artistic band of the ephod, with which he tied it to him.
Psa. 132:9 Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your godly ones sing for joy.
Exodus talks about the holy garments that Aaron was supposed to wear, which is very important because Jesus is the high priest just as first Aaron and later other Levites were the high priests. So when we put on Jesus, we are putting on something holy, like a holy garment, as the Levitical priesthood did.
Psalm 130:9 says that we should be clothed with righteousness. Another verse talks about Jesus, as our righteousness. So when we talk about clothing is righteousness, how much more important is Jesus as our righteousness when we think of putting him on.
Wear the Full Armor
Eph. 6:13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Eph. 6:14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
Eph. 6:15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;
Eph. 6:16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Eph. 6:17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Is. 59:17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing
And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.
Clearly, Jesus is our righteousness, which because of its location, protects our vital spiritual organs, especially the heart, the spiritual center of our being.
Shod our feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace:
We get the gospel of peace from Jesus because the gospel details what he said and what he did.
And then taking up the shield of faith:
It is Gods will that we believe in Jesus, and that faith, put into practice, is the only power that can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. How is that? He conquered the evil one.
And then take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God:
We get the spirit that enables us not only to truly perceive Gods Word but also facilitates our using its power because of Jesus death and resurrection.
Proverbs 31:25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
Clearly, we put on Jesus, his demonstration of immense strength against redoubtable enemies with dignity, even in dying an ignominious death on the cross, when we behave in similar circumstances, as he did.
So, we see how we can wear Christ in how we think, speak and act.
Put on Righteousness
Just as we said, righteousness covers our unrighteousness Job says.
Job 29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
My justice was like a robe and a turban.
Job 29:15 I was eyes to the blind
And feet to the lame.
Job 29:16 I was a father to the needy,
And I investigated the case which I did not know.
This is what Jesus did. He brought eyes to the blind, and he gave feet to the lame.
The Mind of Christ
1Cor. 2:16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.
Who knows the mind of the Lord, but we have the mind of Christ from the gospel. When we study the words of the gospel, it becomes imprinted on our minds, and therefore becomes a part of our being.
John 15:15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Jesus no longer calls his apostles slaves because slaves do not know what their masters are doing but friends know all the things that the father has told him that he related to them, and through the Gospel, us. So if we have the mind of Christ, we therefore have the mind of God, because Christ revealed to us all the things he has heard, thus we know Gods mind and will, as well.
Zeal to Gods Will
Jesus says in several places that he is encompassed with zeal for God and his will. When we put on Jesus it comes from the inside because we dont need to put on Jesus in terms of a sweatshirt or raincoat or whatever we happen to be wearing, but we put on the mind of Christ.
So we know that we ought to do the will of God, just as Jesus did the will of God. Jesus constantly said that this is not his will, but the will of the father? So what is the will of the Father: that we believe in Jesus. And what does Jesus do? He does the will of the father. We complete the circle.
John 6:40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.
Believe in Jesus
Lets take a look at believing in Jesus. James says it so well and so few listen to him.
James 2:14 ¶ What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
James 2:15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
James 2:16 and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and be filled, and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
James 2:18 ¶ But someone may well say, You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
James 2:19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
James 2:20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
James 2:22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;
James 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and he was called the friend of God.
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Pointing out the hypocrisy of those who believe only in faith, he asks pointedly, if someone is hungry, or cold, and you just say to him go in peace, and do not give him food, something warm to wear, where is your faith? He patiently explains that faith without works is dead, and he puts the lie, the dichotomy of those who claim only works or only faith, for this is patently ridiculous. He recounts how Abraham, justified his faith by offering Isaac on the altar of sacrifice, and it was credited to him as righteousness. When we believe in something, we act on that belief. Obviously, what we do is the proof of our faith. Works are the result of faith and faith produces works. This belief of Abraham, proven by his works, was reckoned to him as righteousness. Well when God asked him to believe him and sacrifice Isaac as proof of his faith, he did it. It was reckoned to him as righteousness. He believed God. You see, their works justifies believers, not by faith alone.
So we should be doing Christ as an act of faith in him. People constantly proclaimed Jesus as Lord, but do they show the works of that belief. What is Jesus Lord of? He is Lord of the Sabbath, Mark 2: 28. If you believe Jesus is Lord, your act of faith is keeping the day he is Lord of the Sabbath. That is probably the only proof you can offer that you believe Jesus is the Lord. If you dont keep the Sabbath, how can you justify saying Jesus is Lord?
So we put on Christ, we walk in his steps, we have the mind of Christ, we have the Gospel, we know what the Gospel says so we wear Christ. We do what he did!
What did Jesus do?
John 3:16 ¶ For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Rom. 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 completes the thought that God demonstrated his love for us while we were sinners, Jesus died for us. That is salvation. God loved the world and sacrificed the life of his only begotten son that repentant sinners might have eternal life. First God begot Jesus, that is, brought him into existence by being born, and then gave him up to death. Jesus was the first person in the history of the world, who died for no reason, i.e., he never sinned and therefore never had to paid the death penalty for sinning, but God allowed his death to pay our penalty for our sins.
Garments of Salvation
So doing Christ is saving. So what is that got to do with us?
Eph. 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Eph. 2:5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Eph. 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Eph. 2:7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
We are baptized, we were buried as Jesus was buried and raised up from death. When we are raised up, we become, a new self, a new person. And that is the new clothing that we put on, i.e., that is putting on Christ, because we have died for our sins in baptism. Our personal choice is to die for our sins by being baptized because we believe in Christ. Then God raised us up with him and sat us with him in the heavenly places. So in effect, God considers us in his present with Him in heaven. God abides in Jesus; Jesus abides in God; we abide in Jesus; God abides us and Jesus abides with us. So we have been raised up with him. And this is where God considers our place with him, in heaven.
So God wants to be kind to us.
Doing Jesus is doing good works. When we put on Jesus, we become as interested in doing good works, as Jesus took every opportunity to do good works. During the marriage feast at Cana when they ran out of wine, Jesus turned water into wine doing good works. This was his first miracle, and to some it might be his most important. For what could be more delightful than having a nice glass of wine during a wedding feast.
2Th. 2:16 ¶ Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and
given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,
2Th. 2:17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
So, we have been given comfort, given strength, and given hope for the purpose of doing good works in Christ.
1John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
What is his love: God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. Note that he gave his son.
How else do we put on Christ? We read the Gospel of Christ, and then he put into practice, what we have read.
Renewing Your Minds
Rom. 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
So we renew our minds. How? By studying we put Gods word in our minds and thus in us by reading it. We consider the Gospel, say the Gospel which impels us to practice what it says.
John 7:16 So Jesus answered them and said, My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
John 7:17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.
So when we accept Jesus teaching by listening to the Gospel, we know that it comes from God through Jesus.
When we do Gods will, we know whether Jesus is speaking from his own authority or from the authority of God.
We have to be humble in order to accept Gods will; otherwise, we will continue to want to do our own will. But the purpose is to do Gods will. Keep in mind when we put Jesus on, i.e., to act like him and to be like him, we also want to do Gods will, as Jesus did.
Eph. 6:4 ¶ Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Eph. 6:5 ¶ Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
Eph. 6:6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
God does not want us to provoke our children. Slaves or workers are expected to treat their masters or employers as if they were Christ because all authority comes from Jesus because God gave him his authority. When we serve people, we are doing Gods will from our heart. Clearly, when we put on Christ we will do what he did
1Pet. 2:15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Doing right is God will, which will also silence the noise of boorish men. Remember Jesus always did right.
Now we move to the second part of the verse regarding giving in to the lusts of the old ways. We must remember that the old ways remain part of our minds, and only by developing a higher language can we control the old ways.
We cannot conquer the old ways by ourselves because we need the language of Jesus. The Gospel, the new language, gives us the power to keep the old man, the old ways, under subjection.
This language of God, which came to us through the prophets of the Old Testament, and through Jesus in the Gospel, overwhelmingly conquers our sinful nature. Gods language is the language of love, which is shown by Gods giving up His only begotten son to death, and Jesus giving up his life for sins he did not commit.
Suffer for Salvation
There are many verses referring to the necessity of our suffering as Jesus did. How are we to suffer? Except for the few martyrs, few of us can expect to suffer in the same manner as Jesus and the apostles. Jesus actually suffered and died for us once and for all. When we put on Christ and wear him instead of our usual garments we will act as he did.
Luke 9:23 ¶ And He was saying to them all, If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
Titus 2:11 ¶ For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,
Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
How are we to suffer? We suffer abstinence, the abstinence of not going back to the old ways which are always with us, and we suffer by not giving into them. It is impossible to fight the old ways by saying that were just not going to give into them. We must always substitute the new ways for the old. And this way of God has the power to keep under subjection that which we desired to do. But we still suffer the powerful desire to fall into the comfortable, but destructive ways of the past.
We must repent daily, carry out cross daily, and suffer the loss of what we were by putting on Jesus, i.e., letting God language control our language. The Bible says we have the mind of Christ.
Yet we still have to suffer abstinence; the old ways just wont go away. And we have to deny ourselves by substituting good for evil. Each day than we have to make a conscious, and sometimes difficult effort to clothe ourselves with the mind of Christ. Instead of stealing or begging, getting a job to make enough money to help the poor; instead of lying, promote the truth of God by our words and deeds.
Just as Jesus was an example of how a human being can live exclusively to do the will of God, we ought also to be a light to all mankind, and thereby give glory to God, just as Jesus did. Thats why we put on Christ, thats why we abstain and suffer to give God glory.