Thursday, July 10, 2008

Clothed

They say hindsight is 20/20. For a Believer saved by grace, given to us by our Lord, Christ Jesus of Nazareth, our foresight should be 20/20.

"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." -- 2 Corinthians 4:18

We know when all is said and done that this time, this earth we live upon, is but a blot in the face of eternity.

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" -- 2 Corinthians 5:1

The question becomes for every single one who claims to profess Christ and Him crucified...will you be clothed?

"For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked" -- 2 Corinthians 5:2-3

Truly this is a question to consider, in this day, time and society of Christian churches. Will you be clothed? Or will you be shamed with your nakedness before Christ? This question is one of grave seriousness. It affects EVERY Believer/Christian proclaiming, professing and confessing Christ, as they stand before Him, unlike the judgement of the unbeliever who outright reject Christ. Yes, this question is directed at the Church, the Body of Christ (Spiritual) and those who claim to follow the teachings (doctrine) of Christ.

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." -- Revelation 3:17-19

These are the words of Christ to His Church. Obviously the word clothed is a symbolic term. Every Believer/Christian should understand the symbolism of being clothed before Him, but for the sake of clarity and understanding. Let's go over what the term "clothed" symbolizes in the Word.

When one isn't literally clothed, they are naked, exposed. The truth of of their imperfections are laid bare. That girdle that held in that voluminous tummy is gone and the truth of that midsection is revealed.

"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

Returning to the 2nd book of Corinthians 5:4 reiterates Isaiah 61:10:

"For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." ("garments of salvation")

Both authors reference the desire of life eternal with Christ. Both authors express earnest joy, passion and foresight towards the day we stand before Him. Most importantly both authors express the confidence that they will BE clothed, found righteous, in His sight. Can you express that same confidence??

"Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." -- 2 Corinthians 5: 5-8

Figuratively speaking, how are we clothed with righteousness? How can do we obtain the garments of salvation?

"And he (God) brought him (Abraham) forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

And he (Abraham) believed in the LORD; and he (God) counted it to him for righteousness". -- Genesis 15: 5-6

"Who against hope believed in hope, that he (Abraham) might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." -- Romans 4: 18-25

Will you be clothed? Are you a heir of Abraham by Faith? Do you "walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham" ? Romans 4:12-13 Here's the rub...good "works", church attendance, or even Bible studying isn't going to keep you from appearing naked before him. God is an examiner of hearts and He already knows what lies in yours. Hebrews 4:12 Outside of faith, He cannot be pleased.

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." -- Hebrews 11:6

Maybe you're confused by the glut of churches and doctrines available, it is all the more reason why you should seek Him directly, seek Him earnestly, and seek Him passionately! Answers will not be found in the wisdom of man, because only the things of God can be discerned by Him. 1 Corinthians 1:13-14

Are you willing to bet an eternity upon a doctrine of traditions or religious affiliations?? I should hope not. I PRAY not.

"Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him." -- 2 Corinthians 5:9

5 comments:

  1. I believe many who think they are
    Christians today are not really so.
    They claim they are rich, but are blind and naked because they are not clothed in the Righteousness of Christ Jesus. They think they are
    saved by joining a church denomination, or keeping laws,
    creeds or rituals, but they have not accepted Christ's FINISHED Work on the cross and it alone. If they will not listen......
    to the one and only True Gospel,
    sadly, they may wake up to the
    harsh reality of the Tribulation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this great post, Hannah; it gave me cause for reflection.

    A brother once remarked to me that it is really tough to be a Christian nowadays because sin beckons at every corner. Now I don't know if things were easier in days of yore, but a comparison is useless anyhow because we should be concerned about our Christian walk first and foremost.

    However, I do agree with him that it is a world where Christians are finding it hard to struggle against conformity to the world. In fact, I once wondered out loud if in order to live a righteous life I'd have to be a hermit apart from today's world. Not a solution definitely!

    I think many of us struggle with at least one aspect of modern life in our Christian walk so the constant reminders to remain true to the Cross and the finished work of Christ Jesus are sorely needed. More than anything, I often so want to slay my flesh that I might sin no more!

    Again, thank you for this exhortation!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Isaiah!

    I plan to expound on this subject a bit more in my next post.

    The question becomes what does it mean to be non-conformed?

    "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God"

    To be non conformed, one must first be transformed by the renewing of their mind. It is an internal process that has external results.

    To be not conformed we must think, believe and view life differently (a spiritual perspective) than those who choose not to believe the gospel of our Savior.

    The only way this can happen is by Faith, trusting Him as we "come as we are". Faithful that He will finish the work He started in us.

    Sure we can focus all of our energy on staying away from various temptations that the Word speaks out against, but in doing so, we fail to recognize the power of Christ to transform as only He can and the only difference between us and unbelievers is the fact that they "smoke" and we do not...

    ...and the whole purpose of proving the "good and perfect will of God" is lost. If we understand that outside of faith God cannot be pleased (Hebrews 11:6) then our faith is what we should be "struggling" with, not our physical sins.

    Another subject that I believe directly relates into "struggling with sin" is the question of what exactly is sin? I'm hoping to clarify that question in the next post I'm working on.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those read as very good points to me, Hannah. I'm looking forward to reading the continuation of this post. :)

    God bless!

    ReplyDelete

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