The apostle Paul often wrote about having a new life in Christ. He helped us visualize it, by comparing it to an old set of clothes vs. having a brand new wardrobe. This comparison comes up several times in his letters, which eventually became about half of the new testament of the bible. One of my favorite sections on this topic is the book of Colossians, chapter 3. The following is from The Message, a very contemporary and every-day-language translation of the bible.
New Life – Act Like It
1 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. 2 Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ – that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. 3 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life – even though invisible to spectators – is with Christ in God. He is your life. 4 When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too – the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
New Life – New Wardrobe; Custom-Made!
5 And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. 6 It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. 7 It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. 8 But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk. 9 Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. 10 Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. 11 Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
New Life – What Does It Look Like?
12 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. 13 Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. 14 And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. 15 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. 16 Let the Word of Christ – the Message – have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! 17 Let every detail in your lives – words, actions, whatever – be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Doing things our own way instead of God’s way, is the old, worn out “wardrobe.” It’s “the old way of life.” It doesn’t work, so it’s like being shackled in chains. Listen to Redeemed, by Big Daddy Weave for the new life.
Take an extra minute and read the New Living Translation of today’s scripture in the following link. Reading different translations is a GREAT way to grow in faith and understanding and this link/app, helps you do that, side-by-side.
Do you like parts of both translations? (So do I!)
Can you think of an area of your life where you’re still putting on the old clothes instead of wearing the new clothes that God “custom-made” for you? Don’t read on just yet – take an honest self-assessment.
In particular, note the different translation wordings on verse 17. Try to live like verse 17 all the time.
Lord, I pray that we all look to you to remove whatever shackles remain in our lives and become completely free. This really is the life that you intended for us all along. We don’t “deserve it” but you redeem us. Redemption for some of us, is like a lottery ticket that we never cash in. Help us to claim it! Help us to act like it and live our new life. Our custom-made wardrobe has the ultimate designer label – and it’s you, Lord. Amen!
May God bless you!
Thank you for attending The Path “Quick Church” in written form. The Path is our church “brand name,” connected with our recovery ministry, “Mission Addiction.” Let us know what you think of this message. What spoke to you the most? Feel free to like, comment, and share. Or contact us to ask questions, go into more detail or work more on your faith walk together! Everyone is welcome at our events, listed on our Facebook events or Eventbrite page. You can attend online or in-person. The same goes for our MAP For Healing and Recovery aftercare and discipleship program. A new series starts soon – choose one of two orientation sessions this week, September 17 or 19! (See link above for details.)