Read these in the translation of your choice.
If I have bad thoughts, am I still saved?
If I have really bad thoughts, am I still saved?
If I say some bad words, am I still saved?
If I say some really bad words, am I still saved?
If I steal something, am I still saved?
If I steal a whole bunch of something, am I still saved?
If it seems like there are just way too many rules and I know going in that I can’t keep them all, am I still saved?
Here’s the thing about the good news of Jesus Christ; it really is good news. Yes, once you believed, once you professed your faith in Jesus, once you proclaimed Jesus to be Lord and believed in your heart that God indeed raised him from the dead; then you are saved.
Once saved always saved!
Get the picture?
Even though we didn’t deserve it?
Especially that we didn’t and don’t deserve it.
God loves us.
God did it all.
God will keep on loving us.
God’s love never fails.
God’s love does not end.
God is love.
He has saved you from sin and death for all eternity.
Now, what are you going to do about it?
How will we respond to grace?
How will we respond to love we did not deserve?
How will we respond to being a new creation?
How will we respond to life and life abundant and life eternal?
What are we going to do about this love we know in Jesus?
Jesus challenges us to follow him. He calls to us to be his disciple. He reaches out to us and says, follow me.
And we said:
· Yeah, OK, I’m good with that
· Sure, I’m down with that
· Sign me up for that
· Count me in
· I am a follower
· I am a believer
· I am a disciple
Then we said, what did I just sign up for? What does being a disciple look like? What are the disciples of this age wearing?
If I am playing football, I know to put on my football uniform. If it’s basketball then I put on the basketball uniform.
If it’s homecoming week, one day I get to wear my pajamas.
When I get home from school, I know to put on my play clothes.
If I am getting married, I put on my dress whites or a tux or a nice suit.
If I am picking trash out of my cactus, I put on a long sleeved shirt and gloves.
If my granddaughter has filled her diaper, I find somebody to put a new one on her.
If I am going to the IRS for an audit, I put on something out of the rag pile.
If I am going to a barbeque rib joint, then I put on a bib.
It used to be when I went on the radio I could wear whatever I wanted. Now they have a video webcast, so I have to throw on a shave.
It seems that we all know how to dress for most occasions. But do we know how to dress for discipleship? How do you dress a disciple?
You can’t just start by putting on new clothes. You have to take off the old.
All married men know that when their wives say, “Are you wearing that?” that it is not really a question.
If a guy says to a guy, “You wearing that?” then it means, “Yeah, I might go put on my thread bare jeans with paint stains on too.”
But when a woman says to her husband, “Are you wearing that?” it is not a question. Let me translate for those who have not begun a marital journey.
The words “are you wearing that” translate into “By everything that is holy and eternal, go back to the depths of hell where you found those clothes and throw them into the fire. Then go put on the stuff that I set out for you to wear.”
To dress a disciple, most of the time you have to take some clothing off. Such as?
· Going along with the crowd
· Anger fueled revenge
· A vulgar mouth
· Anything that breaks God’s heart
· Gossip, backbiting, and profanity
· Living entirely for your own gratification
Then we can get dressed with a God fashioned life in the wardrobe he selected for us.
· Quiet strength
· Even tempered
· Content with what you have
· Good news
· God’s word
· Love (Yes, it’s listed twice). This is the garment that you can wear to anything, at any time or in any place. It is always in season.
Do you think you could tell these two people apart by their clothing?
If you put these two in a line up, could you pick the one who follows Jesus?
The answers are, of course, ‘yes’ and ‘yes.’
The real question is what will we put on?
Will it be the same old clothing that we have always worn? Or will we get dressed with a God fashioned wardrobe?
Will it be something that says, I just want to blend in with the crowd? Or will it be something that says the Spirit of God that is alive inside me is showing on the outside too?
Will it be something that says, I hope I can get through the day? Or will it be something that says, I am dressed for battle with whatever the devil, the world, or any unexpected situation throws at me?
Our salvation is assured in Christ. God took care of that. It was sealed the day that you took the saving faith that God himself gave you and professed Jesus as Lord and Savior.
What we did next was in our hands. Did we decide to follow Jesus? Were we obedient to him?
What is an example of a disciple being obedient to Jesus?
Baptism! This says that I have decided to follow Jesus.
And so does our clothing. What will you wear?
Lying, stealing, promiscuity or love, compassion, kindness, thankfulness, and forgiveness?
What clothes will you select for the rest of your life?
Revenge, gossip, lust or truth, faith, righteousness, and good news?
Will you dress hoping something bad doesn’t happen to you or will you dress for combat, ready for anything, fully equipped for victory?
What are you wearing now?
What will you wear tomorrow?
God has a wonderful wardrobe picked out just for you. Choose to dress like a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Dress like a disciple.