Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Christian Wardrobe

No, this is not a post complaining about people wearing cargo shorts in church. Personally, I choose to show a little more reverence when I enter the house of God than wearing flip flops and an ‘I love puppies’ shirt, but that’s just me. I guess at my core I am old fashioned, but I do not begrudge anyone’s choice of attire. As long as you don’t give me a dirty look for wearing a suit in church, I won’t give you a dirty look for wearing board shorts.
When speaking of the Christian wardrobe, most believers can readily quote the passage in Ephesians that encourages us to put on the armor of God, but there are other accessories that we are encouraged to put on and have on our person at all times. An incomplete Christian will have a walk of frequent failures and defeats, and although we might like to pass the buck and blame it on God, it is not His fault. If we do everything He commanded us to do, we will experience all the victories He promised we would experience. It is not God’s fault that we choose partial obedience; it is not God’s fault that we consider certain things unnecessary or outdated. Too often it seems we act like spoiled children who after being told over and over again not to put their tongue on a nine volt battery, blame their parents for getting a shock when they do it. God has laid out His instruction; our duty is to follow the aforementioned instruction.
So what is the Christian wardrobe and accessories that we not only have access to, but are encouraged to pursue and appropriate?
In the context of talking about the end times and describing the day of the Lord, Paul writes to the church of Thessalonica and after encouraging them that they were not in darkness that this Day should overtake them as a thief, he admonishes his readers, and those who follow after Christ to do one more thing.
1 Thessalonians 5:8, “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”
While many put on the breastplate of faith and love, I have witnessed firsthand the disturbing trend of many a soul forgetting or neglecting to put on the helmet of the hope of salvation. When the helmet of the hope of salvation is firmly placed upon our heads, the circumstances of this present life do not dictate our attitude or the way we view our present trials. Because our hope is not tethered to this present earth, because the source of our hope is the risen Christ, we are able to have joy in the midst of tribulation; we are able to have hope even when hopelessness covers the earth like a foreboding storm front.
Another necessity in the wardrobe of every Christian is the armor of God. There are multiple benefits to not only having the armor of God, but being faithful in putting it on every day. Whether it be to withstand in the evil day, stand against the wiles of the enemy, or quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, the armor of God must be put on in order to be effective.
Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Twice within the context of this passage we are encouraged to put on the whole armor of God. Not just gird our waist with truth, or only put on the breastplate of righteousness, but the whole armor of God. From the helmet of salvation, to the sword of the spirit, to the shield of faith, to the breastplate of righteousness, to having shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, to having girded our waist with truth, a Christian must be in complete armor that he may withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.
There is also a great need today for every believer to put on the armor of light. It is an undeniable fact that light repels the darkness. Wherever light is present the darkness must retreat. It has no choice in the matter, for even in the darkest of night a single candle has its say, a single candle in the darkness can neither be denied nor dismissed.
Romans 13:12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
Since the fall of Adam, everyone is born in darkness. It matters not how noble a lineage one descends from, it matters not how righteous or godly one’s parents were, when we are born into this world we are born in darkness. The Word of God is straightforward on the matter, when it says that we must cast off the works of darkness before we can put on the armor of light. I repeat it often, because it is an overlooked and readily dismissed teaching within Christian circles today; light and darkness cannot coexist, truth and deception cannot make a home together, the children of God and the offspring of this world will always be at odds.
One of the enemy’s greatest deceptions is convincing those of the house of God that they can live in the gray area of duality and duplicity that they can somehow put on the armor of light without having first cast off the works of darkness. Jesus said it could not be done, and every God inspired servant who penned books of the New Testament echoed this sentiment over and over again. What makes us think we are wiser than Jesus? What brings us to that point of denying scripture and forging our own path toward the darkness, all the while comforting our conscience with the thought that we are journeying toward the light?
When we come to Christ, we are given a new garment, a garment that is spotless and without wrinkle. We are clothed with the robe of righteousness, the garments of salvation; in essence we are clothed in Christ.
Isaiah 61:10-11, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
If we possess the entire Christian wardrobe, and are wise to keep it clean, spotless, and without wrinkle, we will walk in light, we will walk in victory, we will walk in faith, we will walk in hope, we will walk in joy, and be in the perpetual fellowship that the soul so desires. Be clothed in Christ, and you will know true peace, be clothed in Christ and you will know true victory. The victory will not be simply a sporadic and infrequent experience, but a constant, because when one has cast of the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, they are renewed, and reborn to the unshakable knowledge that Jesus is our all in all.
Galatians 3:26-27, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

Logan said...

"As long as you don’t give me a dirty look for wearing a suit in church," Well, now that you mention it, the suit thing in a small assembly, casually dressed, did seem a bit out of place. You looked so uncomfortable standing up there in that absurd thing, in fact more than absurd, you looked religious, at least by my definition. And maybe it's something in your background that isn't in mine, but this whole idea of yours that these silly buildings are in some way the house of God is just way too traditional in thought for my stomach, and I'm just not used to traditional religious thinking from you. And show up in Montana again wearing a suit and tie again and I'll personally hoot ya until you take them off. Let's all be more concerned with the spiritual dress you speak of here and not be so concerned with tradition or the religious expectations of others as to what we wear.
But we are all so glad you came, and personally I think God sent you here just for me. Thanks again for coming Mike and please come back, just not so over dressed.