Thursday, July 12, 2012

Clothed in Christ's Righteousness

Rarely heard: “I like what you are wearing.” 
Reply: “Oh, I didn’t realize I was wearing anything.” 
We may not always be conscious of our clothes, but we are generally confident that we are indeed clothed; that we are not unclothed. And if we were in fact naked, I think of that we would be quite aware.
Christians are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. But we are prone to compartmentalized thinking, of separating our Sunday conversations from our weekday lifestyles. We are clothed in Christ’s righteousness every single minute. Of course we have many things to think about and many things to do. And we cannot be fixated on our clothes, whether material of spiritual, all of the time. But there is a settled confidence in knowing that we are properly and fitly clothed. We never get far from the clothes that we are wearing. 
“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:27 NAS95)
Let’s dig a little deeper. We have clothes of different kinds. I laugh when my wife distinguishes between her “summer” and “winter” clothes. I suppose that I have some as well, but not so much. But the garment of Christ’s righteousness has been gifted to us. It is not so much what we laid eyes on it and just had to have it; not so much the bargain that we scored at the re-sale. Christ graciously gave us what we most needed, and we are still only beginning to understand how valuable it is.
So it is not enough to know that I am clothed. I could be clothed in “filthy rags.” It is the quality of the clothing and what the clothing says that is also important. Have you ever been at a gathering where you have been clothed inappropriately? You didn’t know that it was going to be so formal, or you got dragged into a room where you had not planned to go. Do you remember the self-consciousness of not being clothed properly?
In a world where God is always watching, you don’t want to be caught in “filthy rags.” You want the righteousness of Christ. So today, I want to be more aware of Christ’s gift of righteousness. I want to feel it’s presence on my arms and shoulders. I want to be aware, and I want to be grateful as well. And, though this is fodder for another post, I don’t want to dirty Christ’s garment from the inside.

No comments: