About this time of year many of us are ready to make a change in our wardrobe. Sweaters and sweatshirts look dreary and drab and it’s time for something light and colorful. The same is true spiritually as well.
Ephesians 4:22 … 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. NKJV
In other words, “Don’t continue to wear your winter clothes once it has become spring.” Though it may still be a bit early for us to put away our coats and sweaters, it’s high time for us to put away our spiritual winter clothes. What is this clothing?
Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. NKJV
The first element of clothing that Paul tells us to pack away is FALSEHOOD. Though I do not believe that man has evolved from the animals, I can sometimes see the connection. This is especially true during the fall when I feel the need to eat. It’s as though my body is getting ready to hibernate. Because I have the tendency to put on a few pounds, I wear clothing that I think will help cover-up the extra weight. A baggy sweater does more than just keep us warm. It allows us to hide from reality.
The same can sometimes be true spiritually. We can sometimes try to hide behind our exaggerations and falsehoods. We can deliberately distort the truth so as to somehow make ourselves look better. But this is not the clothing that Christ would have us to wear. Christ would have us to be clothed in truth. Why is truth so important?
Jesus said that Satan is a liar and the father of all lies. (see John 8:44) Satan knows that as long as he can keep us clothed in falsehood, he can hold us in bondage. In contrast, Jesus said this about the truth – “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) Brethren, it’s time to discard the garments of falsehood and to put on truth.
Secondly, Paul tells us to pack away ANGRY FEELINGS.
Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. NKJV
Most winter clothing is cumbersome and binding. So also is bitterness and anger. A heavy coat might feel good in the dead of winter, but will seem awful in the middle of summer. Angry feelings might seem justified whenever we are in the winter of our spirit, but they will become burdensome if we are seeking to walk with Christ.
Ephesians 4:31 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.
Christ’s springtime garments include: kindness, tenderheartedness and forgiveness.
Springtime is just around the corner and so it’s time to get our wardrobe ready. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:14 NKJV) The best dressed Christians always wears name brand clothing. What is the brand we wear? J.C. (Jesus Christ)