In this sermon, Pastor Neil tells how to truly “dress for success,” the kind of success that glorifies God. Here are some excerpts:

Dress for Success– In the Eyes of God

Perhaps you know the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 from memory: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

To say there is no law against these things is a huge understatement, isn’t it?! How in the world could anyone have anything against love, joy, peace, and the rest? But, you know what? In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, there are people and groups who seem to be opposed to many of these virtues, especially if these qualities are exhibited or promoted by Christians. We can either give up, and adopt the ways and attitudes and ideas of the unbelieving world, which is on display pretty much everywhere these days. Or we can be different for Christ’s sake. We can put on the clothing of a Christian character, dress for success in the eyes of God, not the world…

What to Get Rid of in Your Spiritual Wardrobe

…Paul says in [Galatians] verse 5: “Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly (sinful) nature.” In verse 8, he says: “You must rid yourselves of …” these things. There is no place for them in your lives as followers of Jesus.

Here is the “put to death” list in verse 5:

  • Sexual immorality: The word Paul uses is porneia. We get the word pornography or “porn” from it. But it is really a broad term that applies to sexual immorality of any and every kind. You know as well as I do that there is a pandemic of porneia in the world today. You and I are to have absolutely no part in it.
  • Impurity
  • Lust: The Greek word pathos in this context means “passions” that are out of control.
  • Evil desires
  • Greed (or covetousness), which Paul says, is a form of idolatry.
  • As Paul makes clear in verse 6, God takes all these things seriously. They are not incidental or insignificant sins. It is “because of these things” that “the wrath of God is coming” on those who practice them.

The “get rid of” list in verses 8 and 9 include these:

  • Anger (by which Paul means unrighteous anger, which is what most, but not all, anger is)
  • Rage (there is a lot of it these days)
  • Malice
  • Slander (literally, blasphemy)
  • Filthy talk (that demeans people and is full of profanity)
  • Telling lies (to and about one another)

These things may all be characteristics of the world in which we live, and it may be easy to let your frustrations and hurts and disappointments and worries about the present or the future pull you down into the gutter of these feelings, actions, and talk, but Jesus calls us to reject them all in His name and power.

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

When my time on earth is up, I don’t want to be remembered as someone whose life was characterized by things like anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy talk, or dishonesty. I don’t want to be or to be known as someone who engaged in porneia or sexual immorality. I don’t want to be or to be known as someone whose life is epitomized by greed or lust or any other attitude that brings grief to the heart of God. I’m sure the same is true for you.

I want to be and to be known as a man who dresses for success in the eyes of God – a man who, as a sinner saved by grace, with undying gratitude to God for His grace and love, daily, consistently, happily dresses in the wardrobe God has picked out for me, so that others see in me a reflection of the compassion, humility, kindness, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness (grace), and love of Jesus Himself.

Isn’t that what you want in your life, too?

Pastor Neil has a lot more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the sermon in its entirety.

July 12, 2020

Colossians 3:5-14

Dr. Neil Smith

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