The well-dressed Christian
The Christian, in this world, should be markedly different from those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The reason is simple. When such a person became a born-again Christian, he becomes a new creature, a citizen of the holy nation, a pilgrim and a stranger in the world, a temple of the Holy Ghost, a disciple of Jesus Christ (not a debater), a chaste virgin and bride of Christ. He is also a sheep in Christ’s fold, not a goat among the herds of a mixed multitude, an identifiable saint in a corrupt world, not an assimilated sinner in the midst of a defiled and defiling society. All the titles of a true Christian show him or her to be a transformed, changed person, different from people in the world, who do not know the Lord. He has found peace with God.
Indeed, the first step to be taken by anyone that desires to be at peace with God and make heaven his eternal home is to have genuine conversion, the cleansing of the heart by the Blood of Jesus Christ. He obtains this not by merit or any good deed he may have done, but by the grace of God and faith in Jesus Christ. When there is a genuine work of the Spirit in the heart, the outward life will be changed. The believer’s outward life and actions are regulated by his inward condition. When therefore, he is made a “new creature in Christ” all habits, conducts, character and lifestyle – indeed, all “old things are passed away.” She no longer loves the questionable things she once relished. His desires are transformed and his affections are set on things in heaven. The heart is the source of all outward conducts and actions. Hence, we are enjoined: “Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4: 23). If our hearts are cleansed, we will find that our lives will be constantly brought into conformity with the commandments of the Word of God and the demands of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This necessarily affects everything about our lives.
For instance, the clothing or covering of the body with neat, appropriate and decent apparel or attire is very important, but many people give too much attention to the body, while their soul is naked, defiled and neglected. There is a true saying that “dress does not make the man.” No matter what one does to polish up the exterior, his inward condition requires a real transformation from heaven. Our Lord Jesus Christ rebuked all those who “appear beautiful outward, but within full of dead men’s bones and of all uncleanness” (Matthew 23: 27). As He said to the Pharisees, so He is saying to slavishly fashionable men and women today: “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous (beautiful) unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23: 28). He commands us to “cleanse first that which is within, that the outside may be clean also” (Matthew 23: 26). Those who are seeking the best that God has for them, who “set their affections on things above, not on things on the earth”, will spend less time before a mirror and more time before their Bible and in prayer, putting on the “ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price”.
Saints are inwardly and outwardly different from sinners. The sinner is controlled by “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,” while the saint is controlled by “the Spirit of Christ.” Sinners have a mind that is fully committed to pleasing the world; they are not committed to pleasing God. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7, 8). Saints have the mind of Christ and it is their joy and delight to please God in all things, at all times. The Child of God, whose desire is to always glorify God, will make decency and modesty of dress his basic rule. Whether at home, at work or anywhere else, a Christian man or woman, will uphold the standard of God’s unchanging Word, in a changing world. A genuine Christian always seeks God’s approval upon his or her life. The thought of being a ‘glamorous lady’ or a ‘tough guy’ holds no thrill for him or her. The more a Christian woman or man loves the Lord, the more he or she lives by the precepts of the Gospel, and the farther from the border line of worldliness they dress. Their constant aim being higher ground, they “glorify God’ in their body and in their spirit which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:20).
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