Sermon – December 4, 2016
People spend quite a lot of time worrying about how they present themselves to the outside world. Whether in dress, the avoidance over embarrassment, or even just the keeping up of appearances, people generally care a great deal what others think of them. Such instincts can be bad when used solely for self-aggrandizement, but those same instincts can be helpful for our pursuit of holiness. Paul, moving from the negative assessment in 3:5-11 of who we shouldn’t be, begins to tell us who we should be in Christ. Christian, if you have died to the world and are raised with Christ, you must have the right
Many Christians today think that the church is full of hypocrites, and denounce it as something of a lost cause. While such criticisms are true in some sense, they can be misplaced and put a great hindrance before Christians who desire to walk in holiness. Remember, the Christian is no hypocrite who desires to be the person that God has declared him to be in Christ.
Our outward appearance cannot be found in clothing or makeup. These things do not make up who we are, but in many cases simply conceal it. Rather, the Christian must clothe themselves with the right virtues, held together by love, which keeps all of the other virtues in the right balance.
We know well that we do not, at times, feel like presenting the virtues listed above. We feel angry and disrespected, so there is little room for patience, gentleness, and kindness. Paul, therefore, appeals to an authority outside of our emotions, an umpire and judge who will award the rights to the winner: the peace of Christ.
While it seems like a small thing, Christians are to be forever grateful and thankful. Only those who are thankful have truly received the gift of Christ and his Church as a true gift.
One of the great ways in which appropriate theology and virtue is pressed into people is through song. Music is a powerful tool, giving vitality to drab prepositions, dressing them in beauty and pleasure. Singing is not just a nice way to give adoration; it is adoration that forms character.
Do not continue to walk in the shabby clothing of the old aeon, but rather put on the fine linen, bright and pure, fitting the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:8)! For you are a married people, and honor is due to this, the greatest of Grooms!