Leading Question: “What does it mean to put on Christ?”
- Being clothed with Christ: Gal 3:23-29
- Dying and rising with Christ: Rom 6:1-6
- The garment of light; no provision for the flesh: Rom 13:11-14
- Clothed with new life in Christ: Col 3:1-17
The final lesson of this term provides a good opportunity for sharing personal experiences and perspectives on key devotional passages that use clothing imagery.
Being Clothed with Christ: Gal 3:23-29. How does our relationship with Christ affect our relationship with other believers? Is equality with one another a key benefit of belonging to Jesus and being “clothed” with Christ? What is it about belonging to Jesus that subdues our tendencies toward racial, sexual, and economic superiority? When such attitudes persist, how can being in Christ help us to address them?
- “In Christ Jesus you are all are children of God through faith.”
- “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
Dying and Rising with Christ: Rom 6:1-6. While this passage doesn’t actually use clothing imagery, it does suggest a union with Christ. How does “union” language affect the rule of sin in our lives?
- “Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
- “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.”
Armor of light; no provision for the flesh: Rom 13:11-14. Putting on the “armor” of light dramatically affects our relationship to the sins of the “flesh.” How does Paul’s list of “fleshly” sins here compare with his list in Galatians 3:19-21? Why is “flesh” here much broader than just sexual sin?
- “Let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy.”
- “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
Note: Some temptations call for abstinence, others call for moderation. How might this quotation from Ellen White (in the context of diet) involve a wider range of “fleshly” temptations? Note in particular the last sentence about “strong cravings.”
B has been very deficient. While in her best condition of health, his wife was not provided with a plenty of wholesome food and with proper clothing. Then, when she needed extra clothing and extra food, and that of a simple yet nutritious quality, it was not allowed her. Her system craved material to convert into blood, but he would not provide it. A moderate amount of milk and sugar, a little salt, white bread raised with yeast for a change, graham flour prepared in a variety of ways by other hands than her own, plain cake with raisins, rice pudding with raisins, prunes, and figs, occasionally, and many other dishes I might mention, would have answered the demand of appetite. If he could not obtain some of these things, a little domestic wine would have done her no injury; it would have been better for her to have it than to do without it. In some cases, even a small amount of the least hurtful meat would do less injury than to suffer strong cravings for it. Testimonies 2:383-84 (1870)
Clothed with New Life in Christ: Col 3:1-17. This chapter repeatedly notes the attitudes and habits that are incompatible with being “in Christ.” How is his power unleashed in our lives to address these impulses?
- “Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).”
- “But now you must get rid of all such things – anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth.”
- “Do not lie to one another….”
- “In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all in all.”
- “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”
- “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
- “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”