Put Off/Put On (Embracing its Responsibility)

Luke 14:18a (ESV)
“But they all alike began to make excuses.”

The above quote is from a parable that Jesus told in order to illustrate an example of those who fail to participate in the building of His kingdom. In the parable, excuses were given to the man who had sent his slave to invite people to a banquet that he was having, by those who didn’t want to attend…

Luke 14:16-20 (ESV)
“A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’”

How easy it is to make excuses, isn’t it?

But, this is how it’s always been. In the garden, God had asked Adam whether or not he had eaten from the tree that God had told Adam to not eat from. After Adam ate and was then questioned about it by God, he then gave God an excuse…

Genesis 3:11b-12 (ESV)
“‘Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.'”

When God then questioned Eve, she followed suit…

Genesis 3:13 (ESV)
“Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.'”

We (fallen human beings) are so quick to make excuses for ourselves. However, we (Christians) need to be careful of this, because we now have a “new self,” and we must now avoid the nonsense of making “old self” like excuses. We are now specifically commanded to proactively put off and put on certain behaviors.

Why?

Because, we have been raised with Christ, having already (in a sense) died. As a result, we are to no longer be earthly in how we now live; for such is what we were called for…

Colossians 3:1-17 (ESV)
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 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.”

These are expectations, not suggestions. These are requirements, not voluntary possibilities. It is our calling, our marching order, to do (in the name of the Lord Jesus) what we are now able to do, which we could not do before… no excuses.

When the servant returned to tell his master about the excuses given to him by those who had been invited to the banquet, the master then became angry, inviting others instead…

Luke 14:21-24 (ESV)
“So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

What excuses might you be making?

May we (Christians) not make excuses for what we are to put off and to put on. May we instead recognize our newness, embracing its responsibility…

2 Corinthians 5:14-18 (ESV)
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…”

Click here for a helpful website which provides scripture links regarding the things that we are called to “Put Off/Put On.”

Godspeed, to the brethren!

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2 thoughts on “Put Off/Put On (Embracing its Responsibility)”

  1. Re the linked Put Off/Put On list: it is not a legalistic list of to do and to don’t, since our adoption will not and can never be rescinded, but it is what we should want to look like for multiple reasons.

    Among them are not wanting to disappoint, if we love him, our loving and lovable Father (and also our elder Brother and his Holy Spirit), and for ourselves, more satisfaction and blessing now and more reward later (Future Grace, a good book on motivation by John Piper).

    So we should not feel guilty, just sad, in our own failings, and ask Jesus to lift us up onto Father’s lap, so to speak, so we can have him embrace us and so we ask him for a greater measure of his Spirit to help us.

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