2012-01-13 - Old Rags and New
Part 2 ~ Based on a Sermon Originally Preached 2009-01-11
Here are some old robe patches that we apply rather than accepting new robes
The patch of REFORMATION instead of the robe of REGENERATION.
Promises to "do better" won't cut it with God. We must be born-again. Going
to church, giving to charities, being a good neighbor, even living like Jesus
did are good things but won't get us into heaven. It just makes us well-behaved
dead people. We need life that only God can give through his son's death
and resurrection. Jesus expects to be your whole outfit not a patch. We are
to wear him to testify of his great grace. Regeneration makes us a new creation.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed
away; behold all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Jesus is not
into patchwork. He doesn't want to patch up your old sinful ways. He wants
to give you a new life. He said, "Behold I make all things
The patch of REGRET instead of the robe of REPENTANCE.
Being sorry for getting caught is not the same as true sorrow. Repentance
means turning away from sin not just apologizing for it. Regret is a change
of emotion. Repentance is a change of heart and mind. Old garments must be
laid aside. Jesus came to call sinners out of sin.
Colossians 3:8-15 (NIV) 8 But now you must also rid yourselves
of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language
from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have
taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put
on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its
Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised
or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is
all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God's chosen people,
holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive
one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the
Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the
peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were
called to peace. And be thankful.
The patch of RELIGION (or RECOVERING/REPAIR) instead of the robe of RESTORATION.
This is an outer change without inner change. People sometimes want to feel
better without becoming better. Taking pain medicine doesn't fix the underlying
problem it just covers it up. This is like putting lipstick on a pig. We
can just put a slip cover on an old worn out sofa or tear it down to the
frame put new springs and padding on it then re-upholster. Both look nice
but only one will sit well. Peter Chrysologus in Sermon 31.4 said, "He says
that the fabric of the old law was worn away by Judaic zealousness, corrupted
by the sense, split apart by factions, worn out by impure actions." This
sounds like today where we add rules to religion, split into denominations,
and act the same as the world.
The patch of RECOMPILING instead of the robe of RESTARTING.
Record companies will sometimes take the best song or two off several albums
by an artist and release a "Best Of" re-compilation and they may even throw
on one or two new songs to make it a must have. But if the artist never had
any good songs that approach doesn't work the record company has to start
over from scratch with a new group for a new CD. There is no "best of" approach
where we take the best of this religion and that and add to it the best parts
of Jesus' teachings. Jesus' teaching is exclusive and will not work that
The old cloth says "God Is LAW." New says, "God is LOVE."
The old is performance based salvation. The new is salvation based
The old cloth says "DO THIS." The new says, "BE THIS."
The old cloth is "self-righteous filthy rags". The new is "a robe washed
white as snow".
The old cloth says "You are sinful." The new says, "But - you are
The old cloth is a death shroud. The new cloth is a wedding gown.
The patch of RELIGION instead of the robe of RELATION.
The world is full of religions. Only Christianity offers a relation with
the one true God. He doesn't want to patch up your life - your religion.
He wants to restore your relation with God. So in Christ Jesus you are all
children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ
have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27 NIV) We have put
on a relationship with God not just some religion.
In Exposition on the Gospel of Mark 1.2.24, Bede writes, 'By wine we are
refreshed inwardly. By a garment we are outwardly covered. Both relate to
the dynamics of spiritual life. The garment indicates good works performed
outwardly in order to shine in the sight of the world. By wine and new wine
we mean that fervor of faith, hope, and love by means of which, in the sight
of our maker, our souls are recovered inwardly to newness of spirit.'
Do we want God's robes or do we want to keep our own and patch them with
what God can give us? To me the choice is clear.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted.