Sermon 1614. Dressing In The Morning
DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 21, 1881,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"And that, kno wing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when wefirst believed. The nightis far spent, the day is athand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us puton the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness,not in strife and envying. But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the luststhereof." Romans 13:11-14.
THIS passage is a piece of holy teaching set forth under the parable of rising in the morning and preparing for the work ofthe day. May the Holy Spirit help me to place it before you in a clear light. It is a great mistake in a man's life when hedoes not know the times in which he lives and how to act in them-and when he does not know the time as to the day of his ownlife, so as to apply his heart unto wisdom. The Apostle speaks of his Roman brethren as "knowing the time." What, then, isthe time of day with the Christian? It is no longer the dead of the night with us, but, "the night is far spent, the day isat hand." A little while ago the dense darkness of ignorance was about us, but the Gospel has made us light in the Lord. Wewere asleep in the gloom of sin-like a thick cloud it enveloped all our powers-but God has brought us out of darkness intoHis marvelous Light.
Some of us were plunged in despair, a night without a moon, without a star. We were without hope and feared that our futurewould be the "blackness of darkness forever." That hopeless gloom is over and we have the Light of God and joy in Christ Jesus.The daystar is shining upon us, the Light of God that lightens the Gentiles cheers our path and we look for a perfect daythough it is not, as yet, full day with us. Cloudless brightness is still a thing of desire and expectation. The sun has risen,but it is not noon as yet. For that we look when we shall see the Well-Beloved in His kingdom and wake up in His likeness."The day is at hand," says the Apostle, and that is a word of good cheer!
What, then, is "the time" which Paul would have us know? It is the early morning, it is the dawning of the eternal day. Thesun has scattered the thick darkness of Nature's night. We are enjoying his first golden beams-the time of the singing ofbirds has come-the time of the dew of Grace and of the fresh breath of the Spirit. It is not full day yet but, still, thenight has gone and the perfect day of our salvation, when body and soul, too, shall be delivered from every taint and traceof the work of Satan, is "nearer than when we believed." The light and heat of day are strengthening. The darkness and chillof night are vanishing. We are getting further off from the power of ignorance, sin and despair. We are getting more and moreunder the influence of knowledge, holiness and hope!
The Apostle would have us know for sure that the true Light of God now shines, even that which will grow brighter and brighterunto the perfect day! Joy be to our souls, the Sun of Righteousness has risen upon us with healing beneath His wings! Of whatvalue is the knowledge of the time of day? It lies here. Certain duties arise out of the hour. "Man goes forth unto his workand to his labor until the evening." From morning to evening and from evening to morning, again, there is a round of dutyto be fulfilled and each work is pleasing if attended to in its own season. When the shadows of evening fall, the time hascome for going home, where domestic joys await us at the hearth. It would not be right for the laboring man to go home inthe morning, nor seemly for him to be going out at night.
Each duty has its own time of day and, therefore, the Apostle would have us know the hour and be assured that it is high timeto awake out of sleep. He urges us to the duties which attend the hour of rising, the hour to which we have now come. As myMaster helps me, I shall endeavor, first of all, to give the morning call. And then, secondly, to preach the morning Gospel.
I. First, LISTEN TO THE MORNING CALL. I have shown you that the hour of the day is that in which men should rise and begintheir daily service. And its first seasonable duty is to awake-"It is high time to awake out of sleep." When day begins sleepshould end. The bugle sounds in the camp, "Awake! Awake!" But are not all Christians awake? Yes, from the sleep of death,but not from other kinds of sleep. Many need rough shaking and loud calling before they will be thoroughly awakened. BelovedBrothers and Sisters, I speak to you upon whom the Light of God has arisen and who are now delivered from the power of darkness,for you will not deny that it is high time for you to shake off the bands of slumber.
You should rise from the sleep of inaction. Do not let your religion consist in receiving all and doing nothing! Work whileit is called today and, as you wish to be faithful servants of your gracious Lord, be up at once. It is time for you to stiryourselves and see what can be done with the golden hours for the glory of your Redeemer's name! Go forth and see what herbsare to be planted, what weeds are to be rooted up, what part of the garden needs watering and which of the vines need pruning.Your Master's vineyard needs constant labor, for He, Himself, keeps it with unceasing care. Up, then, gird up your loins andyield your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God!
Leave, also, all lethargy behind you. At night a man may yawn and stretch himself as he likes, but when the morning comes,good Sir, have done with yawning and display energy! Look about you and be brisk, for the day will be none too long. Doesnot the song of the birds and the glitter of the dew bid you shake off your slumber and have done with list-lessness? Oh,I hate to see some professing Christian people go about the Lord's work in such a languid way, as if it did not matter howtheir Lord was served. Ah me! If God were obeyed with half the activity with which the devil is served, we should soon seea change in Church life! Men are wide awake when they are serving themselves! Jingle a guinea seven miles off and they willhear it! But if service is to be done for Christ, you must put the clarion to your mouth and blow a blast as loud as the judgmentsummons, before you can wake men up to hearty enthusiasm! It is high time that we woke out of half-heartedness!
Moreover, it is time to have done with dreaming. That is proper for the night, but not for the morning. An ungodly man's pursuitsare mere dreams. He hunts after shadows; he feeds upon ashes; his weightiest business is a mere vision, a thing of nothing!You who are not of the night must not dote on the world's shadows, but look for heavenly substance. Live for eternal realities.Set about business that is real in God's sight, such business as you will think worthy of your heart when you come to dieand when you stand before the Judgment Seat of God! Have done with daydreams as well as night dreams and come to stern mattersof eternal fact. Trifle no longer! The time past may suffice you for that. Be earnest! Be all awake, put forth all your powers,awaken all your faculties. "It is high time to awake out of sleep."
When awake, what is the next duty? Is it not to cast off your night clothes? Our text says, "Let us therefore cast off theworks of darkness." The man who is just awakened and finds that it is morning light, must, first of all, take off the garmentswhich covered him during the night. He quits his bed and, in so doing, shakes off his bed clothes and leaves them. Your friendsdo not come downstairs wrapped in the sheets which wrapped them at night-we should suppose they were seeking their gravesif they did! The covers of night are not our covers by day. There must be a casting off in the morning before there can bea putting on-there is a measure of undressing before we commence to dress.
Simple and homely as the figure is, it conveys a lesson which I pray you to remember. Sins and follies are to be cast offwhen we put on the garments of the Light of God. I have known a man profess to be converted, but he has merely put religionover his old character. He has been a passionate man with bad companions and all he has done is to carry his bad temper intoa Church meeting. He has been accustomed to drink more wine than is good for him and all the change is that he drinks it inrespectable company or in secret. He has taken up the saint without casting off the sinner! The rags of his lust are rottingunder the raiment of his profession!
This will never do! Christ has not come to save you in your sins but from your sins! Anger and drunkenness, and such like,must be gotten rid of! Christ never came that you might christen your anger by the name of warmth and your drunkenness withthe name of liberty! I have heard of persons living unclean lives who have heard that faith in Jesus Christ would save themwho have misunderstood this doctrine so grievously that they have thought of believing in Christ and continuing in their evilways! That attempt will be their ruin. Rahab the harlot was saved by faith, but she was saved from being a harlot any longer.The rags of sin must come off if we put on the robe of Christ. There must be a taking away of the love of sin! There mustbe a renouncing of the practices and habits of sin, or else a man cannot be a Christian!
It will be an idle attempt to try and wear religion as a sort of celestial overall over the top of old sins. The King's daughteris all glorious within, or she would never have received her clothing of worked gold. The vision of Zechariah teaches us theway of the Lord-when he saw Joshua clothed with filthy garments, the Lord did not put upon him a goodly vesture over these-butHe first said, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And then He added, "Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass fromyou, and I will clothe you with change of raiment." You must be cleansed in the blood of Jesus before you can be clothed inthe white linen which is the righteousness of the saints! See to it that, being awakened out of your sleep, you cast off allthe garments of the night!
What were they? We find a list of them in the third chapter of the Epistle to the Colossians. "But now you also put off allthese: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth." Were we fond of the joys of the ungodly?Take them off! Did we speak things which are untrue? Cast them off! Could we sing a loose, lascivious song? Cast it off! Werewe angry, morose, malicious? Put it off! Were we greedy, grasping, covetous? Cast it off! Alas, many professors are as greedyof gain as they ever were, but they wear religion over the top of their miserly rags and want you to call the churl generous,though he is as stingy as he can be! Whatever it is that is unworthy of the light of day, let us cast it off.
The Apostle says, "cast off." Let the habits of "your sinful nature be from now on regarded as castoffs-cast them right awayand say, "I have done with them! There will not be another night for me and, therefore, I shall not need them. Bury them,burn them-they are my castoffs." Let us only remember our evil habits to weep over them! Let us only speak of them to warnothers and to glorify the Grace of God! As to ever bringing out our ill habit and trying to put them on, occasionally, Godforbid it should be so!
So far we have described our getting up-first, we awake and then we cast off the garments of darkness. Now we must put onour morning dress. The Believer should at once look to his toilet and array himself for the day-"Let us put on the armor oflight." "What?" says one, "armor? Why, I thought my danger was over! The darkness has departed and I am no longer afraid ofthieves and robbers, for the daylight has come. Why, then, should I put on armor?" Is it not instructive that no sooner dowe awake than we have to put on "the whole armor of God"? Does it not warn us that a day of battle is coming? Brothers andSisters, you may as well expect a conflict, for it is sure to come, and it will be wise to put on your harness for the fight!
Dress according to what you will meet with during the day. You are not at Home yet-the land of peace is yet beyond you. Youngconverts think that they have got to Heaven, or very near it, but it is not so. You will get there one day, but the time isnot yet. You are in an enemy's country-put on the armor of the Light of God! Perhaps before you get down to breakfast, anarrow will be shot at you by the great enemy. Or you may come downstairs after your morning prayers feeling as safe as ifyou were among the angels-and yet you will not get through the first meal in the day without an assault from the archenemy,or an outburst of your own corruptions, or an attack from the world! Your foes may be found in your own household and theymay wound you at your own table!
Before you leave your bed-chamber you had better put on girdle, helmet, breastplate, shield-you had better take the completepanoply! A Christian is never safe unless he is protected from head to foot by Divine Grace, for in such a world as this youknow not behind what bush the assassin may be lurking, or from what corner the fatal bolt may fly. Go forth as a mailed knightto the war, for the battle rages on all sides and you need the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left. Thesaint must be a man of war from his youth. He must pray that his hands may be taught to war and his fingers to fight.
The Greek word, however, may be understood to signify not only armor, but such garments as are fitted and suitable for theday's work. These should be put on at once and our soul should be dressed for service. Pray God to clothe you in such stylethat you may be ready for whatever comes. You are not a gentleman on the parade, but a workman in his workday clothes. Somepeople are too fine to do real service for the Lord. When the Duke of Wellington asked one of our soldiers how he would liketo be dressed if he had to fight the battle of Waterloo again, he answered that he should like to be in his shirt sleeves.How I wish that Christians would get into their shirt sleeves, as if they meant to work for Jesus! I like to see the carpenterwith his apron on bending down to his work and not sitting on the bench swinging his legs all day.
Alas, that some Christians should be usually seen in this latter posture! O Brothers and Sisters, it is morning with you andI beseech you by the mercies of God, array yourselves to do your Lord's bidding! What said God to Jeremiah? "Gird up yourloins and arise." Brace your soul to action-there is work for you to do today which angels might well envy you! Go forth likea man ready for work. The Lord would have us live with our loins girt about, our lamps trimmed and our lights burning becausewe have come to an hour when idleness and inaction are out of place-earnest, watchful diligence is required of us! Let usput on the garments of the Light of God and let us work while it is day, for our Father works and Jesus works.
Now you are dressed, what next? It remains that we walk forth and behave as in the Light of God. The directions are explicit-"Letus walk honestly, as in the day," which means let our demeanor be such as becomes daylight. How should a child of light conducthimself? The word translated, "honestly," may mean, "decently"-with decorum and dignity. In the middle of the night, if youhave to go about the house, you are not particular as to how you are dressed-there is no person to see you-and so you willslip from one room to another in casual dress. But when you rise in the morning and come down to your day's work, you chooseto be somewhat neat. You do not go out to your business slip-shod and half-dressed, but you array yourself according to yourstation in an appropriate manner.
Let it be so with you spiritually-holiness is the highest decency, the most becoming apparel. You live in the daylight, Brothersand Sisters, therefore walk as one who is "compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses." Yet more-walk as one who hasthe eyes of God upon him, which is infinitely more. "You God see me." King of kings, should I rush into Your court in casualdress? Should I ask you to walk with me while I am all undressed, or wearing filthy rags which I ought long ago to have castaway? The soul's appearance should be a matter of great care. "Be you clean," says God. He will not walk with us unless wekeep our garments unspotted from the world-He would have us observe that dignity of spirit and conduct which are becomingin the Temple of God.
Sleep in what garments you may, but when you walk abroad in the day, take heed, O princes of the blood royal of Heaven, thatyour raiment is according to your rank! "Walk honestly," says our translation, because that is the right thing for daylight.The thief breaks through and steals beneath the cover of darkness, but a child of the Light of God must be upright and just.I earnestly beg all professing Christians to be honest in heart and then they will be honest in word and deed. You ask me,"Do you mean that we should pay our debts?" Of course! I mean all that, but I mean far more-be honest when you speak to othersand of others. Do not say of any man behind his back that which you would not utter to his face. Do not carry a mask aboutwith you-it is a horrible instrument of torture to an honest man. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
Many act upon quite another principle, practicing reserve and policy, if not duplicity. They bring themselves into a greatdeal of trouble by being cunning and, "playing their cards well," as they say. What has a Christian to do with such a deceitfulpiece of gaming? Walk honestly! Let all your actions be such as will bear the Light of God! A man that stands under a powerfulelectric light bearing right down on him would feel uncomfortable with everybody looking at him. At any rate, he would becareful what he did. Behold, the Light of eternity is shining full upon your soul! God Himself sees you! You stand in theblaze of the eternal day. O Christian, act with transparent honesty! Have nothing to conceal- come to the Light of God thatyour deeds may be made manifest that they are worked in God. Be clothed with the Light of God and walk in the Light as Godis in the Light.
Our position in the light of the morning demands of us one more point of behavior-we must renounce the deeds of darkness.If we have been truly awakened and have put on the garments of the Light of God, it behooves us to have done with the thingsthat belong to the night. I will not dwell upon them at any great length, but I may not pass them over, since the Apostlethought it necessary to mention three pairs of evils with which we must have done. He mentions them because even in Christianassemblies it is necessary to denounce these things. People exclaim against the preacher if he speaks plainly about the vicesof the times. "Really, it is shocking," says one, "I do not like to hear such indelicate things referred to."
No, no, ladies and gentlemen who do such things cannot bear to hear of them by way of rebuke! I have noticed that none aremore fantastically nice than the morally nasty; none are so ready to find fault when a spade is called a spade as those whosemorals most need digging. They will commit the vice themselves, but they cannot bear to hear it men-tioned-it shocks theirmarvelously delicate minds! The Apostle Paul felt none of the noxious daintiness which touches
sin with a delicate hand-he speaks out plainly and he says that all Christian people, first, must have done with sensuality,which he describes as "rioting and drunkenness." If a drinking bout is held, it is usually at night. Banquets generally beginin the evening-if they become scenes of gluttony and drunkenness they advance far into the night. But the sun rebukes suchorgies and men usually give heed to the warning-"they that are drunk are drunk in the night." Christian men have done withnight and ought to have done with all excess in meat and drink. Alas, there are some who spend more over a single dinner fora few than would keep families of poor people a month! Gluttony is seldom mentioned as a possible fault, and yet I fear itis far from being an obsolete vice among professed followers of Jesus!
"Drunkenness." Well, I need not say how shameful it is in any man, but he that professes to be a Christian man, how temperate,how abstinent should he be, for intoxication is a soul-destroying sin and no drunk can enter the Kingdom of God! These arenight vices-let the children of night have them if they will-as for us, we desire to be filled with the Spirit and fed uponthe Bread of Heaven, for we are the children of the day! We have nobler feasts than the banquets of revelers and more choicewines than the vintage of Sodom can yield! Take heed, Brothers and Sisters, of these works of darkness!
Then Paul denounces impurity by saying, "not in chambering and wantonness." It is an awful thing when a man calls himselfby the name of Christian and yet can be foul in language, unchaste in conversation, lascivious in spirit, wicked in life.If any man indulges in fornication and adultery and yet calls himself a Christian, he will surely come under the curse ofGod! We speak of such persons weeping, for they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ. Oh that you who are young might bekept from anything like looseness or effeminacy! Avoid glances, words and thoughts which tend that way. Do not go near theborders of that sin, for men and women sin not grossly all at once-they slide by degrees-as the vessel slides from the stocksinto the sea at the time of its launching. It moves very little at first, but, by-and-by it gathers impetus and glides rapidlyinto the deep. God keep you from sins of the flesh, for they are a deep ditch and the abhorred of the Lord fall into them!They are base deeds of the night-does not Nature, itself, teach us so? Vice walks abroad beneath the moon-it is by night thatour streets are defiled! O you who have reached the morning light, abhor these things and hate even the garment spotted bythe flesh!
The next night deed is passion-passion taking the two shapes of "strife and envying." Brawls are for the night. Fierce assaultsdisturb us in our sleep, but they are not usual in the day. So Christian men, being of the day, are not to strive. It is agreat pity when strife comes into a family, when brother is divided from brother and father from son and when relatives cannotspeak well of one another. These bitter things are for the night-you have reached the daylight and must have done with them!Envy is a thing of darkness and shame-that "green-eyed monster" comes out in the dark and finds fault with those who are betterthan itself. Sinners do not like good men because their excellence rebukes them and, therefore, they endeavor to mar theirreputation. This evil is not of the day! Leave it, scorn it, dread it, abhor it! God deliver you from it! Away, then, fromall deeds of darkness, and seek only that which may be set in the face of the sun and cause no man to blush.
II. Now, I have preached so long upon things required of you that you are beginning to say, "Ah me, how much there is forus to do! How shall we ever accomplish it? We have to wake, to cast off our night garments, to dress in suitable attire, tobehave ourselves as children of the Light of God and to avoid the deeds of darkness. Alas, what shall we do?" Now listen,you anxious ones-here is something sweet and blessed for you-you shall be inclined and helped to obey in all things! Thereforelisten diligently and hear, that your souls may live! I preach to you THE MORNING GOSPEL. Here it is-"Put you on the LordJesus Christ."
This verse has been rendered very famous in Church history, since that chief among the fathers, the mighty teacher, Augustine,found the Light of God through reading this verse. He had been leading an ungodly and, more or less, dissipated life, whenhe began, in a measure, to think upon his condition, and he thought he heard a voice saying to him, "Tolle, lege. Tolle, lege!""Take up and read." So, taking up the New Testament which lay near, he began to read it and, as God would have it, he openedupon this very place, and he read-"Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chamberingand wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ."
Here are his words, which I will read to you-"I would read no further, for I needed not; for when I had read to the end ofthis sentence, all the darkness of doubtfulness vanished away, as if some clear light of security were poured into my heart.It was as if it had been said, 'O man, acknowledge your misery, you are naked; cover your filthiness: put upon you
Jesus Christ!' And forthwith I felt a fire within me. My heart was lightened, the scales fell from my eyes-I was able to see!"How earnestly do I desire that these words may strike some of you in the same powerful manner! Does anyone here desire totake off his old garments of sin and to dress in robes of holiness? And does he mourn over an empty wardrobe? Look, here isa robe for him-"Put you on the Lord Jesus Christ."
Did I hear one cry, "You told us to put on armor, but we have neither shield nor breastplate! How can we put on the armorof light?" Here is the panoply-"Put you on the Lord Jesus Christ." Does a man cry, "I am afraid to go into the world undressedand I dare not put on the old garments of darkness! What can I do?" Here it is! Here is the death of sin and the life of holiness-"Putyou on the Lord Jesus Christ." Oh, blessed, charming words! I wish I had the power to fully set forth its meaning before you.For, first, in the Lord Jesus Christ there is covering for your nakedness! The garment covers the man-he is hidden and hisgarments are seen. Come, then, poor Sinner, and take by faith the Lord Jesus Christ to be a covering for your soul! You arenaked, but He will be your robe of righteousness!
There is in the Lord Jesus a complete and suitable apparel for your soul, by which every blemish and defilement shall be putout of sight according to the word, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered." In Christ Jesusthere is merit to cover our demerit, purity to cover our impurity, obedience to cover our disobedience, beauty to cover ourdeformity, perfection to cover our imperfection, acceptance to cover our provocation! We are comely with the comeliness whichthe Lord Jesus puts upon us. He is seen and we are hidden, or only seen in Him so as to be accepted in the Beloved! We havenothing to do but to enter into Christ by faith, for, virtually, that is what a man has to do with his garments-he gets intothem and so he who puts on Christ is in Christ! Christ is over him and round about him.
Did a poor naked, shivering soul ever hear more pleasant words than these-"Put on Christ"? You may do so, for the Lord commandsit. Was there ever a sweeter message? You, poor Soul, just awakened out of sleep and startled into saying, "What must I doto be saved?" Here is Jesus set before you! He is perfect in righteousness, matchless in holiness, unrivalled in beauty andyou may put Him on and stand clothed in that righteousness and beauty! I hear you say, "I see Him, but how is He to be mine?"He is yours by God's free gift-put Him on! You have not to improve upon Him, or add to Him, or embellish Him, but to takeHim as you take your coat and put Him on! There He is-He is a robe that delights to be worn! Myriads of souls have tried thisgarment and it has been exactly suitable to everyone out of all who have put it on! This is all you have to do-put it on-andthat the Holy Spirit will help you to do!
You have not to make the garment, to decorate the garment, or in any way to add to it or to alter it, but only to put it on!Nakedness, poverty, or guilt need not prevent a man's putting on a robe which is provided for him. Put it on! Put it on! Thisis a most vivid picture of what Faith does. She puts Christ about her and He covers all. Faith does not say, "I must clothemyself and then put on Christ." No, no! Its cry is, "Because I am naked I cover myself with Christ!" The soul says, "I havenothing of my own that God can look upon with complacency, but I will put on Christ, for I know in Him God is well pleased."The sufferings of Jesus will be set to my account, His merits shall avail for me and His righteousness shall be my righteousness!Oh it is a blessed, blessed word!
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and sing, "He has clothed me with the garments of salvation. He has covered me with the robeof righteousness." "But," says one, "I need more than just to be covered. I must have a garment provided for my necessity,suitable for my everyday work." My text points you to a full supply-"Put you on the Lord Jesus Christ"-as the most suitabledress for a saint at work, as well as for a sinner desiring justification before God! As we have already said, a first necessityis to awake, and truly none can lie and dream after they have once beheld His glorious robe-they are eager to obtain it!
Our next necessity is to cast off the old garments of the night and nothing helps us more than to put on Christ. Only lookat this robe of righteousness as yours and you will loathe the filthy rags of sin at once! When a man perceives the perfectionof the righteousness of Christ which is freely given to him by God, he abhors his sin, he loves his God and pines to be likeHe in holiness. There is no breeder of repentance like simple faith in Jesus Christ! Unbelieving philosophers tell us thatif we preach salvation by faith in Christ alone, people will take license to sin-but in this they err from lack of observation.Now speak your own experience, Christian man-did you ever feel yourself moved to sin by the assurance of being justified byChrist's righteousness? Never was there such a case in this world!
A man may hear about it and turn it into an excuse for sin, but he cannot, in his heart, believe it and do so. I know thatwhen I most clearly see that I am saved by Christ alone, it is then that I most of all long to be holy. I never follow afterpersonal righteousness so eagerly as when I know that my righteousness comes wholly from the Lord! The most grand motive powerfor the death of sin is the death of Christ and nothing makes us so eager to die unto sin as Christ's death for sin! Off goesthe filthy raiment at the sight of the glorious, spotless righteousness which is freely presented to every needy sinner inChrist Jesus.
Yes, and it is not only repentance that is thus worked by Christ, but all the power to be holy, to be gracious, to be forgiving,to be heroic, to be enthusiastic in the service of God-all comes through Christ when we are in Him. If you desire to be holyin life, the short path to it is to have done with your own righteousness and put on Christ! If the man who has been a drunkresolves to be sober, let him put on Christ and in Jesus he will deny himself. If the man who has been unchaste would gladlybe pure in life and heart, let him put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.There is such a matchless power about a simple faith in Christ, when it puts on Christ to be our righteousness, that it leadsthe Believer to such a walk as is decorous, dignified, honorable, holy. The man is moved to walk worthy of the noble garmentin which he is arrayed and his whole life rises out of the common level into the excellence of Grace!
I would call attention to this garment very specially in a few words. The text says, "Put you on the Lord Jesus Christ." Whatmade him use the three names there? Because he meant to point out the three senses in which we clothe ourselves from headto foot with Christ. "Put you on the Lord"-become His servant, wear His livery, let Him be your Rabbi, your Master, your King,your Lord. Put you on "Jesus," the Savior-acknowledge yourself as a saved one, saved by Him whose name is called Jesus-"forHe shall save His people from their sins." Put you on "Christ"-that is the Anointed-take an anointing from God the Holy Spiritthrough Jesus Christ to whom He is given without measure. As Christ is anointed to be Prophet, Priest and King, put Him onin all these three offices and rejoice to do so. "Put you on the Lord Jesus Christ."
Do not put on Jesus only as your Savior, put Him on as your Commander! Do not only put Him on as your Master and Savior, butas your Christ, anointed for you! Take a whole Christ to yourself that you may be wholly in Him and so may be spiritual, gracious,holy. Therefore may those around you see nothing of you, but much of your Lord. May your outward character be so Christlikethat men may see Christ displayed upon you as a new garment is displayed by the act of wearing it. May the spirit of Gloryand of Christ rest upon you! May you be clothed with power! Our Lord said to His disciples "Tarry at Jerusalem until you areendued with power from on high"-the word signifies, "clothed." If we are clothed with Christ, we shall be clothed with powerfrom on high even as He has said, "the works that I do shall you do, also." Therefore put you on the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Yes," but I hear another say, "I need not only raiment to cover my nakedness and supply my necessity, but I need apparelfor my dignity. You told us that we were to walk abroad in a worthy and honorable manner." Ah, and so you will, if you puton Christ! Oh what a bright creature, in the sight of God, is the man who has put on Christ! God Himself asks no purer ormore acceptable array. You never saw a seraph-bright like a flame of fire is each holy messenger of God-but if you could seea soul that is arrayed in Christ's righteousness, you would think a seraph a dull, dim thing compared with it! A seraph wearsnothing but created brightness, but a child of God clothed in Christ wears uncreated splendor! The perfection of God is uponthe soul that has put on Christ! Yes, and while God thus sees us in Christ and is well pleased with us, our fellows are obligedto admire us, too. If you put on Christ, so that you become like Christ, your walk and conversation will be bright and lustrousbefore the eyes of those about you. They, perhaps, will not like it- they may even hate you for it-but they will not be ableto do otherwise than acknowledge your excellence. He who lives in Christ lives a charming life, which, by its loveliness,commands the homage of onlookers. "Put you on the Lord Jesus
Oh, you that deck yourselves out with jewelry and ornaments, how much more lovely and dignified you would become if in allyour carriage and conversation, by sacred gentleness and love, by holy zeal and unswerving decision for truth, you put anChrist! "Yes," says another, "but you have forgotten part of your sermon. You said that now we were awake we were to put onarmor." I have not forgotten, for Christ is armor for our defense-therefore put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is a coat ofmail for you. The man that does as Christ would do, thinks as Christ would think and lives
as Christ would live makes Christ to be all in all to him and, therefore, armors himself with Christ. Thus he is made imperviousto the shafts of the enemy and amid the darts of temptation or the arrows of slander he may abide unharmed! The Lord is ourdefense and the Holy One of Israel is our King.
"Yes," says one, "but you told us that the day, when it was once up, would never again darken into night, but brighten intoa perfect day." It is even so and here is raiment provided for our expectancy. We may expect to meet with years of mingledconflict, service and suffering. "Put you on the Lord Jesus Christ" and you will be prepared for all weathers, fair or foul,and for all conditions and requirements. This garment will never wax old-it will last you all through the desert and, whatis more, it is suitable for Canaan and you shall keep it on forever and ever! We need a garment that we can wear in all theevents which will happen in the awful future, the endless future. It is on this account that I press home the words of mytext-"Put you on the Lord Jesus Christ."
Our Lord is a fit robe for life and death, for time and for eternity. I expect to battle till I die-here is my armor, theintegrity and uprightness which I learn of Christ will preserve me. I expect in death to rise out of this lower life intoa higher one and when I reach that higher life, that Glory life, I shall require a garment and I shall find it in my Lord.I cannot have a better garment than the Lord, Himself, and there is a wedding coming on! Every Believer expects to be marriedto his Lord. Then, dear Friend, you must certainly have a wedding garment! How can you go in unto the marriage feast not havingon a wedding garment? And here you have it-"Put you on the Lord Jesus Christ." When the King comes in to see His guests andHe sees Jesus Christ covering them all, He will be well-pleased. He will see His dear Son reflected in them all and from themall-and His delight shall be in them, even as it is in His Son. If you put on the Lord Jesus Christ you will be fit for theinspection of the King; fit for all the royalties and pomps of the eternal marriage; fit to stand in the coronation of Christ,Himself, as one of the many brethren of the crowned First-Born!
Now I have done, but how I wish that some souls would be moved as Augustine was and, at once, put on Christ before they leavethe place! I wish that some of you that came in here this morning with nothing on but your old ragged righteousness wouldat once pull it off and throw it under your feet! Here is Jesus Christ, Himself, waiting to become your righteousness! Willyou not have Him? His is a perfect righteousness, for He magnified the Law and made it honorable! He made a perfect robe andthen He dyed it in His own blood, that you might wear it as the imperial purple of the kingdom which He gives you.
"What is to be done with it?" Put it on! Did I hear you say, "I would like to take it home to think about it"? What? And donothing? I pray you put it on at once! Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. "But I do not know that it will fit me." Put it on andtry! "Oh, but I am not fit to wear anything so good." I know you aren't. Put it on and you will see how wonderful you willlook when Jesus covers you! The fitness lies in the garment-not in you! Do you cry, "I am anything but what I ought to be"?Put it on and let Christ be seen! "Ah, but still, am I to be saved in a minute?" Put on Christ at once and see, for it iswritten, "He that believes in Him has everlasting life." Put it on, poor Soul-that is all-put it on!
"But I have nothing that I can bring." Do not bring anything-just put on Christ! There He is! Do not refuse Him! I beseechyou, do not refuse Him, for he who will not put on Christ, when Christ is freely set before him, must not be amazed if, atthe last, he stands shivering amidst the glare of the last lightning in front of the awful Judgment Seat, with the eyes ofmen and angels, and the eyes of the great Judge fixed upon Him!
Ah, then he tries to hide himself and cannot. And he shrieks to rocks and mountains, "Hide me, hide me from the face of Himthat sits on the Throne!" He will have no one but himself to blame when it comes to that, if he will not put on Christ. Maythe Lord Jesus now be made unto you wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Amen.