“For those of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ.”
Last year, my eight-year-old son, Levi, told us that he wanted to attend the United States Naval Academy when he was older. So, we gave him a Naval Academy football t-shirt for Christmas.
Now, typically, young boys are not incredibly excited about receiving clothes for Christmas. There are, however, some exceptions to that rule. Parents looking to gauge their present purchasing performance can evaluate their son’s enthusiasm about a new piece of clothing by asking the following questions: (1) How quickly did he put it on after he unwrapped it? (2) How upset was he about the first hot chocolate stain? And, most importantly, (3) How many consecutive days did he wear it after Christmas?
In Levi’s case, we hit the trifecta. As soon as he pulled his new shirt out of its package, he changed clothes right there in front of the Christmas tree. Although he was upset as stains accumulated over the next week, he did not take that shirt off until after the New Year. He was proud of his new shirt. He wanted everyone to ask him about it!
At Christmas, we celebrate the greatest gift ever given or received—the gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Scripture explains that God gave us this gift because of His incomparable, unfathomable love for us. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but should have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Upon receipt of this eternal-life-altering gift—like a boy tearing off his old shirt to dawn his new one—we put off the old, sinful self and put on the righteousness of Christ, which fundamentally alters every aspect of our being (Ephesians 4:22-24; Romans 6:1-4). Indeed, when we trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, the old is gone. We are made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Thus, when our heavenly Father looks upon His children, we stand before Him redeemed. He sees us as pure and holy, clothed in the righteousness of Christ. So too, when others look upon our lives, they should witness a reflection of Christ as we strive to glorify Him and represent Him to the world.
Therefore, since we are clothed in Christ, we should seek daily to be further conformed to His image and walk in a manner worthy of the gift we have received (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 4:1).
Ben serves by leading and overseeing the ministries and operations of First Baptist Dallas as the Executive Pastor. He earned a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University and a B.B.A. from Hardin-Simmons University. He and his wife, Parris, have four boys.