New Clothes for the New (Wo)Man Pt. 2: Righteous Attire
What does it mean to put on the righteousness of Christ? Let’s talk about why. Read more…
Hey y’all! We’re back again. I hope everyone has been doing well since the last time. I just want to say, as I have said before, I am really enjoying this journey as I share with you guys. The word of God is completely inexhuastive because He is infinite! I love Him! I hope everyone is enjoying reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them.
So last time on piecebyPeace we talked about changing our wardrobe. The “new self” can’t wear old clothes, because when we have a new mind we desire to be different in every area of our life. We desire new things and new experiences because we are new! That’s such an amazing thing! We looked at the text Romans 13:14 that says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” In this text we discovered that Jesus Christ is not only the “new self” we put on, but He is also our stylist! But what does that look like? What kind of clothes does He want to dress us in? Well we can find a description of exactly what that looks in our study text. So let’s take a look.
Paul says, in Ephesians 4:22-24, to “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” The second attribute we see of a Godly character, after our mind has been renewed, is us having righteousness after the likeness of God. God gives us a garment of righteousness as our first clothing item—making us like Him. That’s so awesome. Not only is it awesome! It is important that righteousness be the first item of clothing in your spiritual wardrobe because you cannot wear the rest of your wardrobe without first putting on the righteousness of Christ. What does it mean to put on the righteousness of Christ? Let’s talk about why.
What is righteousness? The meaning of righteousness is a judicial approval or the verdict of approval by God after His examination. In other words it means to be in right standing with the Lord. Righteousness is the second piece of the divine characteristics that our first parents forfeited when they sinned. First it was God’s mind and along with His mind went His righteousness—in that order. Why? Because if we don’t have His thoughts, then we will be out of alignment with Him—which means we will not be in His will for our lives. Not being in His will results in wrong standing. This is why Paul tells us to put on Christ as the “new self” by first renewing His mind in us.
The phrase “put on” in the Greek is the word enduo. It is actually a compound from the words en meaning in, and duno which describes the sense of sinking into a garment; to invest with clothing literally or figuratively. Putting on Christ may sound like as if it is outward conformity because of the wording, however, it is not. He must first sink into us so that we may drown in who He is. When we put on His mind, it gets all in our conscience and subconscious and transfers to our hearts’ leading us to think and live as Christ lived.
I used to have dreams about me wearing old clothes that had holes in them or I had on the wrong clothes for the activity that I might have been engaging in in the dream. What I understood was that I was doing the right activity, but I just had on the wrong clothes. For years I was asking God what the dreams meant. They worried me so much. I just was not getting it. Then someone I know helped me pointing me to scripture and showed me that God was just trying to get my attention and show me that He wanted to change me and give me His garments of righteousness (Gal. 3:27, Is. 61:10). In my walk with God, I have had a strong burdensome tendency to lean toward self-righteous works or just not trying at all when the mark seemed too hard hit. I was killing myself trying to be right with God. I was bitter, unhappy and offensive at times. Thank God for deliverance!
The old clothes in my dream represented my spiritual garments based on the way I was thinking. I was trying to do what was right without the mind of Christ. Just like Adam and Eve put on fig leaves after they sinned, trying to replace the light they lost that clothed them, so I was putting on self-righteous works trying to clothe myself in righteousness. And just as off as they looked trying in their own efforts to make themselves right with God when they tried to cover up, so did I. Just as He gave them skins to cover up with instead to replace the fig leaves, so He has given me His Son’s righteousness to cover me.
Self-righteousness can look right in action, but it is most definitely all wrong. It is a form of conformity. True righteousness comes from being changed from the inside out by Christ works of righteousness working in us and through us. This is only something that God can do for us by His power and grace. We cannot force righteousness to happen. When we try to do right on our own it only results in self-righteous works that are dead (Heb. 6:1 and 9:14).
When Paul says that our new self is created after the likeness of God He is referring to a part of us being made over again in His image. The phrase for “having been created” translates to mean “create, which applies only to God who alone can make what was not there before; figuratively what is habitable or useful; builds a new place for the person of God to habitat in us.” When we become a new person it is because we have been transformed from the inside out because of us receiving His mind. Jesus Christ lives inside of us. We become what we were before our first parents fell—God restored in man. Isn’t that such a beautiful thing. Ask your Big Brother Jesus to make you over with His clothing brand. I promise you. It’ll be the best wardrobe ever in life :). Listen to Fred Hammond “Call Me Righteous”.