Put off that old greasy and tattered shirt of the flesh and put on the shirt of Christ’s beautiful righteousness
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
This was the passage for yesterday’s sermon here at JIBC. Any passage that begins with the word “therefore” is referring to those teachings that came before it. In this case, we have just been told that since we have been risen with Christ, we are to seek those things that are above and to focus our attention and affections on these heavenly sights. Because of all that we learned of our salvation through Christ, whose fullness we have within us, we are to put to death, literally to make corpses of our earthly members, our fleshly desires.
Please understand, our human desires for life are from God. We are not to set aside our desires for love, companionship and intimacy for these are from God; we are called to put down, like a filthy, greasy, smelly shirt, the things of this world that lead us to perverted fulfillment of these God-given desires. The Bible, God’s holy word to us, is not unclear about this. No, God’s mind is very clear. (Spend some time in Leviticus 20 to see the mind of God regarding human sexuality.)
As God calls us to put off this filthy ruined shirt of our flesh, He also calls us to put on the righteousness of Christ. When we put on Christ and gather in Him, we are one. All people from all nations and classes are made one in Christ so that we all know that Christ is all in all. (You can listen to the sermon by following the links if you are interested in hearing more about this passage.) I do trust that your church is a beautiful tapestry of the cross sections of your community where all gather as one in the fullness of the Lord Jesus.
Our first son, Steven, and his wife, Rachel, has their sixth child early Sunday morning. Ezra Wayne Schroeder came into this world and his little lungs were struggling. Apparently his lungs are not fully developed but this is not unusual. (Our first grandson had the same issues.) We are thankful for little Ezra Wayne as we pray for God to bring his lungs to full development. We thank God for the gift of life that He pours out upon us through His kindness to us.
I am again thankful for our church here in Jakarta. God has brought so many people from so many backgrounds to join together for His glory. Pray that those who come empty will leave full and that all of us would take God’s word home with us. Last night, as I prayed with Jared, he thanked God for shaking hands at church. Yes, when we are friendly even Jared notices.
Have a great day in the Lord,