Galatians 3:27 (GW)
27 Clearly, all of you who were baptized in Christ's name have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Baptism has many benefits. I have written about some of these in the past. But here in Galatians 3:27, we are told that when we are baptized, we are clothed with Christ. What are the benefits of being clothed with Christ?
1) Christ’s righteousness is now our righteousness. On our own, we are sinful and unworthy to stand in God’s presence. But clothed in Christ, we can stand in God’s presence. When we are clothed in Christ, God sees Christ when He looks at us. When Jesus told the story about the wedding feast in Matthew 22:1-14, we hear about a man who tried to get into the feast not wearing the clothes provided (Matthew 22:11). Here in Galatians 3:27 we find out what those wedding clothes are – they are Jesus! Being clothed in Jesus grants us access to heaven.
2) We now represent Jesus wherever we go. I will admit that I do enjoy watching little children dress up in superhero costumes. Watching them pretend to be those superheroes is both cute and funny. But when we are clothed with Christ, it is neither cute nor funny. We are not just to pretend to be Jesus; we are to in fact represent Jesus. When the followers of Jesus were first called Christians, it was meant to be bad thing. But the word Christian means “little Christ.” When you put on Jesus at your baptism, you are to live as a little Christ to the world. Too often we followers of Jesus forget this. We think that we can put on Jesus and put off Jesus at will. I put on Jesus when I am going to church. I take off Jesus when I am going to a party. Galatians 3:27 doesn’t say anything about taking off Jesus. It actually says that when we were baptized, we put on Jesus, never to take Jesus off. This is our source of comfort. When we sin, we find comfort in the fact that we still have Jesus on. This is not because of who we are but because of what God has done for us through baptism. We are clothed with Christ. If we remember this throughout the day, how different will we live our lives? If Jesus wouldn’t do something, look at something, say something or listen to something, then we who represent Jesus shouldn’t either. Representing Jesus changes how we see activities. Jesus doesn’t hang out with naughty people to be one of them. He hangs out with naughty people to point them to the God who loves them. We don’t condone or approve what people do; instead, we point them to the God who loves them enough to help them stop doing bad things.
3) Being clothed with Christ prepares for Spiritual Warfare. The devil hates God and everything that God loves. If you are clothed with Christ, you become an object of the devil’s hate. The devil hates you because you represent Christ, whom he hates. The good news is that you are already suited up for the battle. Paul writes about our spiritual armor in Ephesians 6:10-20. If you carefully read each individual part of the armor, you will see that they all point to Christ. The Belt of Truth – Jesus is the way the Truth and life (John 14:6). Breastplate of Righteousness – Jesus is our righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Shoes of Peace – Jesus is the one who brings peace between us and God. Isaiah calls Jesus the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Shield of Faith – Jesus is the source and goal of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Helmet of Salvation – Jesus is our Savior (Acts 4:12). Sword of the Spirit (Word of God) – Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14). At our baptism we are clothed with our battle armor. This armor has already defeated our enemy, Satan. This armor is Jesus!
What other benefits do you see in being clothed with Christ?