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The Kingdom of God (Romans 14:17), Part 1 of 5 / E: Clothed in Christ
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   Romans 14.17 (1 of 5) - final.docx (152.5K) [0] DATE : 2012-09-10 04:27:05
THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Romans 14:17), Part 1 of 5

Subpart E: Clothed in Christ


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Romans 14:17
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 6:28-30
And why are you worried about clothing?  Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?  You of little faith!
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Ultimately, the real fruit of Christianity is to have agape remain, and what function does that have within us?  We become free.  We don’t become weighed down more – things like this are fake.  It seems spiritual, but instead it binds us.  The true function of the Spirit, if it moves in us, is that our burdens no longer seem heavy but become easy, light, and joyful instead.  Before we would want God to take notice when we’re making a big sacrifice or effort, because we thought of our relationship with Him as a give and take.  But now we become freer.  Whether my hands do anything or not, all things become possible; not because I possess (that ability), but because I learn that if something is God’s will, anything is possible.  I become free; that’s why I become more generous, and my face becomes joyful.  When I share my testimony, people can’t fathom.  How are you so cute and bright-looking?  How can I help it?  I did have all of this misery, pain, and brokenness.  But from that place, the result of the gospel is that I become free.  That my spirit becomes joyful, and that joyfulness becomes infectious.  People who logically should be suffering, are just going about smiling for no apparent reason.

“And why are you worried about clothing?  Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?  You of little faith!”  Matthew 6:28-30

Jesus is saying that the garments are already there.  Throughout the Bible there is shedding of garments.  Noah was also unclothed, for example.  So if you become drunk on the new wine, if you become drunk on the Holy Spirit, if the death of Christ manifests inside of you, you shed all of your garments.  Ultimately you have to wear (the mantle of) Christ.  But the point is that the garments are there because we have been clothed by Him.  I did not do anything.  If there is one really good thing that has happened during my ministry, I used to assess people and then love them, but now I love genuinely.  I am changing little by little.  I may still not be able to love everyone, just a few people.  But even with those few people, in the past I could only love them if they were doing right, but now I love them even if they lie, cheat, trick, curse me behind my back.  That is my spirituality having become very strong.  Loving someone who curses you is not normal.  So if one hundred people curse me, I still hate ninety-nine of them, but at least one of them I now love.  But this is the nature of that love: it’s not because that person is so loveable that I love them; it’s because I have this love inside of me and because of the breadth of this love inside of me that I love that person.  When I cover that person with the love that I possess, that is the most righteous thing.  When Christ pours His love on us, it doesn’t matter what our own being is.  When my mother takes a day-old sushi roll and coats it with egg and cooks it in the frying pan, no matter how cold and hard the rice inside was, it becomes soft and delicious like sweet rice.  Because of the holiness of Christ’s love, the thing becomes righteous.  When something is covered in the precious blood of Jesus, it is becomes righteous.  That’s what righteousness is: when we are wrapped in Him.  We try to wear righteousness ourselves.  We try to be filled with Christ, and to become righteous.  But what is required is passivity – we need to be clothed by Him.  Our activity has to halt; the true object of divinity is passivity.  He has to clothe me.  We are those who wait for His salvation.  And we don’t toil.  True righteousness is not my labor, but His sacrifice.  Ultimately, we are people who are clothed in His sacrifice, His warmth, His love.


(The full transcript of Part 1 of 5 is also attached here as a Word document.)