Isaiah 61:10: I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
The fall season is my favorite. Many wonderful feelings are associated with this time of year for me. One of them, growing up and going back to school each September, meant a new outfit, a new winter coat and a new pair of shoes. As special as these clothes made me feel, it’s nothing compared to the incredible new wardrobe God has for us. As believers, we are the best-dressed people, and we might not even be aware of all it means. Many times, we are admonished in Scripture to “lay aside” (Rom.6:6 -11, Eph.4:20, Phil.3:12-13, Col.3:6-9, Heb. 12:1, 1 Pet.2:1) and “put on” (Rom. 13:12, 1 Cor. 15:53, 2 Cor. 6:7, Gal. 3:27, Eph. 4:24,6:13, 1 Thess. 5:8, Rev. 19:14). The “taking off” and “putting on” of clothes becomes an experiential application of positional truth.
The rebellious son, who comes back home in his shame and humiliation in Luke 15, is immediately given a robe of his father’s. It marked the end of his old sinful self and the surrender of his will. The son allowed the coat to cover him, symbolizing the clean new life in relationship with his father. He was dead, but now is alive again. It heralded his sonship; he was not a slave. The robe gave him an honored position in the family. He was welcomed back home. It allowed him to stand in righteousness, giving him the reputation and character of his father in the future as he took his place in the family business. The father’s robe was an outward sign of the heart transformed.
The reality is, a robe has to be put on from the inside. A choice must be made to put it on. We have to want to “put on” the garments God the Father provides by Christ’s death on the cross. When we initiate the giving of ourselves to put on the clean, white, robe of righteousness, we will receive the incredible benefits of sonship and new life. It’s also a daily, continual choice to keep putting on Christ, and laying aside sin. Some people keep hiding pieces of their sinful rags in their pockets. They don’t want to let go of pride, anger, bitterness, lust, and envy, etc. It’s easier to wear the old, and bow to temptations than to wear the garment of Christ and worship his Lordship. What do you want to wear today, the old sinful clothes or the bright new robe of your Father God in Christ? Read through Ephesians 6:10-20 and prayerfully put on each article. Linger on any piece as Christ leads you.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
By Donna Burns