Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Afternoon...Clothing


Mondays afternoons at work are one of my favorite times of the week. We have a campus team devotional before going into “business” (really – following up with the business the Holy Spirit is already doing). Today, we read Galatians 3 and shared compelling thoughts that stuck out to us. One of mine was verses 26-27:

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” –NIV84

I attended Catholic school (grades K-7, 9-12), grew up in a Missionary Baptist Church ‘til college, went “wayward” for a number of years, re-dedicated my life to Christ & was discipled in a Southern Baptist Church, attended a Southern Baptist Seminary, worked at an Independent Christian Church, then a Bible Church, and am now back in an Independent Christian Church.

Look at all those denominations. Believe me when I tell you, each of them had something to say about baptism, most of the things said were, at least a lil’ bit, conflicting, and each of the groups thought they were “right.” With all due respect to all of these groups, I believe God’s Word nails it.

This passage says “…for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”  I won’t go into deep theological detail here, but I believe being “baptized into Christ” involves a lot more than getting soaked. [Remembering hearing for the first time from a wise man, “I’ve seen people go down dry sinners and come up wet sinners.” Oomph! That was tough to hear at first, but good to remember as I grew older.]

Here’s part of why this verse stuck out to me: In my life, I have observed Catholics who have clothed themselves with Christ and some who have not. I’ve observed Missionary Baptists who have clothed themselves with Christ and some who have not. Southern Baptists, Independent Christians, and Bible Church folks who have clothed themselves with Christ and some who have not.

I’ve heard many of the “arguments” on the meaning of baptism and I respect each groups’ beliefs and I certainly have my own. I won’t elaborate on the intricacies of each groups’ say on the matter. I’ll simply say, once again, I’ve observed man’s words leading towards disagreements. God’s Word, however, is clear…and wonderful. Clothe yourselves in Christ. Yes & amen!

Friend, I sincerely hope you have clothed yourselves with Christ. He is the One who matters. Not our words, not our controversies, not even our agreements on theological “issues.” Christ alone. Let’s clothe ourselves in Him.

If I can help ya in any way, holler!

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