Clothed with Christ
Key Verse: “Above all these things put on charity [love], which is the bond of perfectness.”
FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST who have truly renounced their former ways and habits are required to demonstrate that they have entered into a completely new type of life. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”—Col. 3:1,2
Consecrated believers who have received the Holy Spirit are not understood by the world at large. This is because their spiritual life and motivation are hidden from the natural man. Thus, others cannot comprehend their great hope of becoming participants with Christ in blessing the human family during God’s kingdom. In preparing themselves for such an honor, those who follow the Master must eradicate any inclinations toward impure works of the flesh, which would hamper their spiritual growth. Such propensities of the fallen human nature must be replaced by putting on the “new man,” and devoting all energies toward the doing of God’s will. This aspect of consecrated living is critical to the success of all New Creatures in Christ, and is also emphasized elsewhere in Scripture.
For example, Paul contrasts the works of the flesh with the works of the Spirit. He indicates that our spiritual life is dependent upon our determination to walk in the Spirit and live in the Spirit, and that these are evidences of our being in Christ. (Gal. 5:16-25) A further evidence of God’s transforming power in the believer’s life will be manifested in his relationship toward fellow New Creatures. Sometimes there will be occasion of misunderstandings with other brethren along various lines, but Paul admonishes us to put on as a garment such graces as mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, and longsuffering. This will enable us to overlook the idiosyncrasies of others, also bearing in mind the need for extending forgiveness, just as Christ has forgiven us.—Col. 3:3-13
Our Key Verse emphasizes our need to manifest pure love, which serves as an outer garment, to bind together the various graces of Christ-like character needful for divine approval. Additionally, it is essential that each of us follow scriptural guidelines for every act that we commit to the greatest extent possible. This will assist us to live in harmony with the spirit of sacrifice, the spirit of consecrated living, the spirit of holiness. We are to imitate Christ, and to walk “as he walked,” if we are to be successful in our sojourn in the narrow way.—I John 2:6
Faithful believers are sanctified—set aside—for holy service by God’s Word of truth. (John 17:17) In this account, Jesus prayed for his disciples who were present with him on his last night on earth. His petition also was on behalf of all the members of the Gospel Age body of Christ to this very day. The sanctification given by God is brought about by a process that is directly related to a believer’s study of, and his feeding upon, scriptural principles contained in the Bible. There, the standards of holy, righteous conduct are set before the mind of each child of God. Obedience to its teachings will separate the believer more and more from the spirit of the world, purify his mind, and promote increased spirituality. Thus, the diligent student will truly become, as our title says, “clothed with Christ.”