How many times have you heard someone say something was all over a person like a cheap suit? I heard this growing up and never understood what it meant until I got my first tailored suit. The tailor showed me pictures of what an ill-fitting suit looked like.
Today, I want to talk about what it means to put on the regenerated or “new” man. Not just to put Him on, but how to wear Him well.
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)
One of the problems faced by the church is that there are many who claim to wear Christ – the new man – but they look nothing like him. Their conduct – both legalistic and licentious – gives the image of a poorly tailored suit.
Before putting on a new, well-fitting suit, we must first learn how to disrobe from our old garment. Even worse than wearing an untailored suit is wearing one suit underneath another.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not:let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:25-27)
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. (Colossians 3:8-9)
It is essential to understand that you cannot wear two garments comfortably. We also must understand that we can only wear our own robe – we cannot wear the robe of another. David understood this when Saul tried to get David to wear his armor into battle against Goliath:
And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. (1 Samuel 17:38-39)
Far too many in the Body of Christ strive to wear the garments of another. This results in not only bad imitation, but a failure to operate in your own purpose and assignment.
When we put on the new man – that is, to put on Christ, we realize our differences are unimportant to God. Everything is level at the foot of the Cross. We are all equal; we are all one! The new man is a unisex garment!
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:27-28)
In order to wear the new man well, you must have a renewed mind. Once you go to a custom-tailored suit, it feels awkward to go back to off-the-rack wear. One of the things you discover is that, unlike natural clothing, you put on the new man from the inside-out.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any:even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (Colossians 3:12-14)
Here, where the Word of God speaks of “bowels,” it speaks of something internal. The Word of God works from the inside, changing the hearts and minds of men. Another issue faced by the Body of Christ is that many try to put on Christ as an outer garment. This is the difference between relationship (the Word working on the inside) and religion (improper interpretation of the Word)
The importance of the new man is that it is the thing that allows the unsaved to see Christ in us. Notice I said Christ IN us, not Christ ON us. People that use Christ as a mere outer garment tend to be hypocrites.
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free:but Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:10-11)
When we put on Christ, we put on battle armor that protects us against the devices of the devil. We know that the devil’s job is to steal from, kill, and destroy people. It is important that we understand how to defend ourselves.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:11-17)
It’s important to note that when armor is worn improperly, it exposes vital points on the body. Improperly work armor is like wearing no armor at all — the enemy only needs to find the weak points and exploit them to your detriment. When you put on the new man from the outside, it merely conforms you to the look like a Christian but does not transform you on the inside to become a Disciple of Christ.
Finally, when we put on Christ, we take of corruption and put on incorruption; we take off mortality and put on immortality. When we are born again and learn to clothe ourselves in God’s righteousness, we learn that we are not only born into Christ but we have died with Him, too. This is really good news – it means you’ve done all the dying you’re ever going to do.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:53-57)
One of the milestones in any parents’ lives is the moment they realize they have taught their children a concept of independence. How to feed themselves. How to dress themselves. How to do these things properly. These are hallmarks on the path to maturity. It is important for us to learn how to correctly dress ourselves in God’s garments.
The thing we have to remember, though, is that it is God who provides the garments – they are His gift to us. The garment of salvation and the robe of righteousness we can neither take credit for nor earn by our own efforts – they are part of God’s gift of Himself to us.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
© 2014 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)