In his letter to the Galatian church, the apostle Paul said; “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Are you clothed in Christ? If so, your shame is covered up so that you are presentable to God. Your guilt and sin are no longer separating you from God’s love.
As a child, I was expected to take a bath Every Single Saturday Night and put on clean clothes Sunday morning. I thought this was outrageous and totally unnecessary. Wasn’t it enough that I washed my face and hands before every meal, and that I brushed my teeth at least once a day? I always had a butch haircut, so that was ok.
My dear mother impressed on me the need for cleanliness while she was my principal hygiene advisor. She had a little switch for loving persuasion. Later a pretty girl I liked taught me to want to smell…better.
Thinking back on these lessons I now see their spiritual relevance. Sin and uncleanness are corollary theological concepts, indicating separation from God who is holy. Wanting to be blameless before God is a mark of spiritual maturity. Knowing that I cannot be sinless would lead to despair were it not for the sacrifice of Jesus my Lord. I submitted my life to him and he has rescued me from my uncleanness. I was baptized in His name. His blood has washed away my sin. His goodness and purity clothe me and justify my place in God’s presence. His Spirit dwells within me where he can move me and guide me in paths of righteousness.
While I expressed some opinions about an interesting subject recently, someone suggested I should run for office. Possibly this was a joke, so I laughed, but then I explained that I have a past that would surely be uncovered in even a half-hearted search, and even though I am saved, I would not like to have to respond to opponents who might publish or pronounce my unsuitability based on some forgotten Saturday afternoon long ago.
I wonder if it would be appropriate to embrace the charges publicly. Would supporters abandon me if they knew what kind of person I have been? God does know, and He has not abandoned me. Maybe you know me too, and you have not abandoned me, either. If there is anything truly fragrant or attractive about me, anything that makes me loveable, it is Jesus Christ living in me. I don’t know that any man, or woman, is naturally lastingly loveable. They may catch your eye with a pleasing feature, or they might whisper a sweet nothing in your ear, but those things do not last and only the love of God is eternal.
You could reproach me for things I have said and done. You could accuse me of sin this very day, but it is God who makes me blameless before himself. I do not ask or expect that anyone should consider me perfect or holy in myself. But I hope you will see me as God does, clothed in my Lord, Jesus Christ.
“And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through; may He separate you from profane things, making you pure and wholly consecrated to Himself; and may your spirit, and